1. Reading 6 items
    In addition to detailed weekly reading lists, the following texts are recommended as core introductory reading that will give you a good overview of the key debates in human rights as well as the issues and conceptual frameworks employed in the course. While you are not obliged to purchase any books, we would recommend the Goodhart textbook as a good purchase, particularly if you do not have existing foundation in the study of human rights from a social sciences perspective.
    1. Core Text 2 items
      1. Human rights: the hard questions - Askews & Holts Library Services 2013

        Book Essential

    2. Further recommended introductory reading 4 items
      1. Universal human rights in a world of difference - Brooke A. Ackerly 2008 (electronic resource)

        Book Recommended

      2. From the margins of globalization: critical perspectives on human rights - Neve Gordon c2004

        Book Recommended

      3. Women's human rights: seeking gender justice in a globalizing age - Niamh Reilly 2009

        Book Recommended

      4. Silencing human rights: critical engagements with a contested project - Gurminder K. Bhambra, Robbie Shilliam 2009

        Book Recommended

  2. Week 1: Introduction: Critical perspectives on the politics of human rights 24 items
    In this introductory session we will begin to unpack the contested nature of human rights and also consider what a ‘critical’ perspective on human rights is and why it is necessary in order to constructively engage with human rights in theory and practice.
    1. Listen 2 items
    2. Essential Reading 12 items
      1. Human rights: politics and practice 2016

        Book Essential See: Introduction: Human rights: Politics and practice, pp. 1-8.

      2. The human right to dominate - Nicola Perugini, Neve Gordon 2015

        Book Essential See: ‘Introduction: Human Rights as Domination’.

    3. Further Reading 10 items
      1. Examining Critical Perspectives on Human Rights - Rob Dickinson, Elena Katselli, Colin Murray, Ole W. Pedersen 2012 (electronic resource)

        Book Further See: Pedersen and Murray, ‘Examining critical perspectives on human rights: an Introduction’.

      2. The politics of the human - Anne Phillips 2015

        Book Further

      3. From the margins of globalization: critical perspectives on human rights - Neve Gordon c2004

        Book Further See: Gordon, N., 'Introduction: human rights as being marginal in the world'. Available online.

  3. Week 2: Theories and Philosophies of Human Rights 22 items
    In this class we build upon the previous three weeks and focus in more detail upon the philosophy of human rights. Using Dembour’s typology of human rights we appraise the four approaches of natural law (universalism), deliberative, protest and discourse. We also contextualise this more broadly by debating the political implications of theorising human rights.
    1. Essential Reading 3 items
      1. Human rights: politics and practice 2016

        Book Essential See: Langlois, Normative and theoretical foundations of human rights, pp. 11-25. Available online.

    2. Further Reading 19 items
      1. Human rights in global politics - Timothy Dunne, Nicholas J. Wheeler 1999

        Book Further See: Booth, K. Three Tyrannies, pp. 31-70. Available online.

      2. Universal Approaches 5 items
        1. Human rights: essays on justification and applications - Alan Gewirth 1982

          Book Further

        2. Global justice and transnational politics: essays on the moral and political challenges of globalization - Pablo De Greiff, Ciaran Cronin 2002

          Book Further See: Nussbaum, M. Capabilities and Human Rights.

        3. The quality of life - Martha Craven Nussbaum, Amartya Sen, Oxford University Press, World Institute for Development Economics Research 1993 (electronic resource)

          Book Further See: Nussbaum, M. Non-Relative Virtues: An Aristotelian Approach.

      3. Discourse Theories 4 items
        1. Human rights in cross-cultural perspectives: a quest for consensus - ʻAbd Allāh Aḥmad Naʻīm c1992

          Book Further

        2. A new politics of identity: political principles for an interdependent world - Bhikhu C. Parekh 2008

          Book Further

        3. Ideology of Human Rights, The - Mutua, Makau Wa 1995-1996

          Article Further

      4. Protest Theories 2 items
        1. The Paradoxes of Human Rights - Costas Douzinas 03/2013

          Article Further

        2. Human rights and empire: the political philosophy of cosmopolitanism - Costas Douzinas, Dawson Books 2007 (electronic resource)

