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Neil Englehart, assistant professor of government and law, will give a talk on “State Failure, State Capacity, and Human Rights: A Cross-Section Time Series Analysis” 3 p.m. Friday in Simon Center room 125.

The talk will challenge the assumption that state repression is the primary cause of human rights abuses.

“State failure has emerged as a major cause of human rights abuse in the post-Cold War world,” according to the summary of the paper that Englehart will present at the seminar. “This study employs a time-series cross-section analysis to examine the impact of state capacity on human rights, finding that strong states are better at protecting rights to personal integrity, economic well-being, political participation and civil liberties. Weak and failing states, conversely, are unable to protect the rights of their citizens. State failure thus deserves serious attention as a major cause of human rights abuse.”

Englehart has written a book about human rights after the Cold War, receiving assistance in the final stage from EXCEL Scholar Jesslyn Roebuck ’06 (Montgomery, N.Y.), a double major in English and international affairs.

He also is the author of Culture and Power in Traditional Siamese Government, a book in which he argues that political reform in 19th-century Siam is an example of intentional cultural change in response to new ideas. Previously, Englehart received a Fulbright Fellowship for research in Thailand and a Fulbright scholarship for language study there.

He is one of three Lafayette professors joining four students in the Imperialism Project, a Community of Scholars collaboration to create the most comprehensive and searchable database about the characteristics of empires and colonies throughout the course of history.

Two years ago, Englehart spent the school year studying at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., after being honored with an appointment there. The prior school year, he took a junior faculty leave at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, researching the particular set of institutions that comprise the modern state — territoriality, bureaucracy, and the monopoly of the use of force.

Categorized in: Academic News