Human rights and the dark side of globalisation

This research project explores the relationship between transnational law enforcement and international human rights law.

Guantanamo, offshore asylum processing, CIA rendition programs, global electronic surveillance, private military contractors and drone attacks. None of these cases seem to fit the traditional dictum that a state’s executive powers is to be exercised only by its own officials and within its territory. The increasing trend towards transnational law enforcement further prompts difficult questions about the reach and applicability of human rights law.

Globalisation has been argued to spell the end, or at least demise, of traditional sovereignty. This project, however, examines the flipside to this process and how especially more resourceful states themselves are making increasing use of the possibilities afforded by globalisation to outsource, offshore and privatise law enforcement tasks, often in a deliberate attempt to avoid international or domestic legal constraints.

The outcome of the project will be a book volume edited by Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen and Jens Vedsted-Hansen to be published in the Routledge Studies on Human Rights series by December 2016.



 Project owner:


  • GLOTHRO – Globalisation and Transnational Human Rights Obligations programme
  • European Science Foundation
  • Danish Council for Independent Research | Social Sciences (FSE)
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