          Book Further

  4. Week 3: Human Rights: A Critical History Part 1 - Contested Origins 20 items
    We begin the course by considering recent scholarship scrutinising the origins of human rights in theory and practice. Although some scholars have traced human rights back to the Greeks and Romans there is no uncontested trajectory of their development. Indeed, attempts to delineate a Western tradition are fraught by charges of false universalism that obscures the exclusion of non-western others. In this class we adopt a critical approach to studying the history of human rights that enables us to engage carefully with their conflicting histories and the implications for contemporary understanding of rights.
    1. Essential Reading 5 items
      1. The evolution of international human rights: visions seen - Paul Gordon Lauren c2011

        Book Essential See: pp. 1-28

      2. The last utopia: human rights in history - Samuel Moyn, Askews & Holts Library Services 2010

        Book Essential See: Prologue.

    2. Further Reading 15 items
      1. Human Rights Histories 12 items
        1. Qui Parle: Critical Humanities and Social Sciences 2013

          Journal Further Special Issue: Human Rights between Past and Future.

        2. The challenge of human rights: origin, development, and significance - John Mahoney 2007

          Book Essential See: Chapter 1, available online.

        3. Human rights and the uses of history - Samuel Moyn 2014

          Book Further

        4. Silencing human rights: critical engagements with a contested project - Gurminder K. Bhambra, Robbie Shilliam 2009

          Book Further See: Grovogui, Siba N. No More, No Less: What Slaves Thought About Their Humanity, pp. 43-60, available online.

        5. Human rights in world history - Peter N. Stearns, Ebooks Corporation Limited 2012 (electronic resource)

          Book Further See: Chapter 3.

        6. The history of human rights: from ancient times to the globalization era - Micheline Ishay, Ebooks Corporation Limited 2008

          Book Further See: Chapters 1 & 2.

        7. The evolution of international human rights: visions seen - Paul Gordon Lauren c2003

          Book Further

      2. Watch 3 items
  5. Week 4: Human Rights: A Critical History Part 2- The Twentieth Century: Human Rights High Points to the end times of human rights? 58 items
    In this class we continue building a critical history of human rights practice and philosophy by examining human rights in the twentieth century. We will examine the supposed ‘high points’ of the internationalisation of human rights in the mid-twentieth century, the 1970s and the post-cold war world. The critiques of week 3 serve as a continuing framework to engage with non-western perspectives using a focus upon human rights issues in decolonisation and contemporary critiques of human rights that raise questions as to the imperialistic nature of the current human rights regime. We conclude the class with a consideration as to whether we are facing the end times of human rights.
    1. Essential Reading 5 items
      1. The politics of human rights: a global perspective - Tony Evans, Ebooks Corporation Limited 2005

        Book Essential See: Chapter 1.

      2. Human rights: politics and practice 2016

        Book Essential See: Chandler, D. Contemporary Critiques of Human Rights, pp. 110-126, available online.

      3. The human rights revolution: an international history - Akira Iriye, Petra Goedde, William I. Hitchcock c2012

        Book Essential See: Moyn, S. Imperialism, Self-determination and the Rise of Human Rights, pp. 159-178, available online.

      4. Debating the Endtimes of Human Rights - Lars van Troost, Doutje Lettinga 2013

        Document Essential See: Hopgood S., 'The endtimes of human rights', pp. 11-18.

    2. Further Reading 42 items
      1. Human Rights in the 20th Century 10 items
        1. The human rights revolution: an international history - Akira Iriye, Petra Goedde, William I. Hitchcock c2012

          Book Further

        2. Human rights in world history - Peter N. Stearns, Ebooks Corporation Limited 2012 (electronic resource)

          Book Further See: Chapter 5.

        3. International human rights - Jack Donnelly, Ebooks Corporation Limited c2013 (electronic resource)

          Book Further See: Chapter 1.

        4. The challenge of human rights: origin, development, and significance - John Mahoney 2007

          Book Further See: Chapter 5.

      2. Human Rights and Decolonization 7 items
        1. Decolonization and the evolution of international human rights - Roland Burke c2010

          Book Further

        2. Imperialism, Sovereignty and the Making of International Law - Antony Anghie 2005 (electronic resource)

          Book Further See: Anghie, Antony. Colonialism and the birth of international institutions: the Mandate System of the League of Nations.

