Human Rights: Theories and Applications
Human Rights Centre
Postgraduate: Level 7
Thursday 07 October 2021
Friday 01 July 2022
31 March 2021
Requisites for this module
MA M90112 Human Rights and Cultural Diversity,
MA M90124 Human Rights and Cultural Diversity,
MA L3MV12 Theory and Practice of Human Rights,
MA L3MV24 Theory and Practice of Human Rights,
MA L3MVMO Theory and Practice of Human Rights
The principal purpose of HU901 is to provide the core interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary component of postgraduate teaching of human rights within the Human Rights Centre.
The syllabus is designed to provide a broad and deep knowledge and understanding of essential elements of both the theory and the application of human rights within a complex world. The module extends across twenty teaching weeks.
Satisfactory attendance of and participation in the teaching components of HU901 should enable all students to achieve the following:
• Have gained knowledge and understanding of the principal theoretical perspectives upon human rights.
• Have gained knowledge and understanding of the basis and scope of human rights principles.
• Have gained knowledge of and an appreciation for the principal critical perspectives upon the theory and application of human rights principles.
• Be able to critically evaluate specific human rights claims, utilising different theoretical perspectives from several academic disciplines.
• Be cognizant of the relationship between key aspects of human rights theory and the practical application of human rights principles.
• Have gained knowledge and understanding of the specific perspectives afforded by the academic disciplines of government, law, philosophy and sociology.
• Have gained knowledge and understanding of key contemporary issues and debates within human rights practice.
• Have acquired the methodological skills required for independent research in the study of human rights.
• Have acquired and developed an inter and multidisciplinary perspective upon human rights.
• Have developed verbal presentational skills in a class/seminar setting.
Week Two: An Introduction to Human Rights (Dr. Andrew Fagan)
Week Three: – IHRL (1) Legal Approach to Human Rights and the Basis of International Human Rights Law (Dr Tara Van Ho)
Week Four: (2) - Key International and Regional Human Rights Treaties, and the role of the Treaty Bodies (Dr Gus Waschefort)
Week Five: IHRL (3) – Key Institutions and Bodies (Dr Gus Waschefort)
Week Six: Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Prof. Lars Waldorf)
Week Seven: Introduction to Transitional Justice and Human Rights (Prof. Lars Waldorf)
Week Eight: Introduction to Humanitarianism and Human Rights (Dr Clotilde Pegorier)
Week Nine: Reading Week – no lecture or discussion groups this week
Week Ten: Political Perspectives upon Human Rights: Political Theory (Prof. Michael Freeman)
Week Eleven: Political Perspectives upon Human Rights: Political Science (1) (Dr Ahmed Shaheed)
Week Sixteen: Political Perspectives upon Human Rights – Political Science (2) – Applications and Challenges (Dr Ahmed Shaheed)
Week Seventeen: Sociological Approaches to Human Rights (1) – Prof. Yasmin Soysal
Week Eighteen: Sociological Approaches to Human Rights (Prof. Colin Samson)
Week Nineteen: Sociological Approaches to Human Rights (3) – Horizontal Inequalities, Human Rights, and Social Identity Theory (Dr Tuba Turan)
Week Twenty: Psychosocial Perspectives, Trauma and Human Rights (Prof. Renos Papadopoulos)
Week Twenty-One: Philosophical Approaches to Human Rights (Dr Andrew Fagan)
Week Twenty-Two: Philosophical Approaches to Human Rights – Applications and Challenges (Dr Andrew Fagan)
Week Twenty-Three: Philosophy & Human Rights - Autonomy and Disability Rights (Professor Wayne Martin)
Week Twenty-Four: Reading Week - No lecture or discussion groups this week.
Week Twenty-Five: Multi and Interdisciplinary Approaches to Human Rights (Dr. Andrew Fagan)
The teaching format for HU901 consists of a weekly two-hour lecture and a fortnightly two-hour discussion group. The discussion group component has been included this year in response to previous student requests and offer an opportunity for a more detailed study of key aspects in the multi and interdisciplinary study of human rights.
Assessment for the Colloquium consists of the submission of THREE assessed essays. The first is a foundational essay and must not exceed 2500 words. The remaining two essays must be of 4000 to a maximum of 5000 words in length. The first essay is a formative essay and is not included in the overall assessment for the module. However, it offers an opportunity for students to familiarise themselves with the conventions of writing essays at postgraduate level. Essays two and three are assessed and each account for 50% of the overall assessment.
- Nielsen, Richard A.; Simmons, Beth A. (2015-06) 'Rewards for Ratification: Payoffs for Participating in the International Human Rights Regime?', in International Studies Quarterly. vol. 59 (2) , pp.197-208
- Azoulay, Ariella. (2019-11-19) Potential History, London: Verso Books.
- Samson, Colin. (2020-07-10) Colonialism of Human Rights, Oxford: Polity Press.
