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.
Through a variety of readings, students will approach key human rights issues with the aim of gaining deeper understanding of the meaning and practices of human rights. Initially we will examine the historical and theoretical foundations of human rights as well as the institutions that make up the international and regional human rights systems. Through case studies, we will analyze the various complexities, including legal, social, economic, historical, and political, surrounding specific questions in human rights. In doing so, students will be introduced to relevant topical issues such as nation-state sovereignty, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, persecution and torture, "the disappeareds," refugees and asylum seekers, and venues for making legal claims. The notion of "culture" as an indicator of human rights variance will also be considered.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Lecture, discussion, and student presentations.
There are no prerequisites for this course, but for success in the course, students should read the assigned readings, participate in the discussions, hand-in writing assignments, and complete student presentation.
Class assignments and grading
Most assignment will consist of writing. There will be 5 1-2 page response papers, one student presentation, and a 13-15 page paper.
Grading will be based on class participation, which includes the presentation (25%), the reading response papers (25%), and the final paper (50%).