        3. The evolution of international human rights: visions seen - Paul Gordon Lauren c2003

          Book 

      3. The End of Human Rights? 25 items
        1. Evidence for hope: making human rights work in the 21st century - Kathryn Sikkink 2017

          Book Further

        2. Debating the Endtimes of Human Rights - Lars van Troost, Doutje Lettinga 2013

          Document Further See: pp. 11-18.

        3. The endtimes of human rights - Stephen Hopgood 2013

          Book Further

        4. Against Human Rights - Slavoj Žižek July-August 2005

          Article Further

        5. The end of liberal international order? - G. John Ikenberry 01/01/2018

          Article Further

        6. The end of the liberal order? - Niall Ferguson, Fareed Zakaria 2017

          Book Further

        7. Can human rights survive? - C. A. Gearty 2006

          Book Further

        8. The twilight of human rights law - Eric A. Posner, Dawson Books 2014

          Book Further

        9. Human rights and empire: the political philosophy of cosmopolitanism - Costas Douzinas, Dawson Books 2007 (electronic resource)

          Book Further

        10. The Paradoxes of Human Rights - Costas Douzinas 03/2013

          Article Further

    3. Part 2 Politics and Practices of Human Rights 11 items
      In this section of the course we deepen our understanding of human rights by moving to examine the particular practices of human rights. We consider what activism they have facilitated and where their limitations and contestations become evident. To prepare yourself for part two you should read:
      1. AND/OR

      2. Symposium on Joe Hoover's Reconstructing Human Rights: A Pragmatist and Pluralist Inquiry into Global Ethics:

      3. Further Reading 2 items
        1. Third world quarterly - Third World Foundation (Great Britain), EBSCO Publishing (Firm), JSTOR (Organization) (electronic resource)

          Journal Further Special Issue: The power of human rights/the human rights of power.

  6. Week 5: Feminist Perspectives on Human Rights and Rights Backlash 35 items
    Feminist critiques and campaigning on the limitations of human rights for protecting women have highlighted key tensions in claims about universal access to human rights protection. While transnational feminist activism has transformed the jurisdiction of human rights in legislation, this has also revealed the difficulties of culture, representation and inequality of representation of ‘second’ and ‘third’ world women’s voices in defining the human rights priorities and practices for women. In addition, despite the successes, women’s access to human rights remain under threat globally. In this session, an introductory lecture will outline what a feminist perspective on human rights is and how this transformed the politics and practice of human rights.
    1. Essential Reading 3 items
      1. Inside Outsiders - Liz Kelly 12/2005

        Article Essential

    2. Backlash Case Study 7 items
    3. Further Reading 25 items
      1. Rights: sociological perspectives - Lydia Morris, Dawson Books 2006 (electronic resource)

        Book Further See: Elson, D. Women's rights as human rights: campaigns and concepts.

      2. Demanding Justice in The Global South: Claiming Rights - SpringerLink (Online service) 2017 (electronic resource)

        Book Further See: Elias, J., Situating Women’s Rights in Everyday Life: The EMPOWER Women’s Human Rights Report, pp. 129-150.

      3. Gender and culture at the limit of rights - Dorothy Louise Hodgson 2013

        Book Further

      4. Universal human rights in a world of difference - Brooke A. Ackerly, Ebooks Corporation Limited 2008 (electronic resource)

        Book Further See: Universal human rights in a world of difference: challenging our thinking, pp. 1-41.

      5. Human rights of women: national and international perspectives - Rebecca J. Cook c1994

        Book Further

      6. Human rights and gender violence: translating international law into local justice - Sally Engle Merry 2006

        Book Further

      7. Negotiating culture and human rights - Lynda Schaefer Bell, Andrew J. Nathan, Ilan Peleg c2001

        Book Further See: Peach, L J. Are Women Human? The Promise and Perils of Women's Rights as Human Rights. Available online.

      8. Women's rights human rights: international feminist perspectives - Julie Peters, Andrea Wolper 1995

        Book Further

  7. Week 6: The Politics of Human Rights Activism – Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 6 items
    There are many different approaches and methods to human rights activism and diverse contexts in which those struggling for human rights act. Nowhere is this illustrated better than in the diversity of the nominees for the European Parliament Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. In the first half of the class you will practice your presentation for the evening event. The second half of today’s session will consider the politics of Human Rights prizes: Who nominates? Who decides? Which human rights activists are acknowledged, and which not? What emphasis do these prizes place on human rights (e.g. civil/political, social/economic, cultural)? You will work in small groups to present on the various nominees for the Prize. You will prepare for this researching the individuals nominated for this year’s prize, examining the context, methods, and constraints of the nominees PRIOR to class (in the groups allocated in week 1).
    1. Essential Reading 6 items
      1. Human Rights Review - Special Issue : Human Rights as Ideal and Practical Politics 06/2011

        Journal  See especially: Articles by Brooke Ackerly, Kirsten Ainley, and Hoover and De Heredia.

