LSJ 320 A: The Politics and Law of International Human Rights

Autumn 2021
Meeting:
MWF 9:30am - 10:20am / KNE 210
SLN:
17704
Section Type:
Lecture
Joint Sections:
POL S 368 A
Instructor:
LSJ CORE COURSE.
Syllabus Description (from Canvas):

**Lecture Outlines.**
**Study Guide for Midterm Exam.**
**Guest lecture by Olufemi Taiwo, December 10**

 

THE POLITICS AND LAW OF INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS (LSJ 320/Pol S 368)
University of Washington, Autumn 2021
[https://canvas.uw.edu/courses/1480374]



Instructor: Professor Jamie Mayerfeld                                               Lecture:
Office: Gowen 35                                                                               Kane 210
Office Hours: Tue. 1:30-3:00 and Fri. 10:30-11:30, by Zoom.         MWF 9:30

TAs: Rachel Castellano, Chris Colligan, Lauren Collins, Yulenni Venegas Lopez

Learning in Covid Times:  Together we can protect ourselves and each other from the risk of contracting covid-19. The University of Washington requires faculty, staff, and students to be vaccinated against covid-19. Masks covering mouth and nose must be worn indoors. I recommend that you wear close-fitting masks with effective filters, such as N95, KN95, or KF94 masks, which are now readily available and affordable. If you have symptoms, you must not come to class and you should get tested. For frequently asked questions about UW covid-19 policies, please visit this website. Thank you for doing your part to keep yourself and others safe.

Course 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 and domestic contexts in which it operates. In the first half of the course, we will explore the idea of human rights and study basic components of international human rights law, using the struggle against racial discrimination as a case study. In the second half of the course, we will study a number of contemporary human rights challenges: violations of women’s rights; mass persecution and penal colonies in Xinjiang, China; crimes of war; human rights violations in the “War on Terror”; and what the climate crisis means for human rights.

Resources: This is a core course for both the Law, Societies and Justice Major, and the Human Rights Minor.  The UW Center for Human Rights promotes human rights through teaching, scholarship, and community partnerships.

Community Engagement (optional):  Students who sign up for this optional program work a few hours each week with a local human rights organization, thereby acquiring direct practical experience with the issues discussed in class.  Choosing the community engagement option is one way to satisfy the experiential learning requirement of the Human Rights Minor.  You can access the Community Engagement & Leadership Education website at http://cele.uw.edu/.

Readings:  Students are required to keep up with a full, though not unreasonable, schedule of readings.  Reading assignments are keyed to lecture sessions, in which informed classroom discussion will play an integral role.  (In other words, I expect you to be able to answer questions about the readings when called on to do so in lecture.)

Texts:  Most readings will be provided as Internet links or electronic PDFs.  You have the option of assembling these as a printed course packet.  In addition, two books are available for purchase.

    Minky Worden, ed., The Unfinished Revolution: Voices from the Global Fight for Women’s Rights (2012)
    Darren Byler, In the Camps: China’s High-Tech Penal Colony (2021)

Recommended Texts: It may be convenient to purchase a printed collection of major international human rights documents.  I recommend any of the following, which can be found and purchased online: 25+ Human Rights Documents (Columbia University, 2005); Blackstone’s International Human Rights Documents (Oxford University Press, 2012); Selected International Human Rights Instruments, ed. Weissbrodt et al. (LexisNexis or Anderson, various editions).

Another recommended text, which will help you in this and other classes, is Mika and Daniele LaVaque-Manty, Writing in Political Science: A Brief Guide (2015).  The book provides smart advice for approaching college writing assignments of various kinds.

Quiz Sections:  Quiz sections are your opportunity to explore and debate class material in greater depth, and to resolve any misunderstandings.  Students are expected to attend quiz sections regularly and to contribute informed comments to class discussion.

Research Paper: This assignment asks you to research a human rights topic using resources from the Internet.  Detailed instructions appear below.  Papers are due by electronic submission on Monday, November 22.

Exams: There will be two exams (Fri. Oct. 29 and Wed. Dec. 15) to test your knowledge and understanding of course material.  A study guide will be circulated a week before the midterm exam. The final exam will be a take-home exam.

Office Hours: You are all encouraged to visit me during my office hours, Tuesdays between 1:30 and 3:00 and Fridays, between 10:30 and 11:30.  Office hours will be held by Zoom at this link: https://washington.zoom.us/j/6361929130.

