Distinguished Alumnus Eric Weitz to Give Talk on Human Rights in Age of Nation-States

On September 12, Eric D. Weitz, ’74, distinguished professor of history at City College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York, will give a talk based on his recently published book, “A World Divided: The Global Struggle for Human Rights in the Age of Nation-States” (Princeton University Press).

The talk will be held 4-5 p.m., followed by a reception from 5-6 p.m. and book signing in the Benet Alumni Lounge in Old O’Connor.

The event is co-hosted by University Libraries and the Institute for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention.


A World Divided: The Global Struggle for Human Rights in the Age of Nation-States

Over the past two and a half centuries, the world has been utterly transformed. Once dominated by vast empires, the globe is now divided into close to 200 independent countries with laws and constitutions proclaiming human rights—a remarkable change that suggests that nations and human rights inevitably developed together.

Through vivid histories drawn from virtually every continent, A World Divided describes how, since the eighteenth century, nationalists have struggled to establish their own states that grant human rights to some people. At the same time, others suffered exclusion through forced assimilation, ethnic cleansing, or, ultimately, genocide. In short, this is the story of how a world divided into nation-states has led to a world divided between citizens with rights and noncitizens without them.

A World Divided also explains why many of today’s problems—from the more than 65 million migrants and refugees to the growth of right-wing nationalism and national conflicts on many continents—are rooted in the twin histories of nation-states and human rights. In the lecture, Weitz will argue that only the continual advance of human rights protections at the international level will enable us to move beyond the quandary of a world divided between those who have rights and those who don’t.

Speaker Biography

Eric D. Weitz graduated from Binghamton University in 1974. He is Distinguished Professor of History at City College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York. His books include A World Divided: The Global Struggle for Human Rights in the Age of Nation-States, Weimar Germany: Promise and Tragedy, A Century of Genocide, and Creating German Communism (all published by Princeton University Press). He lectures widely in public and academic settings on the histories of genocide and human rights and on Weimar Germany.

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One Response to Distinguished Alumnus Eric Weitz to Give Talk on Human Rights in Age of Nation-States

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