A central challenge when evaluating policies and making policy decisions is how to deal with the fact of disagreement: given widespread moral disagreement among citizens, we need to know both whose moral views to build on and how to justify our policy choices to those who disagree. A possible solution to this challenge consists in relying on human rights – often described as a “moral lingua franca” – as a moral basis for evaluating policy choices. The workshop will consider the pros and cons of using human rights as a standard for policy evaluations.

The workshop is organized as part of the research project What is a Good Policy? Political Morality, Feasibility, and Democracy (GOODPOL), at the Centre for Advanced Study (CAS) at The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, in collaboration with PluriCourts - Centre for the Study of the Legitimate Roles of the Judiciary in the Global Order (University of Oslo).



10.00 – 10.15 Opening remarks

10.15 - 11.30 Keynote lecture, followed by discussion: Samantha Besson (Collège de France, Paris & University of Fribourg): "Disagreement, Consent and Consensus about International Human Rights Law"

11.30-12.00 Pause

12.00 - 12.45: Andreas Føllesdal (University of Oslo): "International human rights as policy standards: A charitable description and defense of the practice of the European Court of Human Rights"

12.45 - 13.30: Siri Gloppen (University of Bergen): "The politicisation of human rights standards and risks of backlash"

13.30-13.45 Pause

13-45-14.30 Jakob Elster (University of Oslo): "Feasibility constraints on human rights"

14.30-14.40 Closing remarks


The workshop will take place on Zoom. If you wish to participate, please send an e-mail to jakob.elster [at] nchr.uio.no.

Please write “Registration HR workshop” in the subject line of the e-mail.