Message from the Director

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Martin Palouš, Director of the Václav Havel Initiative for Human Rights and Diplomacy

I am very happy that the Václav Havel Initiative for Human Rights and Diplomacy has been given an opportunity to bring into SIPA’s impressive interdisciplinary structure a specific Central European input. The synergies we are hoping to generate by close cooperation between this initiative and already existing SIPA programs should both enhance the academic opportunities offered to students and catalyze high quality scholarships and dedicated research.

Our ambition is to build – consistently with the mission statement of SIPA itself – one more bridge between the university life devoted to higher education and science, and the practical world out there consisting of engaged citizens, public intellectuals, human rights defenders, artists, entrepreneurs and of course, politicians. It is this practical world that is always finding itself in the permanent process of historical change; the world constantly bringing new impulses, questions, problems and tasks for human understanding. With this initiative we wish to focus on the importance and relevance of human rights as an essential public, academic and ethical creation. We are looking forward to all upcoming exchanges, debates, dialogues, and all diverse forms of friendly and productive cooperation.