Bruce E. Kochis
Explores a critical issue of human rights theory and practice and its intersection with the other fields of thought and disciplines. Topics may include such issues as the rights of children, workers, or women; or the relationship of human rights to democracy, globalization, and the arts.
This course will examine the nature, scope, and implications of a human right to development in an era of globalization, and especially non-economic forms of development that include (but are not restricted to): political participation, gender equality, improved literacy and schooling, health and housing, education, religion, and culture. We will examine the responsibility and ability of states to respect, protect, and fulfill their human rights commitments in these areas and the responsibility and ability of the international community to intervene when they do not.
Student learning goals
Students will critically analyze the dominant moral theories of justice applied to contemporary issues of development.
Students will develop a contemporary interdisciplinary political and ethical vocabulary in the context of recent research on social and human development.
Students will better understand how globalization and global institutions affect the poorest countries and why.
Students will gain a particular appreciation for the cultural context-- including family patterns, religion, customs, and mores--in which development must occur.
Students will apply the theories and methods of the course to a development case of their own choosing.
Students will understand the role of private, government, and non-governmental organizations in assisting the poorer countries of the world.
General method of instruction
The general method of instruction will be lecture/discussion and the use of the case method for analyzing critical issues. We will use small seminars to practice articulating our ideas and positions.
A 300-level course in political economy, development, philosophy, or human rights would be helpful.
Class assignments and grading
Students write short weekly assignments about the reading,as well as a quarter-long research project with a short (usually 5pp. paper at the end). The reading load is fairly heavy, but the texts are important classics in the field;we will discuss each reading in class. We will supplement classroom work with a webpage to facilitate communication and interaction.
Grades will be assigned on the basis of course participation (including on-line discussions)(about 25%), short weekly writing assignments (50%), and a short research project (25%).