MSU EDA University Center for

Regional Economic Innovation

E-Update | September 2022

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What is Human Rights Economics and Should it be put into Practice?

Author Caroline Dommen's paper enquires "into whether it is possible to articulate a concept of Human Rights Economics and, if so, what Human Rights Economics would consist of and how it could be put into practice. The enquiry concludes that it is possible to answer the first question affirmatively – it thus puts forward the term and notion of Human Rights Economics... The paper has established that human rights principles such as accountability, non-discrimination, and participation are at the core of Human Rights Economics. It has also determined that Human Rights Economics has a powerful role to play by questioning and deconstructing economic assumptions. This paper has pinpointed areas in which further conceptual work is needed in order to further put flesh on the Human Rights Economics principles and approaches that it has identified. Provisos accompany this affirmative answer. First, rather than being an overarching framework that describes the workings of the economy, Human Rights Economics aims to readjust economic thinking and practice in such a way to embed human rights principles and values in them. Secondly, the content and definition of human rights needs to be more clearly delineated and communicated for Human Rights Economics to play a useful role as a new branch of economics that supports social equity and environmental objectives. In seeking to answer the question of how to put Human Rights Economics into practice, this paper has posited that human rights advocates need to further develop their economic literacy so as to be able to be taken more seriously by economists. The human rights community will need to be more deliberate and strategic in its engagement with economics and economic policies; changes towards a more human rights-consistent economy will not happen by themselves." Find out more by clicking the button below.

Humans Rights Economics

Meet our Senior Research Assistant and CERI Co-Coordinator, Emma Gilbert!

Emma Gilbert is a Senior Research Assistant and Co-CERI Coordinator at MSU CCED. In May, Emma graduated from MSU with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Relations and Policy and a Bachelor of Science in Urban and Regional Planning. During her undergraduate career, Emma also served as President of Spartan Global Development Fund, a microfinance student and non-profit organization at MSU. This year, Emma is finishing her dual enrollment program in Urban and Regional Planning and will graduate in May 2023 with her master’s degree. Since joining the Center in January 2021, Emma has had the opportunity to explore her interests in community capital, resiliency planning, regional planning, and grant writing. In October of 2021, Emma and Dr. LaMore submitted a $2.6 million dollar proposal to the EDA Community of Practice NOFO titled, “Creating a Community of Practice: 21st Century Economic Development Planning (CEDS+)” in partnership with four other University Centers nationwide. A key goal of the proposal was to create a community of practice between University Centers and Economic Development Districts to transform the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy process to incorporate environmental and social data variables in the traditional economic development data discovery process to help regions characterize and address the resilience, sustainability and social justice issues intertwined in economic development planning.

She has also been a core member of the Ad Hoc University Sustainable Investment Working Group, which is facilitated by the Center in partnership with students and faculty members at MSU. The Working Group has pursued a fact-finding effort on the Board of Trustees’ endowment investment policies and procedures to understand their alignment with the 2021 MSU Strategic and DEI Plans. The group has presented its findings and recommendations to the BOT and will continue to engage other groups on campus on the topic this fall.


While these are only a few highlights of Emma’s life and work, she looks forward to graduation and beginning her career in the community and economic development profession!
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