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LSE's Centre for the Study of Human Rights awarded grant for seminar series on civil society and state security

The Centre for the Study of Human Rights at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) has been awarded £12,440 by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for a new seminar series.

The award will fund six seminars over two years on 'The Role of Civil Society in a National Security State: an interdisciplinary enquiry', to begin in January 2005.

The series aims to identify the proper role of civil society in the management of state security. Anxieties about the vulnerability of the nation to attack are currently underpinning a redefinition of the relationship between the individual and the state.

The effectiveness, and therefore legitimisation, of this remodelling depends on the cooperation of many elements within civil society, including judges, lawyers, scholars, NGOs, and the members of the media. What role, if any, should these actors have in helping to make effective legislative and other proposals in this area?

Professor Conor Gearty, Rausing Director of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights, said: 'This project will create a focus for critical analysis of the role of civil society in the new national-security-based model of the individual/state relationship currently being developed by government. The aim is to develop through the seminars a dialogue between government and non-governmental actors on the management of issues related to national security.

'The series will help forge an approach to the subject which achieves the right balance between officials and others on the one hand, and between principles - relating to security and to democratic and legal accountability for example - on the other.'

Further details of the seminar series will be posted online nearer the time. See http://www.lse.ac.uk/humanrights| 

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For more information about the Centre, contact Joy Whyte, Centre for the Study of Human Rights, on 020 7955 6428 or email j.m.whyte@lse.ac.uk| 

Notes:

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK's leading research funding and training agency addressing economic and social concerns. It aims to provide high quality research on issues of importance to business, the public sector and government. The issues considered include economic competitiveness, the effectiveness of public services and policy, and our quality of life. More information at: http://www.esrc.ac.uk/| 

LSE's Centre for the Study of Human Rights was launched in autumn 2000. Thanks to the generous support of The Sigrid Rausing Trust, Professor Gearty has been the full-time director since October 2002. The Centre draws upon LSE's considerable expertise and resources in the social sciences to develop its programmes of teaching, research and outreach in the field of human rights. See http://www.lse.ac.uk/humanrights| 

2 August 2004

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