Lisa Roodenburg is a PhD Candidate at the T.M.C. Asser Instituut. She completed a Research Master in International Development Studies (2015) and a Bachelor in Urban Planning and Human Geography (2013), both at the University of Amsterdam. Lisa’s previous research focused on the governance of socio-economic inequalities in urban settings. During her studies, Lisa conducted independent field research in Metro Manila, the Philippines, and Paramaribo, Suriname. After graduating she interned at the United Nations Global Compact Cities Programme and at the Humanitarian Affairs, Human Rights and Development Section of the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations in New York.
Lisa’s project is entitled ‘Diversity and migration in global cities: human rights as a source of trust and/or control’. She focuses on the reproduction of human rights norms in today’s diverse, multicultural cities. Migration causes frictions and debates on who has ‘more’ right to the city’s services. Simultaneously many unfortunate migrants end up at the fringes of the city, with little access to and little say in the city’s affairs. To frame these problems, different actors use human rights language: city governments take global norms as a point of departure in formulating urban policies and migrant movements engage with the language of rights to claim their space in the city. By tracking the networks of actors involved in this practice in Amsterdam, Buenos Aires and Hong Kong, this research uses ethnographic methods to discuss the ways different social actors collaborate and clash in the reproduction of human rights norms. This approach produces an understanding of the discursive effects of engagement with human rights norms, in order to see that it is not always a neutral practice.