Global Studies Colloquium: "The coming good society: New realities demand new rights"

Wednesday, April 14 at 12:30pm

The Department of Global Studies' Colloquium Series is a lecture series, which has been made possible by the generosity of the Orfalea Endowment for the Master's Program in Global Studies.  The Colloquium Series strives to open and explore a wide range of interdisciplinary debates and their interaction and engagement with the global, hosting new guest speakers each quarter from UCSB and beyond.  The upcoming event will be hosted via Zoom on Wednesday, April 14th at 12:30pm. Zoom link is (Meeting ID: 842 4656 4996). Please see below for the featured talk:


Sushma Raman, The coming good society: New realities demand new rights

                Chair: Bishnu Ghosh, English and Global studies UCSB

While human rights have accomplished a great deal in the past few decades and are under increasing attacks by authoritarians, rights must adapt to new realities or risk being consigned to irrelevance. Changes in norms and circumstances require the expansion of rights: What new rights, for example, are needed if we understand gender to be nonbinary? Does living in a corrupt state violate our rights? And emerging technologies demand that we think about old rights in new ways: When biotechnology is used to change genetic code, whose rights might be violated? What rights, if any, protect our privacy from the intrusions of sophisticated surveillance techniques? To preserve and promote the good society—one that protects its members’ dignity and fosters an environment in which people will want to live—we must at times rethink the meanings of familiar rights and consider the introduction of entirely new rights. Now is one of those times.


Sushma Raman is the Executive Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Sushma has over two decades of global experience launching, scaling, and leading social justice programs and building capabilities of grassroots human rights organizations. Prior to joining the Carr Center, she was Program Officer at the Ford Foundation and the Open Society Foundation, focusing on human rights and social justice initiatives. She has taught graduate courses on topics including intersectoral leadership; global civil society; the NGO sector; and policy communications for decision makers. Sushma is the co-author with Bill Schulz (former CEO of Amnesty International USA) of The Coming Good Society: Why New Realities Demand New Rights, published by Harvard University Press. Sushma is the host of Justice Matters podcast, a contributor to Foreign Policy magazine, and a board member of RFK Human Rights.

For more information about the Colloquium Series, please contact Professor Jan Nederveen Pieterse, Global Studies Colloquium Director:

Event Type

Lectures & Presentations

Target Audience

Graduate Students, Faculty & Staff


Social Sciences


global studies, colloquium, current, EDU Feature, Current-Feature


Global Studies
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