Recognised by the Norwegian Research Council for its World Class Status, the RAPID cluster is an arena for academic discussion focusing on rights and power in development. The cluster provides a platform for exploring theory, policy, and practice with the aim to advance new knowledge for our research, teaching and publications.
RAPID draws on various conceptualisations of rights and their bearing on development theory and practice. We are supportive of a rights-based approach to development that is equally concerned with civil and political rights (e.g. the right to a trial, not to be tortured), as well as with economic, social and cultural rights (the right to food, housing, a job). Human rights accountability and its use in development planning and processes are also central in this approach. However, RAPID encourages a broad view of rights, and strives for including diverse normative or non-normative interpretations from:
- Gender Rights
- Marginalized and Indigenous Peoples Rights
- Labour Rights
- Water Rights and Governance
- River and Nature Rights
- Land Rights and Study of the Impacts of Land Acquisitions
- Environmental Politics and Rights to Resources
- Conflict and Strategies for Resolution
- Legal Pluralism
- Energy and Extractive Politics
Our analytical and epistemological approaches recognize that competing political structures, discourses, ideologies, systems of knowledge, and practices influence how rights gain, maintain and lose meaning and power. This is why we draw on analyses of accountability and power struggles in order to understand rights and their bearing on development. RAPID is an inter-disciplinary research group, drawing on a diversity of backgrounds that include anthropology, human geography, sociology, political science, economy, and development studies.