This seminar is an introduction to human rights and the role they have come to play in international politics. The goal is to provide basic human rights literacy and to put students in a position to debate questions about human rights and dilemmas that arise about them.
This course combines an introduction to the formal, theoretical, and normative structures of human rights with analyses of contemporary case studies. It illustrates several critical human rights issues, debates, and practices that demonstrate the increasing significance of ethnographic field methods and related interpretive analysis. Accepting that agreement on and realization of human rights often require negotiation and compromise, the course illustrates why, and suggests how, realization of many broadly-defined human rights requires specific contextualization.