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Futures: The Globalization of Human Rights


Module description

This module will examine present developments and tendencies in the theories and practices of human rights from a prospective and planetary perspective. Addressing the various actual critiques on the conception, practice and enforcement of human rights, from the standpoint of 'non-Western' peoples and traditions, the course explores how recent conceptions of human rights and humanitarianism interact with recent transformational economic, social and political phenomena, usually grouped under the term 'globalisation'. Specifically, the course will focus its attention on the ongoing transformations of international relations since the beginning of the twenty-first century. In particular, the course deals with alternative genealogies of human rights and tracks the potential impact of the rise of Asian and Latin peoples upon global regulation, political economic models and conceptions of human rights.

We will explore the argument that the current crisis has raised once again the question of access to common goods as a social right rather than as a matter of private debt. To do so, we will look at recent calls to emphasise 'southern voices' in the interests of a more just international order and a healthy cosmopolitan discipline, will re-examine the history of human rights and will consider matters of policy, both domestic and international.

This course concludes the theory/history cycle of the LLM. It is cemented by previous courses on the history of human rights and present international law and institutions of human rights. In turn it cements the other courses in the programme, related to present and differential developments and tendencies in the theory and practice of human rights around the world.