UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


About and Research Progress

HuRiEE studies unprecedented human rights mobilisation and activism in Eastern Europe and Russia.

The project asks: What is the relationship between human rights claims-making and the development of societies in Eastern Europe and Russia? To address this main research question, the project proposes a paradigmatic shift from a law-first approach in human rights scholarship to the study of the ‘social life’ and the everyday mobilisation of the Convention, re-focusing from the law and onto the people – the humans behind the Human Rights – the applicants, lawyers, NGO activists, judges and state legal counsels in Eastern Europe and Russia.   

The ultimate ambition for this project is to develop a brand-new theory of the relationship between human rights mobilisation, ECtHR’s legitimacy, and the development of societies under the conditions of ‘authoritarianism’ (Russia), open military conflict (Ukraine), deep transformations (Romania) and democratic backsliding (Poland and Hungary). To this effect, this research will de-westernize human rights discourses in the region and lean toward the premise of conflict, reciprocity and disjuncture as core theoretical notions underpinning the geopolitics of knowledge on Eastern Europe and the Convention system. 

The project has enriched the SSEES scholarly community with two early career Research Assistants and a Post-Doctoral Researcher. Find out more about them here.

Dr Kubal has also been awarded the British Academy’s Knowledge Frontiers Symposia follow-on funding for the project ‘Activism As A Modality Of Resistance And Communication? Comparing Judicial Activism Across Eastern Europe’. This is supported by Dr Beata Huszka from the HuRiEE team and Professor Birgit Apitzsch (University of Bochum) and Professor Ramona Coman (Université Libre de Bruxelles).

Research progress vlogs

Our research journey documented through the vlogs

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