Adjunct Associate Professor of Public Administration
Louis Bickford manages the Global Human Rights program at the Ford Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2012, he served on the executive leadership team at the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights and, before that, was a founding staff member and director of the Policymakers and Civil Society unit at the International Center for Transitional Justice where he developed capacity building programs in every world region. Bickford teaches regular graduate seminars on memory, human rights, and transitional justice. He received a Ph.D. from McGill University and a master's degree from the New School, both in political science.
The International Human Rights Movement: Past, Present, and Future
The human rights movement is one of the most successful social justice movements of our time, establishing universal principles that govern how states should treat citizens and non-citizens, and helping to challenge dictators and authoritarian rulers in many regions, including Southern Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. Over the last three decades, national human rights organizations have proliferated; today, a human rights community of some sort exists in virtually every country of the world. On the global level, simultaneously, the International Human Rights Movement (IHRM) has become a powerful force. The movement strengthens—and is strengthened by—a complex web of institutions, laws, and norms that constitute a functioning global system that builds on itself progressively, animated by strong NGOs.
Students will leave with a deep appreciation of what it means to work in or with Human Rights NGOs: challenges, strategies, dilemmas, theories of change, etc. and be uniquely prepared to both analyze this sector and/or work in it as a staff person, consultant, or NGOs leader.