Defending Minimum Human Rights Standards in Europe: Why Are We Failing?

Gerald Knaus examines the European response to serious human rights violations in Europe: political prisoners in Azerbaijan and Russia; persecution of LGBT people in Russia and Moldova; violations of due process and freedom of expression in Turkey; and violations of the right to life in numerous countries. He speaks about ways in which officials of repressive governments have been able to thwart effective Council of Europe action against them, how some measures—including visa bans and EU conditionality—have had positive impact in some situations, and how such results could be amplified.


  • Gerald Knaus is the founding chairman and lead analyst of the European Stability Initiative and a Carr Center Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Governance. He has written numerous monographs on politics and human rights in the Balkans, Turkey, and Eastern Europe.
  • Leonard Benardo, associate director of the Open Society Foundations and director of the Open Society Fellowship, moderates the conversation.
Date: February 27, 2014March 3, 2014
Time: 2:00 p.m.