Human Rights

Required Readings: Human Rights


Introducing the readings:

This unit's readings provide an introduction to human rights. The Bellamy (2017) core reading (adapted by Katherine Michel) offers a broad overview. Among other things, the chapter defines human rights, plots key positions in the debate about protecting human rights, discusses norms of human protection, and provides examples of initiatives related to human rights (e.g., peacekeeping, transitional justice measures). The second reading, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (United Nations), connects this unit to the previous unit on international law and provides a basis for students to answer this question (posed in lecture slides): How has the international community sought to protect human rights legally?

The three short pieces by Glanville (2014), Carment and Landry (2014), and Aaronson (2014) introduce questions surrounding humanitarian intervention in the cases of Libya and Syria. These readings review the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and provide an opportunity for students to assess the applicability of R2P in two cases (see worksheet #1).

This required "reading" in this unit also includes a documentary (instructor choice), which will provide an in-depth look at an additional case. If the instructor chooses either "On Our Watch," a documentary produced in 2007 about Darfur (see optional worksheet #3), or "Ghosts of Rwanda," the documentary will facilitate discussion of peacekeeping failures. If the instructor chooses "The Trial of Ratko Mladic," the documentary will facilitate discussion of transitional justice and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).