      2. Examining Critical Perspectives on Human Rights - Rob Dickinson, Elena Katselli, Colin Murray, Ole W. Pedersen 2012 (electronic resource)

        Book  See: Kennedy, D. The International Human Rights Regime: Still Part of the Problem?, and Bell, C. Human rights and the struggle for change: a study in self-critical legal thought.

  8. Week 7: Indivisibility? Social and Economic Rights, Inequality and Neoliberalism 51 items
    Economic and social rights including the right to work, education and health have been much more controversial and harder to implement than civil and political rights. Recently they have enjoyed something of a resurgence perhaps in relation to the rise of the global south and the increasing rejection of civil and political rights under conditions of increasing authoritarianism. In this class we examine the key tenets of economic rights and contextualise this within broader debates as whether economic rights can be considered human rights and whether the constitute a desirable and effective means to tackle pressing problems concerning rising inequality. We also debate the relationship between human rights and global neoliberal capitalism more broadly and explore a case study of recent attempts to make transnational corporations accountable via a human rights framework.
    1. Essential Reading 19 items
      1. Open Global Rights Debate 1 item
      2. Are economic rights human rights? 4 items
      3. Human Rights and Neoliberalism/Inequality 10 items
        1. If you are unfamiliar with neoliberalism you may wish to consult:

        2. Optional Extra 1 item
      4. TNCs and Human Rights Case Study Reading 3 items
        1. In 2014 The UN Human Rights Council (HRC) voted to begin a process to create legally binding measures to hold TNCs accountable for human rights abuses.

        2.  The US voted against it while a network of NGOs have looked to advance the agenda further via a people's treaty. Compare the two positions in respect to HR and TNCs.

      5. US Position 1 item
    2. Further Reading 32 items
      1. Fulfilling social and economic rights - Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, Terra Lawson-Remer, Susan Randolph 2014

        Book Further

      2. Social and Economic Rights: A Critique - A. Neier 2006

        Article Further See pp. 1-3 of journal issue.

      3. Human rights - Michael Freeman, Michael Freeman, Ebooks Corporation Limited 2017

        Book Further See: Chapter 8.

      4. Economic, social and cultural rights: a textbook - Asbjørn Eide, Catarina Krause, Allan Rosas 2001

        Book Further

      5. The global new deal: economic and social human rights in world politics - William F. Felice c2003

        Book Further

      6. Economic, social and cultural rights in action - Mashood A. Baderin, Robert McCorquodale, Oxford University Press 2007 (electronic resource)

        Book Further

      7. Human Rights, Inequality and Neoliberalism 20 items
        1. Against Human Rights - Slavoj Zizek Jul 1, 2005

          Article Further

        2. Moral conflict and politics - Steven Lukes 1991

          Book Further See: Can a Marxist Believe in Human Rights?, pp. 173-188. Available online.

        3. Rethinking economic policy for social justice: the radical potential of human rights - Radhika Balakrishnan, James Heintz, Diane Elson, Taylor & Francis Group 2016

          Book Further

  9. Week 8: LGBT Movement: Liberation, Rights, Co-optation and Backlash 23 items
    In many ways the LGBT movement represents one of the more successful human rights movements of recent times evident particularly in the marriage equality movement. However the status of LGBT rights remains subject to debate as high levels of persecution are still faced by LGBT people globally. Previously focused more upon liberation than rights many LGBT critics suggest that the movement has become increasingly conservative - establishing a form of acceptable homonormativity and a narrowed understanding of sexuality premised upon western categories of sexual identity. We utilise LGBT rights to examine how activism may be subject to co-option via states in the form of homonationalism and business via ‘the pink pound’. LGBT activism can also indicate the narrowing of activism around particular interests that prevent a more holistic understanding of the intersecting nature of oppression. We also consider how LGBT rights may be advanced effectively in the global South.
    1. Essential Reading 5 items
    2. Optional Extras 3 items
      1. Human rights: politics and practice 2016, ©2016

        Book  See: Keating and Burack, 'Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Human Rights'.

