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Human Rights in Globalizing World

Учебный год
Обучение ведется на английском языке
Курс обязательный
Когда читается:
1-й курс, 4 модуль


Course Syllabus


This course is foundational course in developing a profound understanding of Human Rights in a wider social science perspective. It provides a review of existing concepts and put them in the modern context of the current international relations. It has a strong component of comparative analysis (state vs non-state; individual vs collective). Students are given a wider picture of how the concepts emerged from specific events (Magna Carta, French Revolution, Abolition Movement) and developed into a wider elaborated system of several generations of Human Rights. A classification of Human Rights is offered in the course and should guide them in their further research work. The course widely relies on the Western philosophy and sociology. Students are engaged in case analysis and offered to employ different perspectives on understanding modern contested issues, such as international interventions in state affairs. The course is accompanied by the additional materials from the online course developed by a famous Chilean Human Rights activist, lawyer and educator Professor Jose Zalaquett. As a result, this course offers a good balance of acquiring theoretical knowledge an practicing empirical case study analysis.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • To equip students with the general skills and tools to analyses the concept of Human Rights, to understand linkages between different Human rights, historic developments and leading modern philosophies.
  • To understand the role of the states, international organizations and the non-state actors in the provision of Human Rights
  • The examine the new challenges in provision and protection of Human Rights
  • To develop a comprehensive interdisciplinary approach in the analysis of existing Human Rights violations
  • To develop research and analytical skills through interactive presentations of specific case studies
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Be able to recognize important human rights problems, analyze them and suggest possible ways of solving them
  • Know the major concepts and human rights theories
  • Be able to discuss and reproduce different HR concepts and theories, be able to find relations between them and analyze them
  • Be able to identify targets, decision-makers, benefactors and other actors involved into human rights issues, their motives, strategies and methods
  • Be able to distinguish between infringements of law and human rights violations
  • Understand who gains, and what are the motives, for framing particular issues as human rights issues
  • Understand to what extent cultural differences in the conception of human rights affect the universality of those rights as philosophical values or legal obligations
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Globalisation as a Context for Development of Human Rights
    Brief review of the aims and structure of the course. Introduction to the concept of Human Rights (HR). The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Political Philosophy and Nature of HR. The role of context and discourse for studying Human Rights. New challenges and opportunities of Globalization (economic, social, political and environmental) as a current context of Human Rights. Discussion of Human Rights' deficit and possible Human Rights' promotion strategies (protection and transformation). Demonstration of a part of the film 'Globalisation is Good' and a follow-up discussion of the role of globalisation in the current developments in the area of Human Rights.
  • Institutional and Sociological approaches to Human Right Analysis
    Discussion of institutions, gender and class as units of analysis. A very brief introduction to historic development of Human Rights and gender and class inequalities. The role of globalization in the current processes of protection of Human Rights. Introduction to the United Nations’ system as an institution of Human Rights and its instruments. Documentary ‘The History of the United Nations’. Discussion of the function of the UNHCHR. Review of different levels of the current institutions and instruments for protection of Human Rights.
  • Role of Civil Society in Institutionalization of HR. Concept of Global Governance.
    Discussion of the components (professional experts, think tanks, grassroots, NGOs) and functions of civil society (expertise, watch-guard and legitimisation) and their role in protection of Human Rights. Brief case study of International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights. Associational Democracy and Human Rights. Concept of Global Governance. Its two meanings. Discussion of the current cases of involvement of NGOs in social riots and the framework of Human Rights in these processes. Discussion on how much NGOs could promote and protect Human Rights.
  • Social Justice and Human Rights
    Introduction of the concept of Social Justice. Discussion of poverty and income inequalities from the perspective of Human Rights. Social Justice as the concept realised in concrete projects. Global Justice Movement. Vienna Declaration and Program of Action and VDPA+20
  • Other Concepts in Understanding Human Rights
    Introduction of the concept of Vulnerability and a brief review of main vulnerable groups of Human Rights holders (children, women, minorities etc.). Discussion of major causes of vulnerability at a global level. Examples of ex post coping. Theory of Justice and development of Capability Approach. Examples of Capability deprivation. Discussion of CA's critique of traditional welfare economics and relation to Human Rights. Individual Freedom as Social Commitment. Collective Capabilities. Discussion of John Rawls’ “A Theory of Justice” and basic liberties. The UN Human Development Index.
  • Typology of Human Rights
    Human needs and Human Rights. Generations and Categories of Human Rights (Civil and Political Rights and Economic Social and Cultural Rights). Discussion of children’s welfare in Russia as the complex example of socio-economic rights.
  • Environment and Human Rights
    Discussion of the impacts of current human development on Nature. Introduction to the concept of sustainability. 'Weak' sustainability versus 'Strong' sustainability. Introduction to ‘Environmental’ Human Rights: Right to Natural Resources, Right to Environment free of pollution. Brief review of Environmental movements. Social and environmental campaigns: Environmental Human Rights as a Tactical Device for campaigns. Environmental Human Rights Legal Instruments.
  • Human Rights and International Security
    Human rights to security in the globalizing world. Indicators of Human Security. Terrorism, Human Security, and Human Rights in the XX-th century. Trends and dilemmas in guaranteeing Human Rights under the current threats. Questioning the rightfulness of detentions under the Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security as such an example. Discussion of possible policy addresses to terrorism in a general framework of Human Rights.
  • Culture, Ethnic Conflicts and Human Rights
    Introduction to Cultural Rights as Human Rights. Current definitions and objectives. Discussion of examples and possible objects of cultural protection (language, traditional knowledge). Heritage ethics as an instrument to resolve cultural conflicts. Concept of Diversity and the Universal Principle of Human Rights in Diverse Cultures. Cultural Diversity and the Universal Character of Human Rights. Agenda 21 for Culture. UNESCO. Current examples of violation of Cultural Human Rights (dynamiting the Buddha statues in Damiyan in 2001, destruction of the Sufi sites in Tripoli in 2011). Discussion of the abuse of cultural relativism against Human Rights (violations against women).
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Midterm self-assesement
  • non-blocking Final exam
    The exam is scheduled for 10 June 2020 at 3 pm (15.00). The exam is in a written form, and consists of ten questions. The link to the exam digital room is Идентификатор конференции 939 7797 9451 Пароль конференции 353562 Скрыть Invite Link https://zoom.us/j/93977979451?pwd=bzNzVDhZSVNtZVl0cTI5cGVYTVpvZz09 The entry to the room will be available at 2.50 (14.50). Each student will have to announce their presence, switching on camera and micro. The exam questions will be revealed at 3.10. During the exam all background sound must be muted. By 5 pm (17.00) students should resume writing and submit their answers either as word, pdf or jpg (photo) file. The acknowledgement email will be sent by the exam facilitator. Submission with a delay might lead to annulation of the exam submission and the requirement to resit the exam. The results will be announced within the week of the submission.
  • non-blocking Online course certificate
  • non-blocking Active participation in class
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (4 module)
    0.3 * Active participation in class + 0.4 * Final exam + 0.3 * Online course certificate


