Note from the field : Applying a ‘human rights cognitive style’ in the Raoul Wallenberg Institute’s work on human rights education with universities

By: Helena Olsson, Olga Bezbozhna

LUP ID: 07e5a857-a246-428a-a7ce-3e794f219353

Publisher: Routledge

Page Reference: 342-358

ISSN: 1364-2987

DOI: 10.1080/13642987.2017.1298736

Keywords: Attitudinal change, Higher education, Human rights cognitive style, Human rights education, Local embrace, Raoul Wallenberg Institute

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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