GRADING:

Research Paper                       35%                 Due on Mon. Nov. 22
Midterm Exam                        25%                 Fri. Oct. 29
Final Exam                             25%                 Wed. Dec. 15, 8:30-10:20 am
Participation                           15%

Academic Integrity:  Cheating and plagiarism are offenses against academic integrity and are subject to disciplinary action by the University.  Plagiarism is copying someone else’s work and presenting it as your own (by not attributing it to its true source).  If you are uncertain what constitutes plagiarism, please ask me or your TA. The Political Science/JSIS/LSJ/CHID Writing Center also offers guidance on plagiarism: depts.washington.edu/pswrite/Handouts/Plagiarism.pdf.

VeriCite.  The University has a license agreement with VeriCite, an educational tool that helps prevent or identify plagiarism from Internet resources. I will require students to submit their research papers electronically to be checked by VeriCite. The VeriCite Report will indicate the amount of original text in your work and whether all material that you quoted, paraphrased, summarized, or used from another source is appropriately referenced.

Students with Disabilities Provisions:  If you wish to request academic accommodations due to a disability, please contact the Disability Resources for Students Office (DRS), 011 Mary Gates Hall, uwdrs@uw.edu, or 543-8924.  If you have a letter from DRS indicating that you have a disability that requires special accommodations, please present the letter to me.

Religious Accommodations. Washington state law requires that UW develop a policy for accommodation of student absences or significant hardship due to reasons of faith or conscience, or for organized religious activities. The UW’s policy, including more information about how to request an accommodation, can be seen here. Accommodations must be requested within the first two weeks of this course using the Religious Accommodations Request form.

Maintaining a Respectful Learning Environment: This course will lead into discussion of controversial social and political topics.  Discussion should be open to a wide range of perspectives, and everyone should feel comfortable about participating.  We will facilitate learning if we engage discussion with respect and empathy for one another.  Contradictory views are encouraged, and can contribute to learning as long as everyone remains open to new information and willing to learn from people with different perspectives and life experiences.  Please avoid inflammatory, derogatory and insulting words and personal attacks. Such conduct inhibits learning and prevents the free exchange of ideas.  No one, not even your instructor and TAs, is perfect.  We all make mistakes and have the potential to learn from our mistakes.  We generally advise against using social media to comment negatively on individuals in this class.  If you have concerns or complaints, please communicate them to us.

RESEARCH PAPER

Papers are due on Monday, November 22, to be submitted electronically via VeriCite no later than 11:59 pm.  They should be 7-10 pages in length, double-spaced.  State your name and your TA’s name at the top of the first page.  Give your paper a title, and number your pages. 

In this paper you are asked to examine a major contemporary human rights problem in a particular country. Your main goals are (1) to describe the problem, (2) identify the human rights being violated, and (3) suggest thoughtful recommendations for addressing the problem.  In this way, your paper will combine description, legal analysis, and policy recommendations.  Note that policy recommendations will often be connected to a discussion of the causes of the problem. 

The overall purpose of this exercise is to use a human rights perspective for understanding and seeking to remedy a severe social injustice. You are expected to fashion a coherent narrative, and to identify the most significant overall findings of your investigation. Those findings should be stated in the introduction of your essay, and reviewed in the conclusion.

The following instructions are intended to help you complete the necessary research for your paper. Once you have compiled the needed information, you still need to analyze and organize what you have learned in the form of a clear, cogent, and persuasive discussion meeting the objectives outlined above.

1. You first want to choose a topic and learn about it. For information, please consult one or more of the following sources.

a. Amnesty International https://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/countries/. This page organizes information by country. Navigate your way to in-depth reports, available as PDFs, that you can use as the basis of your research. (In other words, don’t rely on the brief online summaries.)

b. Human Rights Watch hrw.org. This page leads by various channels to HRW’s voluminous research.  Look for the in-depth reports, available as PDFs, that you can use for your research. (As before, don’t rely on brief online summaries.)

c. American Civil Liberties Union https://www.aclu.org/issues/human-rights. Limited to the U.S. Choose a topic under the Issues tab. Click on “Reports” in the search box. Browse the links to find relevant reports.

d. US State Department Country Reports https://www.state.gov/reports/2020-country-reports-on-human-rights-practices/. Does not include the U.S.  Search by country on the right or below.

In addition, you may want to consult the annual world reports of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, also available online.  Nexis Uni (UW restricted) will help you locate relevant news articles.  You may consult other sources if you wish.

