Project description

Bringing together leading research centres and institutes at the University of Ottawa, Changing Orders seeks to reveal the fundamental dynamics underlying today’s governance and human rights challenges – at the national and global levels – and to generate new and innovative ideas and policy responses to them. The initiative will mobilize cutting-edge research and networks of decision-makers from a variety of fields to analyse these challenges and co-produce effective solutions to address them. It will also build upon and amplify cutting-edge public interest legal interventions being conducted by project partners at both the domestic and international levels, aimed at securing rights in a changing order.

The project aims to address two questions:

1) How to secure inclusive and durable democracies and multilateral cooperation in the face of political and technological change

2) How to secure fundamental human rights in the face of challenges to the rules-based international order

Policymakers are facing unprecedented challenges. Emerging and disruptive technologies, the decline of public trust in institutions and expertise, the rise of fake news, polarized politics and populism, and global challenges of climate change, demography and mass migration are all raising fundamental questions for decision-makers. Who decides what, when, how and with what level of legitimacy, is increasingly contested. Equally urgent is the question of how fundamental human rights, buttressed for more than seven decades by core international agreements and the rules-based international order, can continue to be secured and protected in a fragmented and shifting global order.

The research project has received funding from the Alex Trebek Forum for Dialogue: “Smart Changes for a Better World” Public Policy Research Agenda.

The partner research centres have recruited three postdoctoral fellows to be part of this project.