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Episodes: 25


Rights matter, but conversations about rights can be polarizing, confusing and frustrating. Lawyers and law professors Claudia Flores and Tom Ginsburg have traveled the world getting into the weeds of global human rights debates. On Entitled, they use that expertise to explore the stories and thorny questions around why rights matter and what’s the matter with rights. Entitled is produced with the support of University of Chicago Law School and Yale Law School, and is part of the award winning University of Chicago Podcast Network.

Episode Date
Will "Personalized Laws" Make Us More Equal?

In a world with personalized laws, each person would be subject to different legal rules and their own personally-tailored laws. For example, if you're a good driver, you could be rewarded for that good behavior with less stringent laws. Through this idea, and the acceleration of AI, technology could be used to comprehend our data from various places to create laws individual to us. These are some of the ideas that Omri Ben-Shahar writes about in his book, Personalized Law: Different Rules for Different People.

In this episode, we speak to Omri Ben-Shahar about the questions and concerns that personalized law presents, and how it could be used in the future. Ben-Shahar is professor of law at the University of Chicago, and Director of the Coase-Sandor Institute for Law and Economics. 

Apr 28, 2023
A Roof Over Our Heads: Rights Or Real Estate?
More than half a million people are currently homeless in the United States. It's a crisis that extends beyond California and is trending upwards in other states, too. Most jurisdictions in the US have no right to shelter, and the right to have a home at all is not a guarantee. But just across the border, Canada recognizes the right to adequate housing as a fundamental human right affirmed in international law. In this episode, we speak with Canadian lawyer Leilani Farha, the former Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, about how we ended up with a homelessness crisis and what remedies should look like. Leilani is also Global Director of The Shift, a housing initiative.
Mar 23, 2023
From Pets To Zoos, Should Animals Have Rights, Too?

Animals suffer at the hands of humans every day. Not just in factory farms, but also in our homes, where pets don’t receive enough attention or exercise, and in our oceans, where humans disrupt their habitats and ecosystems. To what extent should animals have rights? In this special episode, we speak to world-leading philosopher Martha Nussbaum, professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago, and author of Justice for Animals. Nussbaum expands her theory into why politics and law should redirect our ethical responsibilities towards animals.

