HUMAN RIGHTS LAB

Lab Projects

Far-Right Composite Project

Project Leader: Diren Valayden, valayden@binghamton.edu 

The geography of far-right activity is increasingly urban in character today. This observation has a few implications. First, it is clear that far-right ideology, activity, and violence go far beyond the concept of hate: far-right organizations are not only reactive, but they seek to shape collective life at different geographical scales. In recent years, the far-right relationship to the urban (we can speak of a metrofascism) has become increasingly obvious: street fighting is becoming an explicit characteristic of far-right presence; far-right activists mobilize the urban fabric in much the same way that other movements such as Black Lives Matter do; they often define themselves against a type urban life such as metropolitan elitism or pluralism; they oppose progressive policies won at the municipal scale (such as sanctuary cities) etc. Secondly, that urban character and urbanization’s co-constitutive relationship with race and racism is often lost by analyzing far-right activity under the rubric of “social movements.” Far-right activists, because of their hostility towards heterogeneity and their commitment to an ideology of homogeneity, tend to undermine the very pluralism that is necessary to democracy (a pluralism that “social movements” accounts tend to assume rather than question, theorize or historicize). This project thus distinguishes itself from analyses of hate and from social movement theory by seeking to map out the far-right as an anti-democratic urban form that constitutes itself through race and racism.
 
Starting from this framework of race, democracy and urbanization, the aim of this project is threefold: 1) to generate a set of concepts and analytics that will deepen our understanding of the threats to democratic possibilities and social justice 2) to create a network of scholars, journalists, and activists to monitor far-right presence in cities across the US 3) to produce public facing scholarship on far-right dynamics in urban centers.
 
The Lab will create a collaborative space where participants can share research methods and theories and experiment with opportunities offered by digital technologies such as social networking sites, wikis, blogs and data visualization tools. The research output of the group will public reports as well as academic research. We view student work as critical to the success of the Lab’s mission: the report will provide a framework and structure for students to publish their writing to an audience of fellow citizens. The act of communicating to an “imagined community” is itself crucial in shaping a democratic polity and serves as a political pedagogy as such.

Forced Labor in the Supply Chain

Project Leader: Laura Murphy, Sheffield Hallam University

Contact: Alexandra Moore, amoore@binghamton.edu 

This project uses publicly-available information to identify companies in China that are utilizing forced labor transfers of minoritized people in the making of products that feed into global supply chains. We identify at-risk suppliers and create evidence briefs about their potential for tainting the products we buy. Our outputs will include reports, data sets, and social media campaigns to raise awareness of forced labour in the Uyghur region, as well as to provide an evidence base for ethical action on the part of governments, advocates, and corporations.

GTMO Accountability Project (GAP)

Project leader: Alexandra Moore, amoore@binghamton.edu

In this project, we are examining allegations of abuse and illegal activitity at Guantanamo and in the CIA's Rendition, Detention, and Interrogation program in the War on Terror. Activities include producing a public service announcement in partnership with North Carolina Stop Torture Now to call on the Governor and Attorney General of North Carolina to investigate the state's engagement in the RDI program. For more information on the role of North Carolina in the program, see: nctorturereport.org.  Participants are also examining GTMO witness testimony.

Working papers series


The Citizenship, Rights, and Cultural Belonging Working Papers Series invites submissions that fit with the series’ themes, including human rights. Submissions are welcome from all disciplines as well as inter-disciplinary, multidisciplinary and trans-disciplinary perspectives.

To submit your paper, email the abstract and the paper in separate files (Word preferred, pdf accepted) to:

Olga Shvetsova, associate professor of political science and economics

shvetso@binghamton.edu 


When your paper is accepted, you will receive the series number and instructions on formatting the final copy. Our editorial services include an in-house review.

Previously published papers in the series:
No. 101 William B. Heller and Olga Shvetsova. “The Ouroborous of Political Institutions: Party Rules in Institutional Context.” October 2016.

No. 102 Mohammed Rodwan Abouharb, David L. Cingranelli, and Mikhail G. Filippov. "International Organizations and the Quality of Domestic Governance: the Multiple Principals Problem." October 2016.