PSCI 420
Senior Seminar: Human Rights in International Politics and Law Fall 2012
Division II Writing Skills
Cross-listed PSCI 420 / JLST 401
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The idea that all humans have rights simply because they are human-independent of anything they might do or achieve-has transformed local and international politics, probably permanently. This concept’s place in international politics, its strengths and limitations, depend on how people use it. Beginning with the 18th-century’s transatlantic movement to abolish slavery, we will examine international movements and institutions that have affected what human rights mean, to whom, and where. Readings draw on philosophy, history, sociology, and international relations, but as a political science class we emphasize politics. Who benefits from the idea of universal human rights? Who loses? How does this idea about individual value liberate and entrap? Does this idea ultimately reinforce American hegemony, or plant the seeds of a non-American order?
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 18
Expected: 18
Class#: 1784
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: two essays on common topics, a turn as class discussion leader, an independent research paper; active and constructive participation in class
Prerequisites: Political Science 202, senior standing, permission of instructor
Enrollment Preferences: Political Science majors; seniors
Unit Notes: formerly PSCI 269
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
PSCI 420 Division II JLST 401 Division II
Attributes: PSCI International Relations Courses
PSCI Research Courses

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