POLIS 2096 - The Politics of Human Rights

North Terrace Campus - Winter - 2017

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights embodies an ideal based on a `recognition of the `inherent dignity and of the equal and 'inalienable rights of all members of the human family'. That ideal emerges from the profoundly important mission of imagining and realising a global human dignity. It is an ideal which is couched in a language and an imagination of global goals and aspirations and a universal human family. But that language does not exist in a political vacuum. There are many ideological battlegrounds and contentious issues related to the issue of the universality of human rights. The course explores the hypothesis that human rights are not neutral but are inherently political in their origin, development and application. The course will examine this hypothesis by evaluating a range of case studies relating, but not restricted, to gender, children, Indigenous peoples, postcolonial struggles, and war. Broadly, the course examines human rights case studies with the aim of critically evaluating what constitutes an appropriate imagination for the aspirations of a universal human family.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code POLIS 2096
    Course The Politics of Human Rights
    Coordinating Unit Politics and International Studies
    Term Winter
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 12 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of Level I undergraduate study
    Course Description The Universal Declaration of Human Rights embodies an ideal based on a `recognition of the `inherent dignity and of the equal and 'inalienable rights of all members of the human family'. That ideal emerges from the profoundly important mission of imagining and realising a global human dignity. It is an ideal which is couched in a language and an imagination of global goals and aspirations and a universal human family. But that language does not exist in a political vacuum. There are many ideological battlegrounds and contentious issues related to the issue of the universality of human rights. The course explores the hypothesis that human rights are not neutral but are inherently political in their origin, development and application. The course will examine this hypothesis by evaluating a range of case studies relating, but not restricted, to gender, children, Indigenous peoples, postcolonial struggles, and war. Broadly, the course examines human rights case studies with the aim of critically evaluating what constitutes an appropriate imagination for the aspirations of a universal human family.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Martin Bailey

    The Universal Declaration of Human Rights embodies an ideal based on a 'recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family'. That ideal emerges from the profoundly important mission of imagining and realising a global human dignity. It is an ideal which is couched in a language and an imagination of global goals and aspirations and a universal human family. But that language does not exist in a political vacuum. There are many ideological battlegrounds and contentious issues related to the issue of the universality of human rights. The course explores the hypothesis that human rights are not neutral but are inherently political in their origin, development and application. The course will examine this hypothesis by evaluating a range of case studies relating, but not restricted, to gender, children, Indigenous peoples, postcolonial struggles, and war. Broadly, the course examines human rights case studies with the aim of critically evaluating what constitutes an appropriate imagination for the aspirations of a universal human family.

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    Students undertaking this course are expected to develop a depth and breadth of understanding of important human rights principles as embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other foundational human rights sources, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Additionally, students will engage with the language of the human rights principles and documents such that they discover and explore critiques of dominant human rights discourses. Specifically, the anticipated knowledge, skills and attitude to be developed by students are:
    1 An ability to differentiate between information and knowledge.
    2 Showing familiarity with relevant terminology in human rights discourses.
    3 An ability to define and research problems within discursive ethical, social, cultural and political boundaries.
    4 An ability to identify and analyse case studies on pertinent aspects of human rights discourses.
    5 The ability to undertake research in a self-directed manner yet also exchange ideas with peers in a collaborative manner.
    6 The capacity to critically evaluate a diversity of written materials and multi-media resources.
    7 A critical understanding of the contested nature of human rights discourses.
    8 The ability to present persuasive and sustained written and verbal arguments based on scholarly research and other relevant sources.
    9 The ability to develop and deliver clear and confident verbal presentations.
    10 The ability to evaluate ideas confidently, respectfully and thoughtfully.
    University Graduate Attributes

    No information currently available.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    This course does not have a course textbook or a hardcopy of readings. Instead, required resources can be found on MyUni.
    Recommended Resources
    See MyUni for a comprehensive list of recommended resources.
    Online Learning
    See MyUni.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    No information currently available.

    Workload

    No information currently available.

    Learning Activities Summary

    No information currently available.

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    No information currently available.

    Assessment Detail

    No information currently available.

    Submission

    No information currently available.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
    Occupational, Health & Safety (OH&S)
    The School of Social Sciences is committed to upholding the University's Policy on OH&S. All staff and students have a legal  responsibliity to act in the interests of themselves and others with  respect to OH&S. For information on the School's contingency plan  and emergency procedures, please see the OH&S section on the school website http://www.arts.adelaide.edu.au/socialsciences/ohs.

  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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