Dr Danielle Celermajer
A: Room 131 RC Mills Building
P: +612 9351 7641
Director, Master of Human Rights and Democratisation (Asia Pacific Regional Program)
Director, Master of Human Rights
Role at the University of Sydney
In 2008, in cooperation with colleagues at the Research Institute for the Asia Pacific, I was awarded a 1.5 million euro grant by the European Commission to establish a networked regional Masters of Human Rights and Democratisation. As director of this program, and of the Sydney Masters of Human Rights, my major institutional focus has thus been the development of strong interdisciplinary pedagogies and structures to support cutting edge, research and practice oriented human rights education in Australia and in the region.
I am also on the Executive the World Democracy Forum, a body that is in the process of developing the leading international network of democracy researchers. In combination with my work in human rights education, I see the development of this network as critical to making the University of Sydney a hub in global democracy and human rights research and education.
The key research question that motivates all of my specific research endeavours is, “What are the principles and practices required to construct socially just political communities in the context of diversity (religious, racial, economic, ethnic and political) and in the light of historical violations?” To this end, I focus on international human rights law and institutions and their domestic application, the negotiation of difference within global and local contexts, and mechanisms for dealing with violations in the past (truth commissions, apologies, international criminal law). Currently, I am working on the interface between religious and secular discourses in the area of human rights, the hegemony of human rights as a moral language and the implications of such hegemony for human rights practice and theory.
I have an ongoing engagement wit the work on Hannah Arendt and am currently continuing my work on how her work can contribute to our thinking about human rights and the religious underpinnings of her thought.
Finally, and in connection with my institutional role as Director of Sydney’s human rights programs, I am exploring human rights education, and in this regard, the role of Universities in bridging scholarly and applied understandings of human rights, Specifically, how can universities constructively contribute to the development of more effective strategies for human rights advocacy?