- Scruton, Roger. (c2012) 'Nonsense Upon Stilts', in Handbook of human rights, Abingdon: Routledge., pp.118-128
- Levy, Daniel; Sznaider, Natan. (2006-12) 'Sovereignty transformed: a sociology of human rights', in The British Journal of Sociology. vol. 57 (4) , pp.657-676
- Welikala, Asanga. (2017) 'The Case Against Constitutionalising Justiciable Socioeconomic Rights in Sri Lanka', in CPA Working Papers on Constitutional Reform, Ottawa: Centre for Policy Alternatives. (12)
- American Convention on Human Rights - Protocol of San Salvador, http://www.oas.org/juridico/english/treaties/a-52.html
- International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), https://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/cescr.aspx
- Weissbrodt, D. (2011) 'United Nations Charter-based Procedures for Addressing Human Rights Violations; Historical Practice, Reform, and Future Implications', in The Delivery of Human Rights: Essays in Honour of Professor Sir Nigel Rodley, Abingdon: Routledge.
- Human Rights | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, https://www.iep.utm.edu/hum-rts/
- Foucault, Michel; Senellart, Michel. (2007) Security, territory, population: lectures at the Collège de France, 1977-1978, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Donnelly, Jack. (©2013) Universal human rights in theory and practice, Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
- Goodman, Ryan; Jinks, Derek. (no date) 'How to Influence States: Socialization and International Human Rights Law', in Duke Law Journal. vol. 54 (3) , pp.621-704
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights, http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/
- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), https://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/ccpr.aspx
- Marks, Susan. (2011-01) 'Human Rights and Root Causes', in The Modern Law Review. vol. 74 (1) , pp.57-78
- American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man (American Declaration), https://www.cidh.oas.org/Basicos/English/Basic2.american Declaration.htm
- Chesterman, Simon. (1998-03) 'Human Rights as Subjectivity: The Age of Rights and the Politics of Culture', in Millennium: Journal of International Studies. vol. 27 (1) , pp.97-118
- Warfa, Nasir; Izycki, Kate; Jones, Edgar; Bhui, Kamaldeep. (2011) 'Contemporary methods of torture and sexual violence Medical record analysis', in World Cultural Psychiatry Research Review. vol. 6 (2) , pp.112-118
- Bantekas, Ilias; Oette, Lutz. (2016) International human rights law and practice, Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.
- Martin, Lisa. (2013) 'Against Compliance', in Interdisciplinary perspectives on international law and international relations: the state of the art, New York: Cambridge University Press., pp.591-608
- Price, Richard. (2008) 'The Ethics of Constructivism', in The Oxford handbook of international relations, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Barnett, Michael N.; Weiss, Thomas G. (2008) Humanitarianism in question: politics, power, ethics, Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
- Gomez, Mario; Hartnett, Conor; Samararatne, Dinesha. (2016) 'Constitutionalizing Economic and Social Rights in Sri Lanka', in CPA Working Papers on Constitutional Reform, Ottawa: Centre for Policy Alternatives. (7)
- Yamin, Alicia Ely. (2005) 'The Future in the Mirror: Incorporating Strategies for the Defense and Promotion of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights into the Mainstream Human Rights Agenda', in Human Rights Quarterly. vol. 27 (4) , pp.1200-1244
- Fassin, Didier. (c2010) 'Inequality of Lives, Hierarchies of Humanity: Moral Commitments and Ethical Dilemmas of Humanitarianism', in In the name of humanity: the government of threat and care, Durham [NC]: Duke University Press., pp.239-255
- Freeman, Michael. (2017) 'Putting Law in Its Place: The Role of the Social Sciences', in Human rights, ©2017: Polity., pp.90-119
- Cardenas, Sonia. (2004-06) 'Norm Collision: Explaining the Effects of International Human Rights Pressure on State Behavior', in International Studies Review. vol. 6 (2) , pp.213-232
- Human Rights | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, http://www.iep.utm.edu/hum-rts/
- African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR), http://www.achpr.org/instruments/achpr/
- Fagan, Andrew. (c2012) 'Philosophical foundations of human rights', in Handbook of human rights, Abingdon: Routledge.
- Landman, Todd. (2005-7) 'The Political Science of Human Rights', in British Journal of Political Science. vol. 35 (3) , pp.549-572
- David Lockwood. (no date) 'Civic Integration and Class Formation Abstract', in The British Journal of Sociology.
- Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann. (2012) 'Human Security: Undermining Human Rights?', in Human Rights Quarterly: Johns Hopkins University Press. vol. 34 (1) , pp.88-112
- Cronin, Bruce. (2003) Institutions for the common good: international protection regimes in international society, New York, USA: Cambridge University Press. vol. 93
- Rachels, James. (1991) 'Subjectivism', in A Companion to ethics, Oxford: Blackwell Reference., pp.241-245
- (1950) European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
- European Social Charter (Revised) (ESC), https://rm.coe.int/CoERMPublicCommonSearchServices/DisplayDCTMContent?documentId=090000168007cf93
- O'Connell, Paul. (2011) 'The Death of Socio-Economic Rights', in The Modern Law Review. vol. 74 (4) , pp.532-554
- Human Rights, https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/rights-human/#ExisGrouHumaRigh
- De Schutter, Olivier. (2019-09-12) International Human Rights Law, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- MacIntyre, Alasdair C. (2007) After virtue: a study in moral theory, London: Duckworth.
