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Jackie Smith -Human Rights, Urban Politics, and Globalization from Below

Date: 09/26/2016

Time: 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Location: 909 Renaissance Park

JACKIE SMITH is professor of sociology at the University of Pittsburgh and editor of the Journal of World-Systems Research. She is a leading scholar of transnational social movements. Smith’s work on the World Social Forum process has led her to examine how global analyses and models of action are “translated” to local settings. Her participant observation research has included work with Pittsburgh’s Human Rights City Alliance.

Despite the success of transnational human rights advocacy in strengthening international human rights law and machinery for monitoring human rights, critical gaps remain in the implementation of human rights in local settings. Increased privatization of urban housing
markets, reductions in state provisions for social welfare, ageing urban infrastructures, and growing  income inequalities have contributed to growing segregation in cities and intensified exclusions and conflicts across race, class, and other divides.

In response to these pressures, we’re now seeing more instances of local initiatives to implement international human rights in local settings. This talk examines urban, place-based initiatives for the “right to the city,” with a particular focus on Dr. Smith’s local work in Pittsburgh as part of
that city’s Human Rights City Alliance.

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