Human Rights & Global Justice


The Human Rights and Global Justice Research Group is an affiliate of the Wake Forest University Humanities Institute and aims to initiate, sustain, and expand discussions and knowledge about human rights and global justice, as well as activism on these issues, not only across campus, but also the wider policy communities beyond the University, both locally and globally. The group is an incubator and a hub for faculty research, programs, and events devoted to issues of human rights and global justice. As human rights have become more firmly entrenched in our thinking, they have also become more intertwined in the tangled web of national and international politics, economics, religion, and law.  This complexity explains not only why the modern quest for human rights and global justice has been of central importance to many academic disciplines, including political science, religion, philosophy, and law, but also why any critical and in-depth study of issues about them requires interdisciplinary perspectives and knowledge.

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John Knox, Henry C. Lauerman Professor of International Law, School of Law
Win-Chiat Lee, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Dept. of Philosophy
Kevin Jung, Associate Professor of Christian Ethics, School of Divinity
Pieternella van Doorn Harder, Professor of Islamic Studies, Dept. of Religion
Sarah Lischer, Associate Professor Political Science, Dept. of Political Scienc
Will Walldorf, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Dept. of Political Science
Luis Roniger, Reynolds Professor of Latin American Studies, Dept. of Political Science

Simeon Ilesanmi, Washington M. Wingate Professor of Religion, Dept. of Religion

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Although we are interested in a full breadth of interrelated issues, we specifically seek to foster human rights dialogue and innovative interdisciplinary academic research around four main concerns which lie at the heart of international human rights movement. These are:

History and theory of human rights

Prevention and accountability


Advocacy and public engagement

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Current Projects:

Research Projects
Kevin Jung, School of Divinity
“Moral Limits to Autonomy: Defending Human Dignity in the Liberal State”

Will Walldorf, Department of Politics and International Affairs
“To Shape Our World For Good:  Ideas and Forceful Regime Change in United States Foreign Policy, 1900-2011”

Luis Roniger, Department of Politics and International Affairs
“The Global Rise of Human Rights and the Problématique of Multiple Modernities”

Simeon Ilesanmi, Department of Religion
“Wesleyan Social and Political Ethics in the Age of Globalization: A comparative Study from an African Perspective”

Planning Grants
John Knox, Win-Chiat Lee, Simeon Ilesanmi, and Kevin Jung
Conference on Human Rights and Climate Change

Kevin Jung and Win-chiat Lee
Interdisciplinary Workshops: “Human Rights and Human Dignity”

Course Planning
Sarah Lischer, Simeon Ilesanmi, and John Knox
“Interdisciplinary Topics in Human Rights and Global Justice”