Former UN advisor in Sheffield to discuss human rights

The former Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan visited the University of Sheffield this week (11 February 2010) to discuss international military interventions and human rights.

Professor Michael Doyle delivered the lecture entitled, 'Human Rights, Sovereignty, and Military Intervention', which discussed the international rules which should govern the global community's decision on whether to intervene in another country.

The lecture was organised by the University's Centre for Peace History in collaboration with the Department of Politics. The Centre, which was officially opened in November 2009, produces world-class research, with the aim of engaging the wider public in our understanding of peace. The Centre is assisted by an international, inter-disciplinary advisory board including academics from Germany, Italy, Norway and the USA.

As a special advisor to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Professor Michael Doyle handled special UN projects, most importantly the negotiation of the targets and indicators for the Millennium Development Goals and the formulation of UN policy on issues of international migration.

Professor Doyle is one of the leading theorists of international relations. He holds the Harold Brown Chair of United States Foreign and Security Policy, with a joint appointment at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), Columbia Law School and the Department of Political Science. He is also a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Peace History.

Professor Doyle said: "We live in an increasingly interdependent world in which what happens in other countries influences what happens in our own countries. We therefore need more global mutual responsibility, but we must develop this collective governance without undermining the national self-determination that makes our politics valuable and meaningful. Discussing these issues here at Sheffield has been a genuine pleasure."

Dr Nehring, one of the Directors of the Centre for Peace History, said: "We are delighted that Professor Doyle came to speak in Sheffield on such an important topic. His lecture has helped us sharpen our understanding of the intellectual foundations of the discussions about humanitarian interventions. It has a huge impact on our understanding of the recent discussions about the ethical issues connected to such interventions in their military (Afghanistan, Iraq) as well as peaceful forms (Haiti). It is only with such historical and philosophical background knowledge that we can hope to grasp international politics around the globe today."

Notes for Editors: The Directors of the Centre for Peace History are Dr Mike Foley, Dr Holger Nehring and Dr Benjamin Ziemann, from the University of Sheffield's Department of History.

The advisory board of the Centre for Peace History consists of:

Professor Thorsten Bonacker, Department of Sociology, Centre for Conflict Research, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany
Dr Garrett Brown, Department of Politics, University of Sheffield
Dr Wendy E. Chmielewski, Swarthmore College Peace Collection, Swarthmore, PA, USA
Professor Michael Doyle, Columbia University, USA
Professor Renato Moro, Dipartimento di Studi Internazionali, Università Roma Tre, Italy Professor Helge Pharo, Forum for Contemporary History, University of Oslo, Norway
Professor Sasha Roseneil, School of Psychosocial Studies, Birkbeck College, University of London
Professor Lawrence S. Wittner, Department of History, State University of New York at Albany, USA

More information can be found at the below link.

For further information please contact: Lauren Anderson, Media Relations Officer, on 0114 2221046 or email l.h.anderson@sheffield.ac.uk