Duryea Completes PhD and Presents Research at Workshop, Podcast

Professor Catherine Baylin Duryea recently successfully defended her dissertation, Practicing Human Rights in the Arab World: International Law in 20th Century Advocacy, and has fulfilled all the requirements for her PhD from the History Department at Stanford University. An article based on two chapters of her dissertation is forthcoming in the Berkeley Journal of International Law (Spring 2022). Professor Duryea presented a draft of the article at the Albany School of Law faculty workshop series and guest lectured on the topic at the North Carolina State History Department. Her dissertation abstract is below:

This dissertation explores how several Arab NGOs in Morocco, Palestine, Egypt and Kuwait practiced human rights from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. Drawing on institutional archives and interviews, it argues that these organizations provide new insights into the history of human rights both regionally and internationally. Located in a region battered by colonialism, foreign exploitation, and domestic autocracy, they are a valuable entry-point for considering the universality of rights and the extent to which Cold War politics shaped grassroots advocacy. The division between political and civil rights, and economic, cultural and social rights—so salient on the international level—was of minimal importance in shaping human rights advocacy on the ground. Instead, NGOs embraced those rights which most directly spoke to their particular political challenges and prioritized the most egregious state practices. Human rights activists found synergy between rights and nationalism, Socialism, democracy, and constitutional monarchy. Rights were not a single paradigm for how to organize political life, but part of several different visions that arose in response to the aftermath of the loss of the 1967 war with Israel. The 1970s and 1980s were period of both continuity, as advocates drew on the existing content of recent international treaties, and innovation, as they transformed the law from a text to a shared practice of resistance. 

Additionally, Professor Duryea’s ongoing research into the Emergency Court of Appeals, a specialized price court during WW2, was featured on a recent episode of the podcast Tech Refactored out of the Nebraska Governance and Technology Center. She discussed how the structure of the court and its exclusive jurisdiction over disputes arising out of price control ensured that judicial review of this massive regulatory system would be friendly towards regulators. The episode is available here.

Catherine Baylin Duryea
Assistant Professor of Law

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