The University of Texas at Austin   School of Law

The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice

Partners for change at the intersection of academics and advocacy.


Rapoport Center Welcomes the First Associate Director for Academics


By Kate Hull, Rapoport Center Undergraduate Intern, Fall 2008

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Professor Daniel Brinks, the Rapoport Center's first Associate Director for Academics.

The Rapoport Center is pleased to welcome Professor Daniel Brinks as the Center's first Associate Director for Academics. A long-time member of the Steering Committee and current Assistant Professor in the Department of Government at UT, Brinks has played a vital role in the growth and direction of the Center's academic programs and projects. As Associate Director of Academics, he will promote human rights research and scholarship on campus. He will also facilitate increased collaboration with faculty and students outside of the School of Law by coordinating interdisciplinary working groups, faculty outreach and curriculum development.

“It's really a privilege to work with the Rapoport Center, which has such a great track record of interdisciplinary dialogue and collaboration,” Professor Brinks said. “I look forward to expanding our efforts in this regard, by adding programs tailored to undergraduate and graduate students outside the law school, continuing to integrate faculty from across the University into our projects, and bringing in important voices from all disciplines into our ongoing human rights conversations here at UT.”

Dan Brinks teaches courses in Comparative Politics and Public Law. His research on the role of the law and courts in supporting or extending rights has appeared in journals such as Comparative Politics, Studies in Comparative International Development, Comparative Political Studies, and the Texas International Law Journal. Professor Brinks recently published two books with Cambridge University Press: The Judicial Response to Police Violence in Latin America: Inequality and the Rule of Law and Courting Social Justice: Judicial Enforcement of Social and Economic Rights in the Developing World (co-edited with Varun Gauri). He has a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame, and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.

His most recent projects address the judicial response to police violence in Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay; the use of courts and law to enforce social and economic rights in the developing world; judicial independence; and the role of informal norms in the legal order. Professor Brinks is also interested in the study of democracy more generally, and has written on the classification of regimes in Latin America, and on the global diffusion of democracy in the last quarter of a century. His research draws on his experiences growing up in Argentina and practicing law in the United States.

“Dan's appointment represents an important move toward recognizing and formalizing the Rapoport Center's status as a truly multidisciplinary, university-wide institute for the study and practice of human rights,” said Law Professor Karen Engle, Director of the Center. “Over fifty percent of our affiliated faculty and many students connected with the Center are from the College of Liberal Arts, and Dan is ideally situated to help us better respond to their needs and interests.”

The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice at the University of Texas School of Law serves as a focal point for critical discussion and policy analysis of human rights law and advocacy. Thanks to generous support from the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Foundation, the Center connects students, practitioners and academics engaged in interdisciplinary study of human rights both locally and globally.