Scholarly articles and journalistic accounts may help you acquire a deeper understanding of your topic.  To find such sources, I recommend using Google Scholar, Academic Search Complete, and/or the UW Libraries Search box.

2. You next want to identify the specific human rights that are being violated. Be alert to all the relevant human rights, and think about how violations of one human right can undermine others. I advise starting with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  In many or most cases, this document will help you begin to identify and conceptualize the human rights in question.  But not always, and in that case, you should note the ways in which the UDHR ignores the relevant rights.

You also want to see whether the rights are enshrined in the national constitution and international human rights law.  Read the national constitution, and discuss what protections it does or does not promise for the rights in question.  You will find most constitutions on www.constituteproject.org. Click on “Constitutions” to see countries listed alphabetically.  (There are other ways of finding national constitutions online.)

Identify relevant UN human rights treaties, and describe how the rights are defined in those treaties. In most cases you should confine your attention to the “Core International Human Rights Instruments” listed here: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/CoreInstruments.aspx. In rare cases, you may want to consult this longer catalogue: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/UniversalHumanRightsInstruments.aspx. Here is the portal to the UN page on international human rights law: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/index.htm.

If you like, you can see whether the country you are studying has ratified the relevant UN treaties.  This website shows you which major global human rights each country has ratified: https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/TreatyBodyExternal/Treaty.aspx.  In most cases, this will be enough information, but if you want to track down ratification information about other treaties, visit http://treaties.un.org/Pages/Treaties.aspx?id=4&subid=A&lang=en . A country has ratified a treaty if there is a date appearing in the “Accession, Succession, Ratification” column.

Optional:  If the country you are studying is located in Europe, Africa, or the Americas, you might also like to consult the relevant regional human rights treaty – the European Convention on Human Rights, the American Convention on Human Rights, or the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.  How does the regional human rights treaty address (or fail to address) the issue in question?  If you want to learn whether the country has ratified the relevant regional human rights treaty, you can consult ratification lists for Africa, the Americas, and Europe. Again, this is optional.

Important:  Although we want you to identify the international human rights law provisions relevant to your topic, you should (in most cases) convey this information briefly and efficiently in your paper. This important information should (in most cases) take up relatively little text. 

Note: Some of you may choose to write about abuses committed by insurgent groups or rebel armies.  Though such organizations do not ratify international treaties, human rights law may still be relevant to evaluating their conduct.  You should refer to the Universal Declaration and any treaties that seem relevant.  Moreover, insurgent organizations, like states, are governed by the law of armed conflict.  You may therefore want to consult Articles 6-8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, viewable here: https://www.icc-cpi.int/resource-library/Documents/RS-Eng.pdf.

3. Finally, you want to develop policy recommendations for the problem. Depending on the nature of the problem, your recommendations may be addressed to governments (or insurgent groups), social groups, national citizens, international actors, and/or human rights organizations. To develop your recommendations, think through the nature and causes of the problem, the responsible parties, and the kinds of actions, reforms, and transformations needed to provide an effective and durable remedy. Try to be thoughtful, practical, critical, and constructive. Show that you have thought carefully about the problem, and have cogent advice to offer the relevant parties. This is your chance to bring your learning and wisdom to bear in a helpful manner.

You must document sources for all specific information provided in your essay.  You may use either footnotes, endnotes, or parenthetical references that refer to a bibliography on the back page.  Use a standard format (e.g., Chicago or MLA) and be consistent.  Your citation should include enough information to identify the source clearly.  Subsequent citations to the same report should be abbreviated.  Examples:

  1. Human Rights Watch (HRW), “Like I’m Drowning”: Children and Families Sent to Harm by the US ‘Remain in Mexico’ Program, January 2021, p. 81.
  2. HRW, “Like I’m Drowning,” 42.
  3. International Covenant on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), art. 3.
  4. CERD, art. 9.

Helpful information on citation practices are provided by the POLS/LSJ/JSIS Writing Center and the UW Library.

 

CALENDAR OF READING ASSIGNMENTS

(under construction)

Introduction

Wednesday, September 29: Introduction (no readings)

Friday, October 1: Introduction, continued.  We will meet by Zoom, at this link: https://washington.zoom.us/j/94454141607.  (Please do not share outside class.)

Take a look at the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  We will return to this document.

The Idea of Human Rights as Reflected in Local, National, and International Rights Charters

Monday, October 4

Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Read the Preamble and first few articles.

Constitution of the State of Washington. Read Article I: Declaration of Rights.

US Declaration of Independence (1776).  Read the Preamble, that is, the opening paragraphs up to “He has refused….”

