Via the platform of the Human Rights Centre at the Law School of Central South University, Changsha, under the patronage of Junxian Mao, founder and head of the Human Rights Centre at the School of Law, Central South University, Changsha, PRC)  a group of international scholars have gathered to research Human Rights issues emerging from recent developments of the global world system. The following have been key considerations in this process:

  • while Human Rights are purportedly universal, a diversity of perspectives now interrogates the possible “Western hegemony” of this universality;
  • given that the character of globalisation that shaped the era of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has changed markedly, in particular with the emergence of post-colonial perspectives;
  • while global prosperity has increased immensely, we are witnessing continuing poverty and precarity (which climate and pandemic crises are likely to exacerbate);
  • whereas the question of Human Rights is directed on tackling ‘existential’ questions of extreme poverty, increased global prosperity broadens the understanding of poverty and precarity to embrace issues of cohesion, inclusion, and empowerment.

The work of the group is geared to develop further the theory of Human Rights, envelope an understanding that allows to deal with the ambiguities of a concept that had been established middle of the last century in the North-Western Hemisphere of the globe.

The group consists of the following scholars from different regions, also having different professional backgrounds:

Theophilus Edwin Coleman, Post-doc research fellow. Centre for International and Comparative Labour and Social Security law (CICLASS); University of Johannesburg, South Africa

António Duarte, psychologist, Faculty of Psychology, University of Lisbon, Portugal 

Krish Cherry, Research Manager at the Equitable Education and Economies Division of the Human Sciences Research Council

Joe Finnerty, social policy analyst, School of Applied Social Studies, University College Cork, Republic of Ireland

Peter Herrmann, social philosopher, currently Human Rights Centre, School of Law, Central South University, Changsha, PRC

Juan Li, lecturer at School of Law, Central South University, Changsha, PRC

Letlhokwa George Mpedi, social protection expert, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

Féilim Ó hAdhmaill, lecturer at University College Cork: Social Policy, Community Development and Peace and Conflict Studies

Mehmet Okyayuz, Political Scientist, Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Faculty of Economic and Administrative Sciences, Middle East Technical University, Ankara/Turkey   

Zeynep Deniz Şen, PhD Student, Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Middle East Technical University


Currently the group is working on a publication analysing different HR-aspects (as the health system and rural areas; problems of federalism ….), each approached from the experience in one country. Though this will not provide an exhaustive picture, it will surely allow problematising different aspects of how to deal with global pandemics.

Webinars, public online lectures, panel discussions are also part of the agenda ….