School of Humanities and Sciences
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Associate Professor of History and, by courtesy, of French and Italian
BioI am an historian of modern Europe and European imperialism with a particular interest in political, cultural, and social history, as well as the history of humanitarianism.
My first book, An Empire Divided: Religion, Republicanism, and the Making of French Colonialism, 1880-1914 (Oxford University Press, 2006) tells the story of how troubled relations between Catholic missionaries and a host of republican critics shaped colonial policies, Catholic perspectives, and domestic French politics in the decades before the First World War. Based on archival research from four continents, the book challenges the long-held view that French colonizing and “civilizing” goals were the product of a distinctly secular republican ideology built on Enlightenment ideals. By exploring the experiences of religious workers, one of the largest groups of French men and women working abroad, the book argues that many “civilizing” policies were wrought in the fires of discord between missionaries and anti-clerical republicans – discord that indigenous communities exploited in responding to colonial rule.
My current project, entitled Humanity So Far Away: Violence, Suffering, and Humanitarianism in the Modern French Empire, places the successes and failures of colonial “civilizing” projects within the broader context of the development of European sensibilities regarding violence, global suffering, and human rights. Based on research in archives on five continents, Humanity So Far Away explores the central role human suffering played as an experience, a moral concept, and a political force in the rise and fall of French imperialism from the late 1800s to the 1960s. The book also considers how colonial practices increasingly intersected with efforts to establish norms of humane behavior – efforts most often led by non-state and international bodies, especially the League of Nations and the International Labor Organization. Drawing on the methods of political, cultural, and intellectual history, my research ultimately aims to explore concretely the extent to which notions about empathy and humanitarianism spread (or failed to spread) from Europe to the outermost reaches of the globe in the twentieth century.
Luis Fabiano de Assis, Ph.D.
Research Fellow, Center for Human Rights and International Justice
Visiting Scholar, Center for Human Rights and International Justice
BioDr. Luis Fabiano de Assis is a Brazilian Federal Prosecutor, Data Scientist, and Professor at the National School for Public Prosecutors in Brazil. As an internationally recognized expert on issues of new data technologies and their use to develop evidence-based decent work programs and policies, he has advised the United Nations (United Nations University, New York), the International Labour Organization (Brazil, Latin America, and Geneva), and the World Bank (Washington/DC).
Luis is a member of the Alliance 8.7 Knowledge Platform Reference Group (United Nations University), where he contributes to advancing the scientific knowledge base and facilitate uptake and development of evidence-based policy initiatives with the aim of eradicating modern slavery, forced labor, child labor, and human trafficking to achieve SDG target 8.7.
As a Chief Research & Data Officer at the Brazilian Federal Labor Prosecution Office, he has led the development of the SmartLab Initiative (http://smartlabbr.org/), an innovative multi-stakeholder knowledge-management strategy to promote human rights at work. In collaboration with the ILO and a variety of partners, the initiative has given rise to a knowledge base that combines myriad primary and secondary open data sources, providing public and private stakeholders with readily available information to improve policy-making at the national, regional, and local level. By creating open source and open data observatories, the initiative uses data and knowledge to fight human trafficking, child labor, inequality at work, and poor occupational safety and health practices.
At the National School of Prosecutors in Brazil, he teaches in the areas of law and public policies, and his courses encompass issues such as methods to move law-enforcement towards real-time interventions using big data and new technologies; behavioral sciences principles applied to policymaking and accountability systems; design of evidence-based projects, programs and policies to strengthen the rule of law and protect human rights; techniques to develop data-driven investigations and collective (class actions) lawsuits; and regulations on data protection.
His current research encompasses issues such as targeting and coverage of government cash transfers and social assistance programs towards human trafficking victims; health standards, mortality rates, and life expectancy of human trafficking survivors; value-chain studies to support private stakeholders in relation to compliance, supplier qualification processes, monitoring, due diligence, and risk assessment; studies supported by machine-learning concerning the prediction of risk, vulnerabilities and resource allocation; mapping of national and international human trafficking routes and flows, focusing on refugees from Bolivia, Venezuela, Paraguay, Haiti, and Peru; and mapping of governmental data gaps to improve human rights data collection systems.
The objectives include developing research on how the international community can benefit from existing data sources and new technologies to develop evidence-based counter-trafficking public policies, strengthen the rule of law, improve accountability systems, and protect and promote human rights broadly. Also, Luis works in Brazil to disseminate good practices to improve human trafficking data collection and usage based on the guidelines “Getting to Good Human Trafficking Data: Everyday Guidelines for Frontline Practitioners.”
LLB (Bachelor of Law, 2002), University of São Paulo
LLM (Master of Law, 2008), University of São Paulo
Ph.D. in Law (2011), University of São Paulo
Visiting Research Fellow, Stanford University (2018)
Visiting Scholar, Stanford University (2019-20)
Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and at the Hoover Institution and Professor, by courtesy, of Sociology and of Political Science
Current Research and Scholarly Interestsdemocratic development and regime change; U.S. foreign policy affecting democracy abroad; comparative trends in the quality and stability of democracy in developing countries and postcommunist states; and public opinion in new democracies, especially in East Asia