Frederick Douglass, “What to a Slave is the Fourth of July?” (1852) (excerpt)

US Constitution.  Read as closely as you like, but pay most attention to provisions relating to rights, including Article I, Sections 9 and 10; Article III, Sections 2 and 3; Article IV, Section 4; Article VI; Amendments 1 through 10 (the “Bill of Rights”), 13 through 15 (the “Civil War Amendments”), and 19 (granting women the right to vote).

Pay attention to the ways in which the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, US Declaration of Independence, Washington Constitution, and US Constitution all claim to uphold individual rights. What ideas and commitments do these documents have in common? Why, for Frederick Douglass, are American celebrations of the Declaration of Independence a source of bitterness? Are his reflections still relevant today?

Wednesday, October 6

Micheline Ishay, The History of Human Rights (2004), pp. 211-225.

United Nations Charter (1945), Preamble, Articles 1, 2, 7, 13, 23-25, 27, 55, 56, 62, 68.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)

How does the UN Charter provide support for human rights?  Does it also undermine human rights?  What historical process led to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?  Is there an underlying principle that grounds the rights asserted in the Declaration?  How do the rights asserted in the Declaration relate to each other?  How does the Declaration differ from the US Bill of Rights?  Does it assert too many rights?  Too few?

Friday, October 8

Reread the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

We will continue discussing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

 

The Idea of Universal Human Rights

Monday, October 11

Maurice Cranston, “Human Rights, Real and Supposed” (1967)

Jamie Mayerfeld, "Socioeconomic Rights" (2016)

Should human rights include economic, social and cultural rights?

Wednesday, October 13

American Anthropological Association, “Statement on Human Rights” (1947)

Jamie Mayerfeld, "The Relativist Challenge" (2016)

Makau Mutua, “Savages, Victims, and Saviors: The Metaphor of Human Rights” (2001) (excerpt)

China's Charter 08

OPTIONAL: Susan Waltz, “Reclaiming and Rebuilding the History of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights” (2002)

Are human rights universal, or culturally specific?  Do they, or can they, become a vehicle for Western imperialism? Should the definition of human rights vary across different societies?

 

Customary International Law

Friday, October 15

Statute of the International Court of Justice (1945), Art. 38

Mark Janis, Introduction to International Law, 3rd ed. (1999), pp. 41-59, 62-66, 80-83

What are the sources of international law?  What is customary international law?  What qualifies a norm for the status of customary international law, and who decides?  Why do we need customary international law?  What is the power, and what are the limits, of international human rights law?

Monday, October 18

Filartiga v. Peña-Irala, 630 F. 2d 876, US Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit, 1980

Judge Kaufman faced two questions in this case. The first was whether he should hear the case at all. The second was whether the alleged torture by the defendant was a violation of international law. How did Judge Kaufman answer these two questions? How is his opinion about torture an illustration of customary international law reasoning?

 

Treaty Law and the UN Human Rights Treaties

Wednesday, October 20

SKIM: Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (1969)

International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) (1965), Preamble and Articles 1 through 7

Gay J. McDougall, “Toward a Meaningful International Regime: The Domestic Relevance of International Efforts to Eliminate All Forms of Racial Discrimination” (1997) (excerpts)

How does treaty law differ from customary international law?  What are the stages in which treaty law is formed?  What is the legal significance of the CERD?  How does the CERD go beyond the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? Is it more demanding than the U.S. Constitution, and if so how? Do you think the United States is in compliance with the CERD? Why or why not? 

Friday, October 22

OPTIONALInternational Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) (1965), Preamble and Articles 8 through 25

OPTIONAL: Julie A. Mertus, “UN Treaty Bodies,” in Mertus, The United Nations and Human Rights (2005)

NOTE: We will cover this material more briefly, and I have made the readings optional.  How do the monitoring committees of the UN human rights treaties seek to promote nation-state compliance?  What are the powers of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination? How can it contribute to the protection of human rights, and what factors limit its effectiveness? How can human rights advocates make use of the Committee to further their cause?  

Human Rights Violations in the U.S. Criminal Justice System

Monday, October 25

Keisha Blain, Violence in Minneapolis is rooted in the history of racist policing in America" (2020)

The Sentencing Project, Report Regarding Racial Disparities in the United States Criminal Justice System (2018)

OPTIONAL: Rodney Balko, "There’s overwhelming evidence that the criminal justice system is racist. Here’s the proof" (2020)

Do racial disparities in the U.S. criminal legal system constitute racial discrimination? Do they place the United States in violation of international human rights law? What should be done to address this problem?  How should this be understood as a human rights problem?    

