Instructor: Jonathan C. Beck
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.