HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.

Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy
Berthold Beitz Professor in Human Rights, Global Affairs and Philosophy


This text is a slightly edited version of the presentation I gave at UNAM. Most edits are due to the fact that the talk was accompanied by a power point presentation. While I make reference to a few books in the text as well (books featured in the power point presentation) I kept the conversational style of the presentation and added no footnotes. I was invited to speak on this topic in Mexico City by Alexandra Aguilar Bellamy, a 2015 HKS graduate and lecturer and researcher on human rights at UNAM. She invited me to give a keynote at this conference based on her observation that the concepts of cognitive biases and blind spots are not part of the discussion in Mexico, including in discussions about human rights violations. My own research is not squarely on those themes, but the topics of this conference are of immense importance to the human rights community as a whole. They also matter greatly to me personally. So this text is my attempt to come to terms with these issues in addressing the Mexican human rights community.


Risse, Mathias. "Discrimination, Cognitive Biases and Human Rights Violations." April 2019.