Wednesday, October 27

Continued discussion of racial discrimination and other human rights violations in the U.S. criminal law system.

**Friday, October 29: MIDTERM EXAM**

 

Women's Rights

Monday, November 1.  (Note: I have assigned a total of nine chapters from the Worden volume.  If you like, you can skip one of them.)

Minky Worden, ed., The Unfinished Revolution, chapters 11-13

How do we prevent war crimes against women? What have been the sources of women’s rights violations in Afghanistan?

Wednesday, November 3

Worden, chapters 21-23

Graham Lee Brewer, “Native American women face an epidemic of violence,” NBC News, June 30, 2021. Available as PDF.

What are the causes of female poverty and ill health?  Is this properly seen as a human rights issue?  What should be done about the problem?  What cultural transformations are necessary to honor women’s human rights?  Are these most effectively pursued through the law or outside the law?  What should be the central strategies of the women’s rights movement? Why is there an epidemic of violence against Native American women, and what should be done about the problem?

Friday, November 5

Worden, chapters 14, 18, 19

What should be done to better protect women from violence and abuse in the United States?  What are the legal, economic, and cultural vulnerabilities that expose women to a higher risk of violence, abuse, poverty, and ill health?

Mass Persecutions and Penal Colonies in Xinjiang, China

Monday, November 8

Darren Byler, In the Camps: China’s High-Tech Penal Colony, Introduction and Chapters 1-2 (pp. 10-61).

Why is the Chinese government detaining large numbers of people in Xinjiang province?  How does it seek to defend the policy?  How would you describe its surveillance practices, and how do they enable mass detentions?  How does China’s political system make these actions possible?

Wednesday, November 10

Byler, chapters 3-4 (pp. 62-102).

What is happening inside the camps?  What is the effect of China’s policy on minority communities in Xinjiang?  What is the Chinese government trying to do?

Friday, November 12. Today we will meet by Zoom to hear a guest lecture by Darren Byler and Mutallip Anwar.

Byler, chapter 5 and Conclusion (pp. 102-35).

How, if at all, can Chinese citizens and officials resist their government’s mass detention policy?  How do international companies become complicit in China’s actions?  In what ways has Seattle been drawn into the problem?

The Law of War and Crimes of War

Monday, November 15

Peter John Rowe, “Law of War,” Britannica Online Encyclopedia (2018)
International Law Documents on the Law of War:
Martens Clause (1899)
International Court of Justice, Advisory Opinion on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons (1996), paragraph 78
1907 Hague Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, Articles 22-28
1949 Geneva Conventions, Common Article 3
1949 Geneva Contentions, Grave Breaches Provisions
1977 Geneva Protocol I, Articles 48-51

What connection, if any, is there between the ancient tradition of the law of war and the more recent tradition of human rights law?  What are the core principles of the law of war?  Why should states heed restraints on the conduct of war? 

Wednesday, November 17

Anand Gopal, “America’s War on Syrian Civilians” (2020)

Were the United States’ aerial campaigns in Syria in compliance with the law of war?  Has the United States found loopholes in the law of war that allow it to inflict “permissible” devastation on civilians?  Should we try to improve the law of war?  Should we leave law of war reasoning behind?

Friday, November 19: Guest lecture by Enoka Herat (ACLU Washington) on immigrant rights

Monday, November 22.  ***Research papers are due.***

Human Rights Abuses in the U.S. “War on Terror”

Monday, November 22

“The ICC at a Glance” (2021)

Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (1998), Articles 5-8 bis. Or access through this website: https://www.icc-cpi.int/resource-library/Documents/RS-Eng.pdf

Anand Gopal, “The Other Afghan Women” (2021)

What is the mission and structure of the International Criminal Court (ICC)? What crimes is the ICC authorized to punish? In what ways did the United States’ violate human rights, including women’s rights, in Afghanistan? What are the dangers of skewed or partial vision when thinking about human rights?

Wednesday, November 24

Katherine Hawkins, “State Secrets That Aren’t Secret” (2021)

Murat Kurnaz, “Notes From a Guantánamo Survivor” (2012)

Lakdhar Boumediene, “My Guantánamo Nightmare” (2012)

How and why did the United States come to practice torture in clear violation of domestic and international law?  How should we evaluate the United States' policy of indefinite detention in Guantánamo Bay from a legal, moral, and strategic perspective? What are the responsibilities of the United States in the wake of its "War on Terror" detention and interrogation policies?  

