Human Rights Syllabi: Institute of International Studies, University of California, Berkeley
The College of New Jersey
Fall 2002 - Honors 270 - T 2:00-4:50 - Bliss 114
Dr. Morton Winston
Tel: (609) 771-2398
Course Overview and Plan
This course will be organized into three sections. The course will begin with
a brief review of the historical devel-opment of the doctrine of human rights
up until the Age of Revolution, highlighting both the philosophical and the
political-legal roots of the human rights tradition. We will then proceed to
a closer examination of the historical development of the idea universal human
rights during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries culminating in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.
In the second section we will examine the contemporary human rights framework,
both in its international law aspect, and also, the major contempo-rary philo-sophical,
political, and legal interpretations of human rights that provide a theoretical
framework for our current understand-ing the nature and basis of human rights.
In this section of the course we will also discuss several currently controversial
aspects of human rights theory, including the universality and indivisibility
of human rights standards, and problems relating to the interpretation and justification
of human rights.
In the third and concluding portion of the course we will apply our general
theoretical account of human rights to a range of contem-porary human rights
issues and trends that have arisen since the end of the Cold War and discuss
problems relating to the implementation of existing human rights standards.
The specific topics and issues we discuss in the last section of the course
will be linked to the topics of student research projects. The course will conclude
with some discussion about the future of human rights in a global community.
While the basic course plan is sequential, there will be discussions of history,
theory, and contemporary issues in each class throughout the semester.
Course Goals and Objectives
Upon completing the requirements for this course students will be better able
- Explain the concept of human rights in detail, recognize important distinctions
among types of rights, and understand the relationships between rights and
other moral notions.
- Identify the major international declarations, treaties, and covenants governing
human rights, and identify contemporary institutions for monitoring and enforcing
human rights standards.
- Understand and be able to intelligently discuss several controversial issues
within contem-porary human rights theory.
- Be able to discuss in detail several contempo-rary areas of application
of human rights standards.
- Understand contemporary challenges and trends in human rights theory and
This course will require a lot of reading and a lot of active class participation.
Students should expect to spend between three and four hours per week for each
hour of class time. Reading assignments will be given in the course syllabus and
should be completed by the beginning of the week for which they are assigned.
Most of the readings for the course will be drawn from the following main texts:
- Richard Falk. Human Rights Horizons: The Pursuit of Justice in a Globalizing
World. New York: Routledge, 2000.
- Patrick Hayden. The Philosophy of Human Rights. St. Paul MN: Paragon,
- Paul Gordon Lauren. The Evolution of International Human Rights: Visions
Seen. Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998
- Brian Orend. Human Rights: Concept and Context. Peterborough ONT:
Some additional readings, for instance, lecture notes, short essays, and current
human rights news will also be distributed from time to time in class. There
is also a sizable collection of human rights material on the World Wide Web
(WWW). You can locate a a lot of it by following the links on the human rights
resources page. There will also be a selection of books and articles related
to core issues treated in this course placed on reserve in West Library,
and a selection of additional materials placed on electronic reserve.
Resources on the WWW
Electronic Course Reserves (SOCS)
Course Requirements and Grading Policy
Students taking this course for credit will be graded the basis of three kinds
- Two short (<10 pages) take-home essay exams on questions associat-ed
with required readings and lectures concerning the history and theory of human
rights [2 x 20% = 40% of grade]
- A research project culminating in an essay of approximately 20 pages, written
by the student in consultation with the instructor, on a contemporary human
rights problem or issue. [40% of grade]
- Students will also be evaluated on their contribution to class discussion.
[20% of grade], which includes responsibility for preparing at least two class
discussions of recommended readings.
There will be no final exam in this course. Instead students will prepare and
submit a research paper (item 2) dealing with a topic of interest to the student
related to the themes of this course and approved by the instructor. This project
will require that students engage in research human rights topics related to
the course. Your research findings will be presented to the class, towards the
end of the semester, in oral reports. You will then have time to revise your
research papers before turning them in for a final grade. I will give you additional
information on this assignment and the two take home exams once we have met
as a class. I will also provide guidance on conducting research concerning human
rights topics and will suggest possible research topics to you as we go along.
Students are strongly encouraged to get started on this project early in the
semester. Specific instructions for these assignments and criteria for evaluation
will be distributed at the appropriate time.
Since the class meets only once a week regular attendance is strongly advised.
