Disciplines & Research Areas


HR-UP aims to include and communicate between different perspectives and approaches to human rights research. As such, HR-UP rejects the perception of human rights as a predominantly legal issue and takes an interdisciplinary approach to human rights research, finding common bases of understanding among representatives of different disciplines.

At HR-UP, these representatives come together as Principal InvestigatorsDoctoral Candidates and Visiting Fellows from a wide array of academic fields, including philosophy, law, history, political science, international relations, sociology, criminology, educational science, and social work.

Doctoral researchers are not required to combine two or more disciplines in their individual dissertations (although this is possible); rather, the interdisciplinary dialogue will enable a higher level of reflection within each discipline. HR-UP provides the space for interdisciplinary discourse. Its goal is to open interdisciplinary horizons for doctoral researchers who themselves work at a high disciplinary level. HR-UP welcomes research topics for comparative research and the investigation of human rights in a variety of universal, regional and cultural contexts. HR-UP offers a flexible framework for research in order to accommodate outstanding and original research ideas of promising applicants. Doctoral students will be expected to conduct their research within one of the following three broadly identified areas of research:

  • Human Rights and Crises and Emergencies
  • Human Rights and Diversity
  • Human Rights and Globalisation

Within these three areas, the research program systematically analyses contemporary pressures exerted on human rights, whether through theoretical and normative analysis, or in a more policy-oriented framework.