Despite the centrality of human rights in multilateral institutions, many aspects of international human rights -- as defined by international law -- are controversial, and their implementation at global and domestic levels remains incomplete. This is a survey course on human rights that will analyze the gap between human rights in theory and human rights in practice through a study of global human rights as they play out in domestic institutions and politics. In this way, the course will emphasize how different societies understand human rights, the extent to which states conceptualize and fulfill their human rights obligations, and the difficulties associated with implementing them. Much of the course content will be devoted to understanding the enjoyment of human rights for minority groups and how economic development influences human rights protections.
Throughout this course, students will explore the following questions: What are global human rights? What are the social and political conditions that seem to cause widespread human rights violations? Can we identify global and comparative patterns of those violations, particularly for marginalized groups? How are human rights best protected and fulfilled at global and national levels? What contemporary events present challenges for the protection and fulfillment of human rights at global and domestic levels of governance?