PhD Projects – University of Copenhagen

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PhD Projects

Global justice reconsidered

Since the end of the Cold War, globalism has been the dominant paradigm in justice theory. This has had important implications for both for how we theorize international law and human rights and for the normative expectations we form in relation to them. The Centre for International Law, Conflict & Crisis welcomes applications for PhD scholarships that critically explore the implication of global justice theory and international law. All approaches are welcome, including historical/genealogical work.

For more, please contact associate professor Amnon Lev

The future Co-Existence of the European Court of Human Rights and the Nation States

The relationship between the Strasbourg Court and (many) Contracting States has for years been strained and the legitimacy of the Court’s case law is increasingly challenged. This raises questions such as: (How) Does the Strasbourg Court respond to this criticism? Does the Court increasingly allow state organs a “margin of appreciation” – generally or perhaps in certain sensitive fields? Has the Court on some points stretched the interpretation of the ECHR beyond acceptable limits? Are there signs that the Court might be retreating in certain areas of law?

For more, please contact professor Jens Elo Rytter

Law and Policy on Global Catastrophic and Existential Threats

The fields of global catastrophic and existential risks have traditionally fallen within the domain of technologists and ‘hard’ scientists to identify and mitigate, leaving the social sciences and law largely out of the frame. Yet, the characteristics of these threats often necessitate coordination and cooperation as key features of adequate responses. Furthermore, beyond the first-order risks themselves come second order threats that arise largely from human or societal reaction. These provide ample fields for legal, policy, and governance perspectives and approaches to engage with global catastrophic and existential risks.

For more, please contact associate professor Hin-Yan Liu 

Towards a Human Rights Regime Against Artificial Intelligence

Weak artificial intelligence (AI) has already surpassed expert human capabilities in narrow activities. Contemporary trends indicate both an acceleration in technological development and expanding fields where weak AI is deployed. Thus, the power disparity between ordinary human beings and AI is on the decline, and the downward trajectory suggests the prospect for power reversal in the near future. This project suggests adapting the human rights regime towards a technological, as opposed to political or institutional, power.

For more, please contact associate professor Hin-Yan Liu 

Legal Disruption arising from Robotics and Artificial Intelligence

Robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) are being introduced and embedded into growing areas of human activities, creating the prospect deep disruption to contemporary legal concepts and processes as well as displacing key regulatory principles. This topic is envisaged as a research framework within which horizon-scanning projects can be explored: projects that focus on discrete areas projected to be disrupted by robotics and AI are welcomed, as well as structural and theoretical proposals that seek to address the broader disruptive potential of these technologies to law and regulation.

For more, please contact associate professor Hin-Yan Liu 

Populism and international law

After decades of seemingly ever-expanding international legal cooperation, many Western democracies are now witnessing a rise in national populism that seem to have paved the way for an increasing hostility towards many international legal commitments and international institutions. The Centre for International Law, Conflict & Crisis (CILCC) welcomes applications on research into the implications for international law of the apparent rise in populism. All approaches are welcome, including theoretical and/ or comparative studies.   

For more, please contact associate professor Anders Henriksen

The ‘loss and damage’ approach to climate change

Responses to climate change traditionally distinguish between mitigation (pillar 1), adaptation (pillar 2) and, more recently, remediation or reparation (pillar 3). The ‘loss and damage’ provision of the 2015 Paris Agreement heralded the first legally binding measure tailored for this third pillar. We invite applications for PhD projects that will analyse the legal implications of the Paris Agreement’s new ‘loss and damage’ provision. In particular, we are interested in projects that will examine how the implementation of the loss and damage provision can deliver solutions for the most vulnerable countries.

For more, please contact Professor Morten Broberg

Innovations in climate change adaptation

We invite applications for PhD projects that will analyse and innovate the legal parameters of climate change adaptation (as reflected in, amongst others, Article 7 of the Paris Agreement of December 2015). In particular, we are interested in projects that will examine how the implementation of legal obligations to adapt to climate change can deliver solutions for the most vulnerable countries.

For more, please contact Professor Morten Broberg

‘Risk pooling schemes’ for climate change

Climate change poses a risk to societies, in particular in the Global South. One way of addressing this risk is through finance mechanisms such as risk pooling and risk transfer. Today we find this approach in both Africa (http://www.africanriskcapacity.org/) and the Caribbean (http://www.ccrif.org/). We invite applications for PhD projects that will analyse the legal aspects of adapting to climate change through the use of finance mechanisms. We especially welcome projects that seek to generate methods to improve existing models and to better ensure that finance mechanism models are broadly effective and available.

For more, please contact Professor Morten Broberg