    3. Further Reading 15 items
      1. The Global Politics of LGBT Human Rights - Kelly Kollman, Matthew Waites 1 Sept. 2009

        Book Further

      2. The same-sex unions revolution in western democracies: international norms and domestic policy change - Kelly Kollman 2013

        Book Further See: esp. introduction and conclusion. Introduction, pp. 1-22, available online.

      3. OR

      4. Terrorist assemblages: homonationalism in queer times - Jasbir K. Puar, Ebooks Corporation Limited 2007

        Book Further

      5. Sexual Politics, Orientalism and Multicultural Citizenship in the Netherlands - Paul Mepschen, Jan Willem Duyvendak and Evelien H. Tonkens 2010

        Article Further

      6. Human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity in the Commonwealth: struggles for decriminalisation and change - Corinne Lennox, Matthew Waites, University of London. Institute of Commonwealth Studies. School of Advanced Study Human Rights Consortium 2013 (electronic resource)

        Book Further

      7. The Global Right Wing and the Clash of World Politics - Clifford Bob 2012 (electronic resource)

        Book Further See: esp. chapters 1,3, and 4.

      8. Sexualities June 2012

        Journal Further See: introduction and various articles.

  10. Week 9: Indigenous Rights, Minority Rights and Decolonizing Activism 32 items
    This week we will consider how minority ‘groups’ have been able to make claims using human rights. However, such claims can produce tensions in terms of how claims to culture, religion and group status create both inclusion and exclusion. Key to the discussion will be an exploration of the tension between individual and collective claims as well as the difficulties associated with ‘group’ claims. We will focus the class around a case study on indigenous people and rights in Australia. We also consider the problems and possibilities of privileged people engaging in activism for/with marginalized people.
    1. Essential Reading 15 items
      1. Human rights: politics and practice 2016

        Book Essential See: Havemann P., Indigenous peoples' human rights, pp. 333-350. Available online.

      2. Human rights: an anthropological reader - Mark Goodale 2009

        Book Essential See: Kymlicka, W. The Good, the Bad and the Intolerable: Minority Group Rights, available online.

      3. Watch:

      4. Our Generation 2012

        Audio-visual document Essential

      5. Decolonizing Activism 4 items
      6. Indigenous Struggles Case Study: Constitutional Reform or Self-determination? 4 items
      7. Optional Extra: Recognise 3 items
    2. Further Reading 17 items
      1. Handbook of indigenous peoples' rights 2018

        Book Further

      2. Anti-Colonialism and the Struggle for Indigenous Rights - Rodolfo Stavenhagen, University of Chicago 15/7/2011

        Audio-visual document Further

      3. Constructing democracy: human rights, citizenship, and society in Latin America - Elizabeth Jelin, Eric Hershberg 1996

        Book Further See: Stavenhagen, R. Indigenous Rights, pp. 141-160. Available online.

      4. This is not a peace pipe: towards a critical indigenous philosophy - Dale A. Turner c2006

        Book Further

      5. Human rights in global perspective: anthropological studies of rights, claims and entitlements - Richard Wilson, Jon P. Mitchell 2003

        Book Further See: Cowan, J K. The Uncertain Political Limits of Cultural Claims: Minority Rights Politics in Southeast Europe, pp. 140-163.

      6. Islam, Gender and Human Rights - Anne-Marie Hilsdon, Santi Rozario 2006-7

        Article Further

      7. Culture and rights: anthropological perspectives - Jane K. Cowan, Marie-Bénédicte Dembour, Richard Wilson 2001

        Book Further See: Merry, S. Changing Rights, Changing Culture, pp. 31-55.

  11. Week 10: Reading week - No class 0 items
    No class, time to prep essays/finish Sakharov report.
  12. Week 11 Concluding Discussion 1 item
    For the concluding session of the course, we will recap the main issues of the course and have a roundtable discussion. We will revisit core course themes and issues: Are human rights universal? Are they Western? What is their relationship to politics/power? What does it mean to have a ‘critical perspective’ on human rights? What political action can human rights facilitate? What are their limitations? How do they contest and/or entrench global divisions of power?
    1. There is no set reading for this clas.