Feb 09, 2023
S2E8: Robots & Rights: Dystopian or Deserving?
Artificial intelligence is all around us—it listens to us, even watches us, and waits for our daily demands. From Alexa to Siri, to Sophia, the social humanoid robot, AIs want to be our companions (at least, the companies who build them want us to think so). However, some people fear that the more sentient AIs become, the more they will have to be treated with basic rights. Do AIs deserve rights? And if they do, what would those rights entail? In this episode, Tom and Claudia imagine a not-so-distant future where AIs have rights, what those rights could look like, and whether or not this would play out like a dystopian sci-fi novel. They get a myriad of perspectives from Andrew Stout, a robot software engineer; Agnes Callard, a philosopher at the University of Chicago; Aziz Huq, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Chicago; and Alex Hanna, Director of Research at the Distributed A.I. Research Institute.
Nov 10, 2022
S2E7: Are Equal Opportunities Possible In Our Ableist World?
Sixty-one million adults in the United States live with a disability — that's one in four adults, a staggering number when you consider how widespread ableism is. In a society that largely operates without adequate infrastructure, accommodations, and services for disabled people, what does the right to equal opportunity look like? In this episode, Tom and Claudia explore this question through the perspectives of three disabled individuals. Michael Stein is the executive director of the Harvard Law School Project on Disability, Elsa Sjunneson is a deafblind disability rights activist and science fiction writer, and Stephen Hallett is the Project Manager of the East Asia Disability Rights Project. Together, they help paint a picture of what it would really mean to take the rights of those with disabilities seriously.
Oct 27, 2022
S2E6: Global Inequality: How Should Countries Share Their Wealth?
While borders have the ability to divide countries both politically and socially, wealth drives an even bigger wedge between us. How do we make sense of the fact that the wealthiest country in the world, the United States, borders one of the poorest countries: Mexico? Despite efforts to mitigate this, global wealth inequality still appears to be growing. According to the World Inequality Report, the poorest half of the global population owns just 2% of the total global wealth. In this episode of Entitled, Claudia and Tom learn some of the ways we could fix global wealth inequality. They speak with one of the world’s leading economists focused on inequality, Branko Milanović; University of Chicago economics and political science professor James Robinson; and Rebekah Smith, executive director of Labor Mobility Partnerships.
Oct 13, 2022
S2E5: Quotas: Band-aid or Magic Bullet?
Fixing discrimination isn't as easy as putting anti-discrimination laws on the books. But, there is a tool that can at least chip away at the effects of discrimination: quotas. Over 130 countries have adopted gender quotas…and around one-quarter of the world uses some form of affirmative action programs. So, do quotas actually work at creating more diverse and equitable societies? In this episode of Entitled, Claudia and Tom learn how quotas are working—or not working—around the world. They speak with Rumbidzai Kandawasvika-Nhundu, senior adviser for democracy and inclusion at International IDEA; Tarunabh Khaitan, professor of Public Law and Legal Theroy at the University of Oxford; and Jessie Majome, former member of the National Assembly of Zimbabwe.
Sep 29, 2022
S2E4: The Equity/Equality Equation
There are two words that sound pretty similar, but they're not synonyms: equality and equity. While equality means that everybody should be given the same resources or opportunities, equity recognizes that we live in an unequal system, so we need to allocate more resources and opportunities to people without equal access. So, what does it really mean to live in an equitable society? In this episode of Entitled, Claudia and Tom zoom out on what equity practices look like around the globe, and zoom in, to see if they're working in the US. They speak with Dian Shah, a constitutional law professor at the National University of Singapore; Cathy Cohen, a renowned political scientist at the University of Chicago; and South African anti-apartheid hero Albie Sachs.
Sep 15, 2022
S2E3: Constitutionalizing Equality: Why Chile Wants A New Constitution
After years of community protests, and months of legal work, Chile finalized a draft of a brand new constitution this summer. Chileans will vote to pass or reject this constitution in a few days. In this episode of Entitled, Claudia and Tom head to Santiago, Chile! We hear their conversations with local Chileans, from musicians and taxi drivers to the lawyers who helped draft this new constitution, like Ricardo Montero Allende and Isabel Aninat, and Mapuche linguist and Indigenous rights activist Elisa Loncón Antileo. We find out why Chileans want a new constitution and what it would mean for equality in Chile.
Sep 01, 2022
S2E2: What Comes First: Socio-Economic or Civil and Political Equality?
Would you put a price tag on your rights? If you had to choose between your socio-economic rights or your freedom to peacefully protest, what would you choose? It’s a question that might get a lot of mixed responses, but some might argue you can’t have one without the other. In this episode of Entitled, Claudia and Tom discuss these two groups of rights: socio-economic rights and civil and political rights. They take a deeper look at the United States with Margaret Huang, president and CEO of the Southern Poverty Law Center, about why the US has had a hard time increasing socio-economic equality. Lastly, they speak with Jamil Dakwar, director of the ACLU’s Human Rights Program, about why we need to think about human rights more holistically.
Aug 25, 2022
