30482 - HUMAN RIGHTS
Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 31
This course aims at understanding human rights as embedded in specific historical circumstances, and looks at their codification in international law as the product of heated political debates. You will read about the formation and significance of the "human rights regime" from its main actors (scholars, politicians, activists), and you will be given the instruments to provide an informed assessment of its efficacy and the challenges it faces. The course as a whole will also provide you with an interesting "case study" about the relative importance of institutions, legal documents, activists, and social movements in bringing about change in the political world.
The course is articulated in three interlocking learning units.
In the first one, historical, we trace the genealogy of the concept paying particular attention to its continuity or discontinuity with respect to the notion of natural law, and we focus on the birth of the “human rights regime.” In the second, we look at specific cases, and in the third we look at critical readings of human rights as possibly an instrument for “Western hegemony,” or as inadequate in other ways.
- Know the content of the most important documents in the “human rights regime".
- Understand the path that lead to the formulation of these documents and the significance of debates on universality.
- Appreciate the political stakes behind the affirmation of one formulation or another.
- Explain the significance of the materials studied for specific contemporary cases.
- Have an informed opinion about the foundation of human rights, if any.
- Become (more) aware of your political beliefs on human rights and of the histories and struggles behind them.
- Develop an enduring intellectual and political interest in this concept (whether as an advocate or a critic, or both) that is rooted in knowledge about its development, historical background, and founding documents.
- Face-to-face lectures
- Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
- Individual assignments
- Group assignments
- We apply theoretical knowledge acquired to the study of relevant cases through in-class group work.
- Attending students have the opportunity to write brief essays on themes or organizations of their interest.
|Continuous assessment||Partial exams||General exam|
The oral exams count for 100%, with the option of distributing them between two partial exams worth each 50%. They require answers to short questions covering basic notions and longer thematic questions aimed at ascertaining the analytical abilities of students to bring the information together contrasting it or comparing it.
Group assignments and individual participation through extra papers and presentation will earn up to one extra credit point. These aim at testing the ability to correctly analyze/interpret important issues of a student's choice, and the ability to express/debate/communicate in written form clearly and using appropriate language.
Materials will be available on reserve at the library by August 27 2020.