Sussex Rights and Justice Research Centre

About the Centre


It is often claimed that human rights have become the ‘world’s secular religion’ (Eli Wiesel).  Indeed, the spread of 'rights talk' has transformed the nature and practices of social movements as well as the political rhetoric of governments. More than that, it has profoundly affected identities, the ways selfhood is conceived and articulated (through new categories such as ‘rights holder’, 'minority', 'indigenous person') and altered how less powerful, and sometimes more powerful groups, address and interact with states and with transnational actors.

Similarly, the ongoing economic, financial and refugee crises, the spectre of worsening climate change and environmental degradation, and persistent global inequalities, have brought concerns with the meanings of justice and pathways to its achievement to the forefront of both activist and institutional agendas.

Drawing on rich thematic and regional expertise across a number of disciplines, the Sussex Rights and Justice Research Centre is situated at the forefront of responding to these changes in the global landscape.

The Sussex Rights and Justice Research Centre promotes research initiatives and intellectual exchange on ‘rights’ and ‘justice’, both of which have long been central intellectual and political concerns within the University of Sussex. The  Centre began its life in the early 2000s as the ‘Justice, Violence and Rights Research Centre’, which drew particularly from the departments of anthropology, law and international relations. An expanded centre was newly re-launched in 2015. Its aim is to bring together faculty, doctoral and postdoctoral researchers, and interested postgraduate students from across the University and enable them to share their own work, build relationships and exchange ideas with each other in a rigorous but friendly interdisciplinary forum. The Centre, moreover, facilitates collaboration with other scholars and institutions interested in the study of the ethics and politics of rights and justice.