- Robert Booth. (2019-05-24) 'UN poverty expert hits back over UK ministers' 'denial of facts'', in Guardian.
- Griffin, James. (2008) On Human Rights, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Bantekas, Ilias; Oette, Lutz. (2016) International human rights law and practice, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Hoffman, Peter J.; Weiss, Thomas G.; Egeland, Jan. (2018) Humanitarianism, war, and politics: Solferino to Syria and beyond, Lanham, [MD]: Rowman & Littlefield.
- Douzinas, Costas. (2007) 'The Many Faces of Humanitarianism', in Parrhesia. (2) , pp.1-28
- American Convention on Human Rights (ACHR), https://www.cidh.oas.org/basicos/english/basic3.american convention.htm
- Smith, Rhona K. M. (2016) Textbook on international human rights, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Kelman, Herbert C. (2010) 'Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation: A Social-Psychological Perspective on Ending Violent Conflict Between Identity Groups', in Landscapes of Violence. vol. 1 (1) , pp.1-10
- Elson, Diane. (2006) 'Women's Rights are Human Rights: Campaigns and Concepts', in Rights: sociological perspectives, London: Routledge., pp.68-78
- McInerney-Lankford, Siobhan. (2017) 'Legal Methodologies and Human Rights Research: Challenges and Opportunities', in Research Methods in Human Rights: A Handbook, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing., pp.38-67
- Strand, Vibeke Blaker. (2015) 'Non-Discrimination and Equality as the Foundations of Peace', in Promoting peace through international law, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Megret, F. (2018) 'Nature of Obligations', in International human rights law, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Roth, Kenneth. (2004) 'Defending Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Practical Issues Faced by an International Human Rights Organization', in Human Rights Quarterly. vol. 26 (1) , pp.63-73
- Tajfel, Henri; Turner, John C. (2004-1-9) 'The Social Identity Theory of Intergroup Behavior', in Political Psychology: Psychology Press., pp.276-293
- Nickel, James. (2014) 'Human Rights', in Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy.
- (no date) Concluding observations on the sixth periodic report of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: OCHR.
- Amelia Gentleman. (2014-02-03) 'Ministers savage UN report calling for abolition of UK's bedroom tax', in Guardian.
- Hunt, Paul. (2017) 'Configuring the UN Human Rights System in the "Era of Implementation": Mainland and Archipelago', in Human Rights Quarterly. vol. 39 (3) , pp.489-538
- Herlihy, J.; Turner, S. W. (2009) 'The Psychology of Seeking Protection', in International Journal of Refugee Law. vol. 21 (2) , pp.171-192
- United Nations Centre for Human Rights. (2001) Istanbul protocol: manual on the effective investigation and documentation of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, New York: United Nations. vol. no.8
- Somers, Margaret R.; Roberts, Christopher N.J. (2008-12) 'Toward a New Sociology of Rights: A Genealogy of “Buried Bodies” of Citizenship and Human Rights', in Annual Review of Law and Social Science. vol. 4 (1) , pp.385-425
- Stewart, Frances. (2008) Horizontal inequalities and conflict: understanding group violence in multiethnic societies, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Donnelly, Jack. (2008) 'The Ethics of Realism', in The Oxford handbook of international relations, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Soysal, Yasemin Nuhoglu. (2012-03) 'Citizenship, immigration, and the European social project: rights and obligations of individuality', in The British Journal of Sociology. vol. 63 (1) , pp.1-21
- Risse, Thomas; Ropp, Stephen C. (2013) 'Introduction and Overview', in The persistent power of human rights: from commitment to compliance, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. vol. 126, pp.3-25
- Freeman, Michael. (2017) Human rights, ©2017: Polity.
The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.
Assessment items, weightings and deadlines
|Coursework / exam
||HU901 Autumn Essay
||HU901 Spring Essay
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Andrew Fagan, email: email@example.com.
Dr Andrew Fagan, Dr Ahmed Shaheed, Prof. Yasemin Soysal, Prof. Colin Samson, Prof. Renos Papadopoulos, Prof. Wayne Martin, Dr Tara Van Ho, Dr Gus Waschefort, Dr Clotilde Pegorier, Prof. Lars Waldorf, Dr Tuba Turan, Prof. Michael Freeman
Dr Thomas Pegram
University College London
Available via Moodle
Of 55 hours, 54 (98.2%) hours available to students:
1 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).
Human Rights Centre
* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.
Disclaimer: The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can
be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements,
industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist
of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules.
The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.
The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.