In this talk Wiktor Osiatynski deals with the notion of human rights as an nutriment for mass mobilization during the post-Communist transition.The changing meaning of and support for human rights with democratization as well as challenges to human rights posed by globalization and the axis of sovereignty will be discussed. Finally, attention will be given to attempts to increase the usefulness human rights for the excluded by introducing concepts of capabilities and legal empowerment.
Viola Zentai, director of the Center for Policy Studies at CEU, will moderate the Question & Answer session following the talk.
Wiktor Osiatynski is a University Professor at Central European University as well as a member of the Board of the Open Society Foundations and of a number of OSF Sub-Boards. He has taught at many American and European universities, including Columbia, Stanford, Chicago, Connecticut and Siena. His main fields of scholarly interest have been comparative constitutional law and human rights. In the 1990s, Osiatynski was an advisor to a number of drafting committees and was a Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Constitutionalism at the University of Chicago Law School. Osiatynski has written more than 20 books on various subjects, including the history of social and political ideas, constitutionalism, addiction, science and sports. His most recent book “Human Rights and Their Limits” was published by the Cambridge University Press in 2009. Osiatynski holds degrees in law and sociology from Warsaw University and from the Polish Academy of Science.