S2E1: What Is Equality Anyway?
Lawyers and law professors Claudia Flores and Tom Ginsburg kick off the second season of Entitled — and this time, they’re focusing on one human right (and not just any right) — the right to equality. In the first episode, they explore what equality means in different contexts and to different people. Is it possible or even preferrable for every person to be equal in every way? When do we want equality? How do we get it? And what do we mean when we ask for it? This episode they speak with human rights historian and law professor Sam Moyn; public philosophy professor Elizabeth Anderson; and philosopher and professor of law and ethics Martha Nussbaum. Join the conversation this season as they try to unravel the complexity of equality and what “being equal” really means.
Aug 11, 2022
S1E6: The River Knows Where to Go
The rights of nature are enshrined in a number of constitutions around the world, and there is a growing movement to extend rights to nature as it faces increasing threats. The extension of rights to nature prompts fundamental questions about the nature, enforcement and evolution of rights. Does nature have rights, or do they belong only to humans? Are the rights of nature human rights in disguise? Is the extension of legal rights to nature enough to ensure its protection? In the final episode of Season 1 of Entitled, University of Chicago Law Professors Claudia Flores and Tom Ginsburg talk to Frank Tumusiime, Coordinator and Senior Research Fellow at Advocates for Natural Resources and Development (ANARDE) and Aaron Mills, Assistant Professor at McGill University Faculty of Law and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Constitutionalism and Philosophy.
Oct 07, 2021
S1E5: Who’s Womb Is it Anyway?
Today, medical advances make it possible for a woman to have a baby on behalf of someone else. This has given many people – including many in the LGBTQI community – the exciting possibility of founding a family of their own. But this incredible medical technology raises new questions about rights: how far do reproductive rights go? How do you establish the rights of a parent or citizenship? Who has a right to found a family? In this episode of Entitled, we explore reproduction and bodily autonomy in a changing world. We talk to Kasumi Nakagawa, an expert on surrogacy in Cambodia, and Kate Gilmore, former deputy director of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Sep 23, 2021
S1E4: That “Just-in-Case” Gun
The right to bear arms is an American touchstone, found in very few other countries. Many think it should not be a right at all, and the debate over it is highly polarized. This episode broadens the lens to show how other countries handle guns, and suggests ways to cut through the charged discussion here at home.
Sep 09, 2021
S1E3.5: Are All Afghanistan's Women Potential Refugees?
The collapse of the Afghan government has raised grave concerns for the future of the country, particularly for women. Exit is not a generally available option, but should it be? On this episode, we continue our conversation about migration, and the limits of the current human rights system for protecting the rights of women.
Aug 27, 2021
S1E3: Rights at the Border
The right to seek and enjoy asylum has never been more important than in today’s global landscape. At the same time, countries have never been more committed to finding increasingly creative ways to avoid having to take in refugees. Today on Entitled, we discuss the right to asylum and what our rights are at the border of another country. We know the movement of distressed migrants at sea and nations’ borders is the cause for a lot of human tragedy. Are borders necessary – can we conceive of them in a different way? What duties should nations have to assist these migrants? Joining Professors Claudia Flores and Tom Ginsburg this week are Nina Kerkebane, an Algerian asylee and an entering graduate student at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy; Ayelet Shachar, author of The Birthright Lottery: Citizenship and Global Inequality; Maya Elzinga-Soumah, Senior Legal Associate with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Aruba and Curaçao; and Itamar Mann, Director of the Global Legal Action Network and a Senior Lecturer at the University of Haifa Faculty of Law.
Aug 12, 2021
S1E2: Better Off Said
Free speech is one of those all important rights but one whose scope changes over time. Today, it is more likely to take place behind a screen rather than in the town square. What does the right to speak freely really look like when we are speaking in likes, comment bubbles and Tiktok videos? In this episode of Entitled, we explore freedom of speech, how and whether we still have it. We talk to Vietnamese pop star, MaiKhoi, an Artist Protection Fund fellow in residence at the University of Pittsburgh, who went from being dubbed the Vietnamese “Lady Gaga” to an exiled free speech activist, and to David Kaye, a UN expert on freedom of opinion and expression. Who’s protecting the right to free speech now that companies like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram control the spaces where speech takes place?
Jul 24, 2021
S1E1: What's The Matter With Rights?
Lawyers and law professors Claudia Flores and Tom Ginsburg have traveled the world getting into the weeds of global human rights debates. On this first episode of Entitled, they begin their journey of exploring the stories and thorny questions around why rights matter and what’s the matter with rights. Joining them are professor of ethics and legal philosophy at Oxford University, John Tasioulas; constitution building expert Zaid Al-Ali; and Columbia law professor Jamal Greene, author of "How Rights Went Wrong: Why Our Obsession with Rights is Tearing America Apart." Join the discussion on how we might begin to better understand the role of rights in our diverse and yet increasingly connected world.
Jul 23, 2021