Professor Martha Davis Contributor to Winner of European Society of International Law Collaborative Book Prize


10.01.22 — Professor Martha Davis, an internationally recognized expert on human rights, contributed a chapter to the winner of the inaugural European Society of International Law Collaborative Book Prize.  Her chapter, “Finding International Law ‘Close to Home’: The Case of Human Rights Cities,” appears in Research Handbook on International Law and Cities (Elgar, 2021), edited by Helmut Aust, Janne Nijman, Helmut Aust, and Miha Marcenko. The chapter examines the phenomenon of formally designated human rights cities from three perspectives that help define the nature and dimensions of these cities, their place in international human rights law, and their relationships to city residents.  Specifically, the chapter looks at (1) human rights cities’ vertical relationships with international governance institutions as well as their host national government; (2) human rights cities’ horizontal relationships with other peer cities and urban actors; and (3) the inward-facing relationships between human rights cities and their residents.

“It was a true pleasure to work on this volume alongside other scholars examining the international personality of the city, past, present and future.  The European Society of International Law’s recognition of this successful collaboration is icing on the cake,” said Davis, a faculty co-director for Northeastern Law’s Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy as well as its NuLawLab.

Davis has written widely on human rights, women’s rights and social justice issues. Her most recent books include Covid-19 and Human Rights (Routledge, 2021) (co-editor) and Research Handbook on Poverty and Human Rights (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2021) (co-editor). In 2015-2016, she held the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute (RWI), Lund University, in Lund, Sweden. She continued her work with RWI in 2017-2018, when she received a Fulbright Specialist Award, and she is now an affiliated scholar of the institute. She is also a member of the expert committee for HumanRight2Water, a Geneva-based non-governmental organization that advocates for water and human rights.

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