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Anderson, E. S. (2014). Qual é o sentido da igualdade? / What is the point of equality? Revista Brasileira de Ciência Política, (15), 163–227. https://doi.org/10.1590/0103-335220141507
  • Anton, D., & Shelton, D. (2015). Environmental Protection and Human Rights. Australia, Australia/Oceania: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.6422FDC8
  • Caswell, M. (2016). Developing a Typology of Human Rights Records. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.91093E02
  • Clapham, A. (2007). Human Rights : A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=209686
  • Eckert, A. (2002). The Global and the Local: Reconciling Universal Human Rights and Cultural Diversity. Human Rights & Human Welfare: An International Review of Books & Other Publications, 2(2), 1–7. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=sih&AN=22858840
  • Gilabert, P. (2013). The Capability Approach and the Debate Between Humanist and Political Perspectives on Human Rights. A Critical Survey. Human Rights Review, 14(4), 299–325. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12142-013-0269-z
  • Globalization: a brief exploration of its challenging, contested and competing concepts. (2017). Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.D9A13938
  • Hough, P. (2008). Global steps towards human security. Security & Human Rights, 19(1), 15–23. https://doi.org/10.1163/187502308784048492
  • Keohane, R. O., & Nye Jr., J. S. (2000). Globalization: What’s New? What’s Not? (And So What?). Foreign Policy, (118), 104. https://doi.org/10.2307/1149673
  • Sokphea, Y. (2017). Transnational advocacy networks in global supply chains: a study of civil society organizations’ sugar movements in Cambodia. Journal of Civil Society, 13(1), 35–53. https://doi.org/10.1080/17448689.2016.1265787
  • Thomas Buergenthal, Dinah Shelton, & David Stewart. (2009). International Human Rights in a Nutshell, 4th. St. Paul: West Academic Publishing. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1354981

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Andrew Moravcsik. (2000). The Origins of Human Rights Regimes: Democratic Delegation in Postwar Europe. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.E76DB6D9
  • Borraz Fernando, & Lopez-Cordova Jose Ernesto. (2007). Has Globalization Deepened Income Inequality in Mexico? Global Economy Journal, (1), 1. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.a.bpj.glecon.v7y2007i1n6
  • Hulme, K. (2017). Using a framework of human rights and transitional justice for post-conflict environmental protection and remediation. United Kingdom, Europe: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.57866CDC
  • Stone, D. (2008). Global Public Policy, Transnational Policy Communities, and Their Networks. Policy Studies Journal, 36(1), 19–38. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1541-0072.2007.00251.x
  • The Capability Approach, Empowerment and Participation Concepts, Methods and Applications edited by David Alexander Clark, Mario Biggeri, Alexandre Apsan Frediani. (2019). Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.1666722596
  • Wolman, A. (2017). Sub-national Human Rights Institutions:a Definition and Typology. Human Rights Review, 18(1), 87–109. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12142-016-0429-z