Heiner Bielefeldt

Professor, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

Heiner Bielefeldt (*1958) is Professor of Human Rights and Human Rights Politics at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (since October 2009). Before taking the newly established chair for Human Rights, he was Director of the German Institute for Human Rights (based in Berlin) which is the officially accredited national human rights institution of Germany. Bielefeldt’s research interests include different interdisciplinary facets of human rights theory and practice, such as, a non-Eurocentric intellectual history of human rights; the philosophical foundation of human rights; contribution of Kantianism to the understanding of human rights; the interrelatedness of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights; intercultural and interreligious approaches to universal rights; the development of implementation mechanisms; freedom of religion or belief; prohibition and prevention of torture; causes and phenomena of contemporary racism, human rights education. In August 2010 Heiner Bielefeldt assumed the position of UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief.