• Sovereign States, Human Rights,
    and World (Dis)Order

    featuring Dr. Richard Falk

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Habib University is pleased to welcome Dr. Richard Falk, a renowned international law and international relations scholar, for a lecture on global politics. Dr. Falk will speak about double standards of accountability and how powerful nations overlook compliance with legal standards and political norms when "strategically important" nations are involved. He will discuss how the idea that each sovereign nation is equal on the international stage conflicts with geostrategic realities in the global balance of power, and how this conflict shapes international diplomacy and politics.

Abstract of the Talk

Talk Title: Sovereign States, Human Rights, and World (Dis)Order
Date: Thursday, 25th August, 2016
Time: 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Venue: Habib University

The ‘order’ that exists in international life is premised on two competing and overlapping logics: a juridical logic based on the equality of sovereign states, and serving as the foundation of international law and a geopolitical logic based on their inequality, producing double standards of accountability and selective compliance with legal standards and political norms as in relation to individual criminal responsibility, control of proliferation of nuclear weaponry, and human rights. World (dis)order flows from the tension between these two logics. World (dis)order also flows from the failure to generate an effective global law to address a variety of challenges of global scope (nuclear weaponry, climate change, disease, poverty).

About Habib University Dean’s Lecture Series

The Dean’s Lecture Series at Habib University invites distinguished scholars to deliver lectures on issues of critical concern to Pakistan and the world. Sponsored by the Dean of Art, Humanities and Social Sciences or the Dean of Science and Engineering, the series aims to foster dialogue amongst the Habib community and the public on topics of vital social, cultural and scientific importance.

Previous speakers in the series include Christophe Jaffrelot, research director at CNRS and professor of South Asian Politics and History at Sciences Po, Paris, who spoke on the “The Pakistan Paradox”, and Ahmed Rashid, foreign policy journalist, on “Apparatus of Jihad: The State of Play. To view videos of past lectures, please click here.

Lectures in the series are free and open to the public.

Speaker Profile

Dr. Richard Falk, a renowned international law and international relations scholar, is Albert G. Milbank Professor of International Law and Practice, Emeritus, at Princeton University, and Research Fellow in Global and International Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Dr. Falk recently completed a six-year term as UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Occupied Palestine. He is a member of the Editorial Boards of The Nation, The Progressive, and Third World Quarterly and is former Chair of the Board of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. Dr. Falk is the author or coauthor of over 20 books, plus countless edited volumes and articles on the subjects of human rights, international law, and global institutions. He is most recently the author of Power Shift: On the New Global Order.

Location Map

The talk will be held at

Habib University City Campus

Registrations are closed now!

Habib University

Past Lectures

Talk Title: The Pakistan Paradox
Date: Tuesday, 22nd September, 2015
Time: 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Venue: Habib University Auditorium

Dr. Jaffrelot will be conducting the talk through the context of his recent book – “The Pakistan Padadox”. The book essentially maps out the creation of the Pakistani state by the elite Urdu-speaking Muslims through its history of external and internal conflicts that range from struggles with its neighbors to organized separatist movements.

He further details the authoritarian rule of the military establishment and the fragility of the rule of law as evidenced through the country’s volatile political history leading up to its present state.

Speaker Profile:

Dr. Christophe Jaffrelot is the Research Director at CNRS and teaches South Asian Politics and History at Sciences Po (Paris), Professor of Indian Politics and Sociology at the King’s India Institute (London) and Global Scholar at Princeton University. He has been visiting professor at Columbia University, Yale University and Johns Hopkins University. Arguably one of the world’s most respected writers on Indian society and politics, his publications include The Hindu Nationalist Movement and Indian Politics, 1925 to the 1990s, India’s Silent Revolution: The Rise of the Lower Castes in North India, and Dr Ambedkar and Untouchability: Analysing and Fighting Caste. His latest book is The Pakistan Paradox: Instability and Resilience. He has also co-edited with Laurent Gayer, Muslims in Indian Cities: Trajectories of Marginalization.

View Lecture Webpage

Talk Title: Apparatus of Jihad: The State of Play
Date: Friday, 27th March, 2015
Time: 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Venue: Habib University Auditorium

For nearly 40 years Jihad has been an accepted part of the military-political elite's toolbox on carrying out Pakistan's foreign policy. Are we now on the cusp of realizing the damage this has done and are we on the verge of trying to change course. Can Afghanistan and Pakistan bring the Afghan Taliban in from the cold and make peace with Kabul and what impact will that have on the Pakistani Taliban. Finally is the Islamic State a viable option for extremists in the region to follow.

Speaker Profile:

Ahmed Rashid is a journalist and author based in Lahore who writes extensively on Afghanistan, Pakistan, Central Asia and accompanying US and NATO policies in the region. He is a regular contributor to the Financial Times, the New York Times, the New York Review of Books and many other journals and a regular commentator on the BBC and CNN. Rashid is the author of five books including bestsellers Taliban, Descent into Chaos, The Resurgence of Central Asia - Islam or Nationalism, and Jihad -the rise of militant Islam in Central Asia. His most recent book is Pakistan on the Brink - The Future of Pakistan, Afghanistan and America. His books have been translated into over 40 languages and are course books at over 200 universities and defence colleges. He has won numerous internationally awards and been appointed to many international committees and boards dealing with human rights, media freedom and the South Asia region.

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