GI7010 - Human Rights and the International Order (2019/20)
|Module specification||Module approved to run in 2019/20|
|Module title||Human Rights and the International Order|
|Module level||Masters (07)|
|Credit rating for module||20|
|School||School of Social Sciences|
|Total study hours||200|
|Running in 2019/20||
This module examines the theory and institutionalized practice of human rights and the significance of human rights politics for the structure of the changing world order, and of domestic politics for both rights and order. It contextualises, analyzes, evaluates and applies various conceptions of human rights that are operative within international relations, and in relation to academic paradigms used to explain international relations. Attention is paid to the transformation of state sovereignty by human rights discourse and practice. The relation of human rights to the international order is questioned in the context of the history and philosophy of human rights, liberalism and its critics and opponents, and institutions and systems of international governance and conflict. Conversely, ideas of realism and constructivism in international relations are questioned by liberal claims for human rights. The globalization and recent reverses of human rights are critically analyzed. Students ae encouraged to explore particular cases of international order or conflict and of human rights’ observance or abuse in a way that is sustained and rigorous.
1 This module contextualises, analyses, evaluates and applies various conceptions of human rights that are operative within international relations, and within the study of international relations.
2 Three subjects in particular are addressed:
i the causes of, and reasons for, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the broader development of human rights as a universalizing, globalizing, Westernizing and institutionalizing force in relations between states;
ii the variety of particular states, domestic and foreign policies, other political actors, cultures, and motivating ideologies with which human rights has come into conflict;
iii the transformation of state sovereignty by human rights discourse and practice. These subjects are problematized in the context of the history and philosophy of human rights, liberalism and its critics and opponents, and institutions and systems of international governance and conflict.
Constructing States and Rights LO1
Constructing the International Order LO1
Liberalism, Realism and Rights LO2
The United Nations Project LO2
Sovereignty and the Responsibility to Protect LO3
From the Universal to the Particular LO1, LO2, LO3
Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity
Scheduled lectures and seminars are supported by Weblearn and students’ independent reading of recommended reading and research. Students are required to make a seminar presentation and to participate in critical discussion of lectures and presentations.
By the end of this module students will be able to:
1 critically evaluate rival conceptions of human rights;
2 outline and explain the political developments that have shaped the pursuit of human rights in the international arena;
3 analyse, explain and evaluate the political tensions and issues arising from the pursuit of human rights in specific contexts, and suggest remedial reforms or actions as appropriate.
Seminar presentation, either (i) chosen from a set list of questions each of which relates to a lecture, in which case the presentation will be in the corresponding week, or (ii) under a title agreed with the module leader, in which case the presentation will be made within the last couple weeks of the module.
Essay, answering either one of the set seminar questions or the title agreed (or a revision thereof, if agreed to be appropriate) with the module leader.
Alston, Philip, “The Populist Challenge to Human Rights”, Journal of Human Rights Practice 9:1 (1-15), 2017.
Alston, Philip, & Ryan Goodman (edd.), International Human Rights: Law, Politics, Morals, Oxford University Press, 2013.
An-Na’im, Abdullahi Ahmed, “The Spirit of Laws is Not Universal: Alternatives to the Enforcement Paradigm for Human Rights”, Tilburg Law Review 21:2 (255-274), 2016.
Forsythe, David P., Human Rights in International Relations, Cambridge University Press, 2017 (4th edn.).
Ignatieff, Michael, “Human Rights, Global Ethics, and the Ordinary Virtues”, Ethics & International Affairs 31:1 (3-16), 2017.
International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, The Responsibility to Protect: Report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, International Development Research Centre, 2001.
Moyn, Samuel, Not Enough: Human Rights in an Unequal World, Harvard University Press, 2018.
Normand, Roger, & Sarah Zaidi, Human Rights at the UN: The Political History of Universal Justice, Indiana University Press, 2008.
Nussbaum, Martha C., ‘’Progress and Women’s Human Rights”, Human Rights Quarterly 38:3 (589-622), 2016.
Rawls, John, The Law of Peoples with “The Idea of Public Reason Revisited”, Harvard University Press, 1999.
Roberts, Christopher N.J., The Contentious History of the International Bill of Human Rights, Cambridge University Press, 2015.
Sikkink, Kathryn, Evidence for Hope: Making Human Rights Work in the 21st Century, Princeton University Press, 2017.
Human Rights Quarterly
Humanity: an international journal of human rights, humanitarianism, and development
Amnesty International: https://www.amnesty.org/en/
Carr Center for Human Rights Policy: https://carrcenter.hks.harvard.edu/home
Child & Woman Studies Abuse Studies Unit: http://cwasu.org
European Court of Human Rights: https://www.echr.coe.int/Pages/home.aspx?p=home
Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect: http://www.globalr2p.org/
Human Rights Consortium: https://hrc.sas.ac.uk
Human Rights Watch: http://www.hrw.org/
Humanity journal website: http://www.humanityjournal.org
International Court of Justice: http://www.icj-cij.org/en
International Criminal Court: https://www.icc-cpi.int
International Labour Organization: http://www.ilo.org/global/lang--en/index.htm
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe: https://www.osce.org
Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law: http://rwi.lu.se
United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner:
United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, human rights bodies:
United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, human rights issues:
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre: https://business-humanrights.org
Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Violence Against Women Research Database:
Columbia International Affairs Online: http://www.ciaonet.org
European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights:
Freedom House: https://freedomhouse.org/report-types/freedom-world
International Women’s Rights Action Watch: http://hrlibrary.umn.edu/iwraw/index.html
Minorities at Risk project: http://www.mar.umd.edu
Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts project: http://www.rulac.org
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute databases: https://www.sipri.org/databases
UNICEF The State of the World's Children reports:
United Nations Library and Archives at Geneva, research guides:
United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, Universal Human Rights
United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, Human Rights by Country:
United Nations Databases: http://www.un.org/en/databases/index.html
United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Library UN Documentation: http://research.un.org/en/docs
University of Minnesota Human Rights Library: http://hrlibrary.umn.edu
Uppsala Conflict Data Programme: http://ucdp.uu.se
Womanstats Project: http://www.womanstats.org
World Bank, Gender Data Portal: http://datatopics.worldbank.org/gender/