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Strategic Studies

For future human rights policy and practice.

Strategic Studies is an initiative of Amnesty International Netherlands. Since 2013 Strategic Studies has been mapping out national and international social, political and legal developments which can affect the future of human rights and the work of Amnesty International in particular.

Latest publication: What is an illiberal democracy?

An illiberal democracy is a democracy in which the rule of law is under pressure. In 1997 Fareed Zakaria published a provocative essay in Foreign Affairs titled “The rise of illiberal democracy” in which he labelled illiberal democracy a growth industry. Twenty years later illiberal democracy – although not always of the variety described by Zakaria – has become firmly entrenched and seems increasingly legitimate throughout the world. Most clearly in states such as Hungary, Poland, and Turkey, where liberal democracy initially seemed to be on the rise.

With contributions from Arch Puddington, Takis Pappas, Sabrina de Regt, Eszter Zalan, Ela Goksun & Sasha Polakow-Suransky, Daniel Hegedüs, Robert Dekker & Tineke Cleiren & Ernst Hirsch Ballin, Otto Spijkers, and Steve Crawshaw.

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Changing Perspectives on Human Rights

The Changing Perspectives on Human Rights series explores possible implications of relevant social, political, legal and technological trends for the future of human rights and the work of human rights organizations. The essay volumes consists of original, critical and forward-looking essays by leading academics and practitioners working in the human rights domain.

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Shifting Power and Human Rights Diplomacy

The Shifting Power and Human Rights Diplomacy series focuses on rising powers and their current and potential roles in the international protection and promotion of human rights. It contains volumes with original essays on the human rights foreign policy of rising global and regional powers, which are distributed to key strategic leaders in ministries, think tanks, universities and NGO’s working on human rights, democracy and rule of law.

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Articles, Briefs and Opinions


  • © Maxim Shipenkov/Pool Photo via AP

    Nieuwe bundel over mensenrechten in een rechtsstaat onder druk

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  • Shifting Power Russia
    © Amnesty International

    Nieuwe essaybundel: Shifting Power and Human Rights Diplomacy: Russia

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    Shifting Power and Human Rights Diplomacy: South Africa

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    Shifting Power and Human Rights Diplomacy – Brazil

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Lars van Troost

Senior policy and strategy adviser, Amnesty Nederland