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

Summer 2021 Full-term
MW 2:20pm - 4:30pm / * *
Section Type:
Joint Sections:
POL S 368 A
Jonathan C Beck
Syllabus Description (from Canvas):

Hey you! Are you trying to figure out what you can be working on this week? Check out Modules for all your weekly readings and assignments! You can also check in with the Syllabus.

Are you not sure where to start for your Final Project? Be sure to check out our Research Resources page and to reach out to the instructor ( or librarian Emily Keller.


Instructor:                       Jonathan C. Beck
Office:                              Virtual
Office hours:                   Wednesdays 12:00-2:00 or by appt - I am flexible and available to support you!

Mondays and Wednesdays 2:20-4:30 p.m.
Summer Quarter | June 21 - August 20 (final project due: Friday, August 20 at midnight)



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, social movements, customary international law, treaty law, and international tribunals.

The course is organized into two sections. In the first section, we will explore the emergence of the international human rights movement, international human rights institutions, and debates over the significance and power of human rights. In the second section, we will consider human rights in practice, exploring historical and contemporary human rights challenges and struggles. Each week will be categorized thematically, and we will integrate legal and institutional analysis with bottom-up studies of ordinary people struggling for human rights.

Poster representation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by artist Larissa Punzalan. The artist explains: "The project’s objective was to create a poster for the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. To make the poster visually appealing, the bold san serif fonts and bright colors were used. The background is also given a bold teal blue color and the fist graphics have a monochrome palette to contrast with the bolder background. The fists were used as a background for the article texts, as it is often used as a symbol for the human rights."  

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)
Last updated:
July 11, 2024 - 6:00 am