Social & Political Sciences

Social & Political Sciences Experts (karin) C.j.m. Arts

Full Professor
International Law and Development
Erasmus University Rotterdam


Law is a major factor in processes of development and/or transition, either as an instrument of change or as a vehicle for guarding the status quo. In recent decades, various developments have brought about a situation where national legal orders and processes for tackling development, equity and human rights issues are increasingly exposed to the sphere, if not the rule, of international law. These developments include a relatively widespread intensification of international cooperation (e.g. through international organizations such as the United Nations or through regional organizations such as the European Union, the African Union or the Organization of American States); economic and social globalization; and growing (and renewed) ideas about interdependence and common responsibility for overcoming major global challenges, such as climate change as well as massive and/or flagrant violations of human rights. This Chair focuses on the following, interrelated and mutually reinforcing academic fields: the role of international law as an instrument of change and/or constraint for realizing equitable development and human rights world-wide; the role of international organizations and institutions for realizing the right to development, with special emphasis on the development cooperation policies of the European Union; the contents and implications of (human) rights-based approaches to development; the role of global human rights instruments in supporting the institutionalization of specific national action for realizing development, equity and human rights on the ground, with, at least initially, a special emphasis on the track record of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Research Interest

International Law and Development


  • K. Arts (2015). Reflections on Human Rights in the Netherlands. Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights, 33 (4), 374-381.

  • K. Arts (2017). Inclusive Sustainable Development: A Human Rights Perspective. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 24, 58-62. doi:

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