The first section is entitled ‘Ideas of Rights’ and is designed to address some of the following questions: what is a right? Where do rights come from and what are their foundations and justifications? What are the main critiques of the human rights discourse? Should groups have rights? If so, are they human rights? Is there such a thing as a right to a clean environment? Topics covered include an introduction to the history and philosophy of human rights, classical theories, multi-cultural recognition theory, interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary approaches to human rights and universalism versus cultural relativism, environmental rights.
In the second half of this module we will look at ‘Rights in Context’. This section primarily draws on disciplinary insights from political economy, sociology and international relations. It looks at the structures and processes which provide a backdrop to many current human rights debates, claims and violations.
Included in this module are lectures informed by Human Rights Consortium research project themes, including:
- ecocide and the ecological crisis,
- globalization and development,
- corporate power,
- extreme energy extraction and human rights (based on the Human Rights Consortium's cutting edge research project, the Extreme Energy Initiative - find out more at http://extremeenergy.org)
- human rights in the UK.