Course Number: 90-763
Human Rights Policy
In the words of Paul Collier, "Seventy-three percent of people in the societies of the bottom billion have recently been in a civil war or are still in one".*
The purpose of this course is to study current human rights policies and issues and the interconnections between human rights violations, the foreign policy of the major international powers, and development. The course is geared to highlight the limitations of human rights policies, the destructive societal and economic effects of human rights abuses, and policies geared to reverse those detrimental effects.
The course will focus on:
a) The human rights policies pursued by the US and other major international actors and organizations in the last 20 years
b) The role of domestic and international actors
c) The connections between human rights abuses and development problems
Students will be expected to:
a) Attend class
b) Write two policy papers or memos
c) Select one human rights case and do an in-depth analysis of the case. The analysis will have to include a discussion of the nature of the abuses, the policies, and the socioeconomic effects of the abuses. Students will be expected to propose specific policies that deal with both the humanitarian as well as the socioeconomic effects of the problem.
*Paul Collier, The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries Are Failing and What Can be Done About It, Oxford University Press, 2007, p.17