The Climate Crisis and Human Rights

Monday, November 29.  Readings on the threat posed by a warming climate.

David Wallace-Wells, “The Uninhabitable Earth,”New York Magazine, July 10, 2017.  Available as PDF.

Bill McKibben, “This Is How Human Extinction Could Play Out,” Rolling Stone, April 9, 2019.  Available as PDF.

Jonathan Watts, We have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe, warns UN,” The Guardian, October 8, 2018.  Available as PDF.

Brad Plumer and Henry Fountain, “A Hotter Future Is Certain, Climate Panel Warns. But How Hot Is Up to Us,” New York Times, August 9, 2021.  Available as PDF.

Umair Irfan, “What’s the worst that could happen? These five climate scenarios show us what the future of the planet could look like,” Vox, September 10, 2021.  Available as PDF. 

Damian Carrington, “Greenland ice sheet on brink of major tipping point, says study,” The Guardian, May 17, 2021.  Available as PDF. 

Reading question: How serious is the climate crisis?

Wednesday, December 1. Readings on climate policy and politics.

Washington Post Editorial Board, “Want a Green New Deal? Here’s a Better One,” September 24, 2019.  Available as PDF.

Matto Mildenberger and Leah Stokes, “The Trouble with Carbon Pricing,” Boston Review, September 24, 2020.  Available as PDF.

Leah Stokes, “The Infrastructure Bill Won’t Cut It on Climate,” The Atlantic, July 14, 2021.  Available as PDF.

Brad Plumer and Winston Choi-Schagrin, “Major Climate Action at Stake in Fight Over Twin Bills Pending in Congress,” New York Times, October 10, 2021.  Available as PDF.

John Cook et al. (2019), America Misled: How the fossil fuel industry deliberately misled Americans about climate change, George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication, 2019.  Available as PDF.

Reading questions: What are the best policies to address the climate crisis? What are the prospects for responsible climate policy? What are the obstacles to responsible climate policy?

Friday, December 3. Indigenous perspectives.

Robin Wall Kimmerer, “Skywoman Falling,” in Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass (Minneapolis: Milkweed, 2013).

Glen Coulthard, “For Our Nations to Live, Capitalism Must Die,” Unsettling America, November 5, 2013

Nick Cunningham, “Indigenous Resistance Instrumental in Stopping High-Profile Fossil Fuel Projects, Says Report,” DeSmog, September 8, 2021.  Available as PDF.

Reading question: What can we learn from Indigenous perspectives on the environment and climate justice?

Monday, December 6. The climate crisis and human rights.

Amnesty International, “Governments Must Stop Conniving with Fossil Fuel Industries to Burn Our Rights,” June 6, 2021.  Available as PDF.

Alex Rafalowicz, “This is why we need a fossil fuel treaty,”  World Economic Forum, August 19, 2021.  Available as PDF.

Anna-Christina Schmidl, “No more procrastination on climate change, says German Constitutional Court in landmark decision,” Universal Rights Blog, May 26, 2021.  Available as PDF.

Reading question: How should we respond to the climate crisis from a human rights perspective?

Wednesday, December 8. Readings on climate justice.

Olufemi Taiwi and Beba Cibralic, “The Case for Climate Reparations,” Foreign Policy, October 10, 2020.  Available as PDF.

Patrick Greenfield, “Madagascar paying price for cheap European flights, says climate minister,”The Guardian, November 6, 2021.  Available as PDF.

Fiona Harvey, “World's richest 1% cause double CO2 emissions of poorest 50%, says Oxfam,”The Guardian, September 20, 2020.  Available as PDF.

Study questions: What are the obligations of climate justice? How may the extend climate policy as normally understood?

Friday, December 10: Guest lecture by Olufemi Taiwo on the topic of climate justice.

The final exam will be a take home exam due by 10:30 am, Wednesday, December 15.

The University of Washington lies on the traditional land of the Coast Salish people, land which touches the shared waters of all tribes and bands within the Duwamish, Puyallup, Suquamish, Tulalip and Muckleshoot nations.

 

Catalog Description:
Studies the international human rights movement in its legal and political context. Focuses on institutions which influence, enable, and constrain the international promotion of human rights. Offered: jointly with POL S 368.
GE Requirements Met:
Diversity (DIV)
Social Sciences (SSc)
Credits:
5.0
Status:
Active
Last updated:
July 11, 2024 - 9:39 am