Studies the international human rights movement in its legal and political context. Focuses on institutions which influence, enable, and constrain the international promotion of human rights. Offered: jointly with POL S 368.
This course is a multidisciplinary introduction to human rights in international law, history, philosophy and politics. Students can expect to learn many things about human rights, including:
--Major controversies and issues in philosophical debates about human rights
--The history of the idea of civil rights
--An understanding of the history, causes and consequences of the major genocides of the 20th century, and how international human rights law and politics might help prevent them in the future.
--The origins and debates surrounding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
--The content and function of human rights treaties in international law
--The history of international criminal tribunals since world war II, including the International Criminal Court
--Human rights issues in US domestic law
--The practice and politics of torture in the war on Terror and beyond.
--Interdisciplinary approaches to the social scientific study of human rights
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Tuesday and Thursday class sessions will be comprised of lectures and occasionally films. Wednesday and Friday discussion sections critically examine a number of interdisciplinary readings in small group discussion sessions.
A willingness to read and engage a number of different disciplines. No background preparation is necessary.
Class assignments and grading
A midterm and a final; a short (2-3 page) analytic essay and a longer (6-8 page) research paper.