Absences due to illness or other legitimate reasons should be discussed with
the in-structor if possible before they take place. Students in this course
are expected to adhere to the highest standards of academic honesty. Normal
TCNJ policies regarding plagarism, unauthorized multiple submissions, or other
forms of academic dishonesty, are in effect in this course. If you unfamiliar
with these policies, take the time to review academic integrity policies in
the TCNJ student handbook.
The instructor for this course is Dr. Morton Winston, Professor of Philosophy
at The College of New Jersey. During the week I can be reached at my office
in New Jersey (609-771-2398). I also regularly check my email. The best account
is the one at The College of New Jersey (firstname.lastname@example.org). But you can also
address messages to me at (email@example.com). My office is located in Bliss
Hall room 106. Office hours are 10:00- 12:00 Tuesdays and Thursdays, or by appointment.
Additional instructor and course information can be found on my home page: http://mortonwinston.intrasun.tcnj.edu/.
Course Schedule and Assignments
N.B. The abbreviations used refer to the following: PHR
Hayden, The Philosophy of Human Rights; HR Orend, Human
Rights; HRH Falk, Human Rights Horizons; EIHR Lauren,
The Evolution of International Human Rights; ER electronic reserve;
LR library reserve.
Introduction to the Course Human Suffering and Human Rights
Amnesty International. Israel and the Occupied Territories and the Palestinian
Authority: Without Distinction- Attacks on Civilians by Palestinian Armed Groups
(July 2002) ER. (please read this before the first class meeting).
Winston "Philosophical Conceptions of Human Rights" ER
Video The Genocide Factor- Lecture/Discussion
Review syllabus and course requirements
Part I The Historical Development of Human Rights
Eastern and Western Versions of the Natural Law Tradition
- Hayden, History and Theories of Rights PHR pp. 3-10.
- Orend Origins to the 19th HR pp. 191-198.
- Mo Tzu Universal Love PHR pp. 277-286.
- Buddha Foundation of the Kingdom of Righteousness PHR pp. 287-290.
- Aristotle, Politics PHR 24-33.
- Cicero, On the Laws PHR 34-42.
- Aquinas, Summa Theologica PHR 43-47.
The Enlightenment Doctrine of the Rights of Man.
- Grotius, The Rights of War and Peace PHR 54-56.
- Locke Second Treatise of Government PHR pp. 71-79.
- Rousseau The Social Contract PHR pp. 80-87.
- Paine The Rights of Man PHR pp. 95-100.
- Wollstonecraft A Vindication of the Rights of Women PHR pp.
- Kant. The Principles of Political Right PHR pp. 109-117.
Review of HR resources available for research project.
The Development of Social Movements: Anti-Slavery, Womens Rights, and
Lauren To Protect Humanity and Defend Justice: Early International Efforts
EIHR pp. 37-71.
- The Bill of Rights of the United States of America. PHR pp. 347-349.
- The French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, PHR pp. 350-352.
- Bentham Anarchical Fallacies PHR pp. 118-125.
- Marx On the Jewish Question PHR pp. 126-135.
- Mill Utilitarianism and On Liberty PHR pp. 136-146.
Early 20th Century Developments in International Law
- Lauren War Visions, War, and Revolutions EIHR pp. 72-104.
- Lauren Visions and Rights Between the Wars EIHR pp. 105-138.
Recommended readings for this week will relate to the guest lecture topic.
Guest Lecture on Human Rights in Southeast Asia (Dr. Sriprapha Petcharamesree)
War War II and the Origins of the United Nations
- Lauren The Crusade of WWII EIHR pp. 139-171.
- Lauren Peace and a Charter with Human Rights EIHR pp. 172-204.
Orend Twentieth Century and Beyond HR pp. 213-240.
- Burgers The Road to San Francisco LR
- UN Charter LR
First Take Home Exam Assigned
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Lauren The Universal Declaration of Human Rights EIHR pp. 205-240.
- UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights PHR pp. 353-358.
- Morsink "WWII and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights" LR
Video Animated UDHR Lecture/Discussion
First Take Home Exam Due
Part 2 Philosophical Issues in Human Rights Theory
The First Fifty Years of the UDHR (1948-1998)
- Lauren Fifty Years of the Universal Declaration EIHR pp. 241-280.
- Lauren Visions and the Evolution of International Human Rights
- Falk Introduction HRH pp. 1-10
- Falk A Half Century of Human Rights HRH pp. 37-56.
Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action PHR pp. 641-649.
First take home exams returned
- Orend Basic Vocabulary and Core Concepts HR pp. 17-35
- Orend Who Holds Human Rights? HR pp. 37-65.
- Hayden Introduction to Part Two PHR pp. 369-375.
- Cranston Human Rights Real and Supposed PHR pp.163-173.
- Feinberg The Nature and Value of Rights PHR pp. 174-186.
FALL BREAK Monday and Tuesday
The Problem of Justifying Human Rights
- Orend What Justifies Human Rights? HR pp. 67-100.
- Orend What Are the Objects of Our Rights? HR pp. 101-127.
- Pogge How Should Human Rights Be Conceived? PHR pp. 187-211.
- Nussbaum Capabilities and Human Rights PHR pp. 212-240.
- Rorty Human Rights, Rationality, and Sentimentality PHR pp.
- Dalai Lama Human Rights and Universal Responsibility PHR pp.
Last Day for Approval of Research Paper Topics
The Universality and Indivisibility of Human Rights
- Orend Who Bears Which Duties? HR pp. 129-153.
- Orend Can Human Rights Withstand Criticism? HR pp. 155-187.
- Teson Human Rights and Cultural Relativism PHR pp. 379-386.
- Li Asian Values and the Universality of Human Rights PHR pp.
- Taylor A World Consensus on Human Rights PHR pp. 409-422.
- Winston "On the Indivisibility and Interdependence of Human Rights"
Second Take Home Exam Assigned
Part 3 Contemporary Human Rights Issues
Problems of Human Rights Enforcement - Impunity
- Falk Pursuing Global Justice HRH pp. 13-36.
- Falk Taking Rights Seriously at Home HRH pp. 57-66.
- Falk Moving Towards Implementation HRH pp. 67-86.
- Falk The Redress of Past Grievances The Nanking Massacre HRH
- ICC Statute ER
Second Take Home Exams Due
Minority Cultures and Group Rights Self-Determination
- Falk Revisiting the Right to Self-Determination HRH pp. 97-126.
- Falk Group Claims with the UN System: The Rights of Indigenous Peoples
HRH pp. 127-145.
- Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National, Ethnic,
Religious, or Linguistic Minorities PHR pp. 650-651.
- Crawford The Rights of Peoples: Peoples or Governments?
PHR pp. 427-444.
- Kymlicka The Good, the Bad, and the Intolerable PHR pp. 445-461.
Discussion /Student Presentations
Second Take Home Exams Returned
Ethnic Cleansing, Genocide, and Humanitarian Intervention
- Falk The Unmet Challenges of Genocide in Bosnia and Rwanda HRH
- Falk The Challenge of Genocidal Politics in an Era of Globalization
HRH pp. 173-186.
- UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
PHR pp. 658-659.
- Nickel Whats Wrong with Ethnic Cleansing? pp. PHR 465-477.
- Smith Humanitarian Intervention: Overview of the Ethical Issues
PHR pp. 478-500.
- MacKinnon Rape, Genocide, and Womens Human Rights PHR
- Video Forsaken Cries
- Discussion /Student Presentations
THANKSGIVING BREAK Wednesday to Friday
Womens Rights and LGBT Rights in Cross-Cultural Perspective
- Falk Global Dominance and Non-Western Attitudes towards Human Rights
- An-Naim Human Rights in the Muslim World PHR pp. 315-334.
- UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against
Women PHR pp. 660-668.
- Rao Feminist Theoretical Perspectives on International Human Rights
PHR pp. 505-525.
- Donnelly Making a Place for Sexual Minorities in the Global Human
Rights Regime PHR pp. 547-573.
- Nussbaum Lesbian and Gay Rights PHR pp. 574-596.
Discussion /Student Presentations
Last day for student presentations
Dec 10 : International Human Rights Day
Human Rights and Human Responsibilities
- Falk The Extension of Human Rights to Past and Future Generations
HRH pp. 189-198.
- Falk Morality and Global Security: A Human Rights Perspective
HRH pp. 217-233.
- UN Draft Declaration of Principles on Human Rights and the Environment
PHR pp. 669-674.
- Nickel The Human Right to a Safe Environment PHR pp. 601-617.
- Weiss Planetary Rights PHR pp. 618-636.
- Winston "Planetary Politics" LR
CLASSES END - RESEARCH PAPERS DUE
Dec 13-17 EXAM PERIOD (research papers returned)
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