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Reflections on International Social Justice: From Defending Place to Reclaiming Rights (Social Justice Workshop Series)

May 1 @ 5:30 pm-8:00 pm

Registration required at: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/sjworkshops International social justice means reclaiming ‘development’ as a process concerned about people, power and politics. This session will explore some of the foundational elements of International Social Justice.  It will be proposed (and questioned) whether ISJ is grounded in certain normative principles, such as those set out in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the Convention to Eliminate Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).  This approach focuses on the role and function of the nation state can be assessed in part in terms of whether that State is primarily in support of and in implementation of these rights, or opposed to and in violation of these rights.  However, the ‘social’ aspect of social justice is partly manifested in the actions of citizens within and between states, such as the movements of adivasis and dalits in India, or the landless and excluded groups in Brazil. Questions of social justice also can reanimate attention to the rights of people as a foundation for policy rather than a system that is based primarily on welfare and charity (as important as these are) values.(Dinner provided.)Stephen Commins Bio:Stephen Commins works in areas of regional and international development, with an emphasis on service delivery and governance in fragile states. Commins was Director of the Development Institute at the UCLA African Studies Center in the 1980s, and then worked as Director of Policy and Planning at World Vision International in the 1990s. Dr. Commins was Senior Human Development Specialist at the World Bank from 1999-2005. His work at the World Bank included “Managing Dimensions of Economic Crisis: Good Practices for Policies and Institutions,” the establishment of the Bank’s children and youth cluster, and a survey of service delivery programs implemented by civil society organizations. Commins was one of the co-authors of the World Bank’s World Development Report 2004, “Making Services Work for Poor People”. Following the Report’s publication in 2003, he managed several initiatives on service delivery in post-conflict countries and the relationships between political reform and improved services. Since leaving the World Bank in 2005, he has continued to work on service delivery programs, including the major study,”Service Delivery in Fragile States: Good Practice for Donors”, for the Fragile States Group of the Development Assistance Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in 2006. Currently, he is Strategy Manager, Fragile States, International Medical Corps, the co-founder of the Health and Fragile States Network, as well as a consultant on humanitarian emergencies for World Vision International, and disasters and safety nets for the World Bank in Bangladesh. At UCLA, Dr. Commins teaches courses in regional and international development, and the role of Non-Governmental Organizations. His current courses are on urbanization in developing countries, NGOs, and disaster management.


May 1
5:30 pm-8:00 pm


TBA Public Affairs Building
337 Charles E Young Dr East
Los Angeles, CA 90095 United States