General Description and Objectives of the Course

Intro to Human Rights is a 6-credit core course for students who are pursuing Human Rights concentration, which offers an introduction to contemporary human rights discourses in their broader historical and theoretical contexts. The course enables students to understand basic philosophy of human rights, principles and place of human rights in modern world. Students acquire essential knowledge of substantive areas of human rights; the emergence of human rights as such, their historical background, sources and legal-institutional development. Furthermore, it examines the philosophical background of the contested categories making up the terms, “human” and “rights”. It explores the philosophical, political, legal, and cultural dimensions of the claims made by these terms. Finally, students consider the foundations of rights claims, the legal and violent ways of advancing, defending and enforcing rights, and human rights instruments and institutions.