Competing utopias. The relationship between human rights and peace in the policy and practice of the Ford and the Rockefeller foundations (1975-2000)

Begin - Einde 
2015 - 2016 (lopend)
Vakgroep Geschiedenis



This project examines how the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund have defined the relationship between human rights and peace. At first sight, the concepts of human rights and peace seem to be indissolubly linked: without peace human rights are violated; without human rights compliance, peace is impossible. Over time, however, the relationship between the two concepts seems to have changed. Whereas the UN Charter declared as its first purpose the maintaining of international peace, today it could be said that peace has been seized by human rights. Many scholars have written about the role of human rights in times of peace and war. However, we know little about how civil society itself has defined and used these concepts. With their global scope the philanthropic Ford and Rockefeller foundations have played a significant role in the field of human rights activism and provide ideal starting points. Based on archival research of the Ford and Rockefeller foundations records deposited at the Rockefeller Archive Center, this project investigates how these Foundations have defined and used the concepts of human rights and peace and sheds light on the practice of philanthropic foundations and the relationship between foundation and grantee.