International Studies | Human Rights & Social Movements: International Perspectives
I204 | 12069 | Kousaleos, N.
This class is an introduction to the topic of human rights, the
movements to promote them and the forces arrayed against them, both
past and present. We will examine many of the key issues of human
rights, how they are defined, how respect for them is ensured, and
what they are threatened by. The class will not only consider
contemporary dilemmas in human rights, like humanitarian
intervention, but also historical questions such as how we explain
progressive steps like the end of the slave trade and the creation
of the laws of war. Our concerns will be both empirical and
normative. We want to understand how human rights have evolved over
time, where they have been respected, where they have been violated
and why. But we also want to grapple with ethical questions such as
how much America’s foreign policy should concern itself with human
rights, or whether there is a universal definition of human rights.