POLIS launched the Centre of Governance and Human Rights in late 2009 as an outward focused multi-disciplinary research endeavour strongly committed to advancing thought and practice within areas of critical importance to global justice and human well-being in the twenty-first century.
The launch was marked by an Inaugural Lecture on 18 November 2009 by Francis Deng, UN Special Adviser on Genocide Prevention, and renowned Sudanese scholar-practitioner in the fields of human rights, conflict resolution and international law.
The Centre aims to be widely valued as a dynamic, innovative and collaborative research network with proven expertise in core thematic areas, that produces high quality scholarly outputs drawn upon by the academy as well as policymakers and practitioners.
Within Cambridge, CGHR brings together wide-ranging expertise from within POLIS and across the University to build a core network of scholars, including graduate researchers. The Centre benefits from the ideas and involvement of a range of academics and students with expertise in a diverse range of disciplines, including: African Studies, Social Anthropology, International Law, Computer Science, Data Science, Development Studies, Gender Studies, Geography, History, International Studies, Latin American Studies, Media and Communications, Middle Eastern Studies, Physics, Politics, Sociology, Social Psychology, South Asian Studies.
In 2015, CGHR held an anniversary event to celebrate its first 5 years, reflect on its work so far, and look ahead to future directions.
The David and Elaine Potter Lectureship in Governance and Human Rights
The Centre’s Director, Dr. Sharath Srinivasan, is also POLIS's first David and Elaine Potter Lecturer in Governance and Human Rights. This lectureship was established thanks to a generous benefaction to the University in 2008 from The David & Elaine Potter Foundation. Established in 1999 by David and Elaine Potter, the Foundation seeks to achieve an impact through grants that promote reason, education, and human rights, in the hope of improving mutual understanding, reinforcing good governance, and encouraging the growth and maintenance of a robust civil society, particularly in less developed countries. The Foundation and the University agreed that the Lecturer should focus particularly on Africa and serve as the Director of the new interdisciplinary Centre.