The Politics and Law of International Human Rights

Lecture: MWF 830-920 in ARC 147
New Quiz: Pol S 368AE/LSJ 320AE, TTH 1230-120 in THO 211 (this section is open–ignore messages that it is closed!)
Optional Service Learning with a local human rights organization
Counts for: I&S, DIV, Human Rights Minor core course, LSJ and Pol S Majors and Minors, Pol S International Security Option

Overview: This course examines the emergence and development, since World War II, of an international movement dedicated to the
defense of human rights. We will study the goals of the movement and the global political context in which it operates. Special
attention will be given to the legal institutions, national and international, which have influenced its evolution and character.
Students taking the course will acquire an enhanced understanding of the role in human rights politics played by the United Nations,
national governments, non-governmental organizations, customary international law, treaty law, regional courts, and international

This is a core course for both the Law, Societies and Justice Major and the Human Rights Minor.

Requirements: midterm exam, final exam, and research paper (7-10 pages long).


Course packet of articles and book excerpts.
Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide (2009)
Michael Goldhaber, A People?s History of the European Court of Human Rights (2007)
Murat Kurnaz, Five Years of My Life: An Innocent Man in Guantanamo


Midterm Exam          25%
Research Paper        25%
Final Exam            35%
Participation         15%

Service Learning: Service learning is an optional component of this course. If they wish, students can work a few hours each week
with a local human rights organization, thereby acquiring an experience-based perspective on topics raised in the course.


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