Newswise — New York University will host representatives from the Council of Europe, the ACLU, and others for a one-day conference that will consider western democracies’ responses to an influx of immigrants on Thurs., Oct. 22, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Lipton Hall, NYU School of Law’s D’Agostino Hall, 108 W. 3rd St. (between MacDougal and Sullivan Streets).

The conference, “Towards Dystopian Democracies in Europe and the USA? From Prejudice in Immigration Policies to Mass Surveillance in Counterterrorism Operations,” will focus on how the United States and Europe are responding to the rise of migrants and asylum seekers—ranging from naval military operations to new legislation—with an eye toward the refugee crisis and the new political terrain in these countries, which includes the rise of xenophobic parties. Ultimately, participants will contemplate whether these trends are compatible these countries’ democratic values and histories.

Speakers include: Nils Muižnieks, commissioner for human rights, Council of Europe; Susan N. Herman, president of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU); Alyona Minkowski, host/producer at HuffPost Live; Larry Siems, editor of Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s “Guantánamo Diary”; NYU Professor Sally Engle Merry, author of the forthcoming “The Seductions of Quantification: Global Governance, Human Rights, and the Rise of Indicator Culture”; and Harvard’s Jacqueline Bhabha, author of “Moving Children: Young Migrants and the Challenge of Rights”.

For a complete schedule, please visit

The event is free and open to the public. RSVP to For more information, please call 212.992.7494. Subways: 1 (Christopher Street); A, B, C, D, E, F, M (West 4th Street)

The conference is co-sponsored by NYU’s Center for International Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences, the Council of Europe, NYU’s Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty, Arts, Humanities, and Diversity, NYU’s Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, Harvard University’s FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, and NYU’s Center for Human Rights and Global Justice.

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