This note draws on both the Raoul Wallenberg Institute’s (RWI) international cooperation programmes with universities to advance human rights education and the concepts of a ‘human rights cognitive style’ and ‘local cognitive style’ as developed by Benjamin Gregg in his recent theory of The Human Rights State (2016). We analyse how to facilitate positive attitudinal change towards human rights across a range of different university actors, including students, teachers and managers. By drawing on examples from RWI’s recent work, we then explore how educational efforts-especially teaching-and dialogue with local partners can be constructed in a way that facilitates the local embrace of human rights yet without thereby compromising international human rights standards. We argue that attitudinal change on an individual level, a focus on the local context and international standards are the key prerequisites for a free local embrace of human rights as well as for advancing a human rights culture around the world.
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