Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Nigel Ashford to Speak on Human Rights at University of Virginia

Nigel Ashford in Charlottesville 2011
One week after the world-wide discussion of human rights coordinated through Blog Action Day, Dr. Nigel Ashford, senior program officer at the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University, will speak on Wednesday, October 23, on the Grounds of the University of Virginia on the topic of "Human Rights: What They Are and What They Are Not."

Ashford's lecture is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. in Maury Hall, room 104.  The event is sponsored by the Liberty Coalition at UVA and Young Americans for Liberty.

In an email, Ashford summarized his lecture by saying that  "some parts of the UN Declaration of Human Rights are human rights, some are means to protect human rights, and some are not human rights at all but demands for social and economic benefits." He explained he is basing his remarks on the chapter on human rights in his recent book, Principles for a Free Society, published by the Jarl Hjarmalson Foundation in Sweden.

In that book, according to the Foundation's web site,
Dr Ashford describes the fundamental principles and values essential for a free, democratic and open society. Words such as democracy, freedom and equality are frequently used but rarely understood. Principles for a free society examines twelve central ideas, demonstrates why they are necessary for a free society and applies them to political controversies. Readers are given the intellectual tools to contribute to debate about the future of their country and the world.
Principles for a Free Society is available as a free PDF download in these languages: English, Russian (Русский), Lithuanian (Lietuvių), Serbian (Srpski), Spanish (Español), Swedish (Svenska), Turkish (Türkçe), and Arabic (العربية).

In an interview I conducted with Ashford when he spoke at UVA two years ago, he described the work of the Institute for Humane Studies as
“an educational program that supports classical liberal ideas aimed at young people and students.”

To promote its aims, he said, “we run lots of seminars. We’re running 15 summer seminars [in 2011] throughout the country on a variety of different issues.”

IHS also sponsors “internships for people to work at think tanks and advocacy groups, both in Washington, D.C., and around the whole of the United States,” as well as journalism internships for students to work at newspapers and magazines, and production internships in television and radio.

The Institute for Humane Studies, Ashford added, also runs “a series of web sites now, some aimed at academia, called Kosmos; some aimed at public policy, called Liberty Guide; and a new web site, called Learn Liberty, which is more educational, where we [post] short videos about economic issues and other sorts of issues.”
In addition to his most recent book, Ashford -- formerly professor of politics and Jean Monnet Scholar in European Integration at Staffordshire University in England -- is also the author or co-author of A Dictionary of Conservative and Libertarian Thought (with Stephen Davies); Public Policy and the Impact of the New Right (with Grant Jordan); The Kiwi Effect (with Robert O'Quinn); US Politics Today (with Edward Ashbee); Neo-Conservatism and the New Class; Dismantling the Welfare State: Why and How; Equal Rights, Not Gay Rights; Open Borders:  The Morality of Free Trade; and Özgür Toplumun İlkeleri, among other works.

Blog Action Day 2013

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