SO479 Half Unit
Human Rights and Postcolonial Theory
This information is for the 2023/24 session.
Dr Ayca Cubukcu STC S113
This course is available on the MSc in Culture and Conflict in a Global Europe, MSc in Culture and Conflict in a Global Europe (LSE & Sciences Po), MSc in Culture and Society, MSc in Human Rights, MSc in Human Rights and Politics, MSc in International Migration and Public Policy, MSc in International Migration and Public Policy (LSE and Sciences Po) and MSc in Political Sociology. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.
This course has a limited number of places (it is controlled access). Places are allocated based on a written statement, with priority given to students on the MSc in Human Rights, MSc in Human Rights and Politics, MSc Culture and Society, MSc in International Migration and Public Policy, MSc in Political Sociology, MSc in Culture and Conflict in a Global Europe, and MSc in Culture and Conflict in a Global Europe (LSE & Sciences Po). As demand is typically high, this may mean that not all students who apply will be able to get a place on this course.
This course critically addresses the allure of human rights and international law as political projects. While drawing primarily on postcolonial theory, it will also employ socio-legal studies, intellectual history, political philosophy and social theory to address the colonial context in which human rights and international law came to be universalized and institutionalized, as well as the way they tend to monopolize the political language through which many social movements throughout the world articulate their particular desires for justice. Exploring the history, philosophy, and politics of human rights and international law in conjunction with imperial practices, the course will also examine how facts of socio-cultural difference and political resistance have been managed—if necessary by violence—by a liberalism that is dedicated to the idea of peace.
This course is delivered through seminars totalling a minimum of 20 hours in the AT.
Reading Weeks: Students on this course will have a reading week in AT Week 6, in line with departmental policy.
Students will be expected to produce 1 piece of coursework in the AT.
Antony Anghie, Imperialism, Sovereignty, and the Making of International Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005).
Talal Asad, On Suicide Bombing (New York: Columbia University Pres, 2007).
Partha Chatterjee, The Black Hole Of Empire: History of a Global Practice of Power (Princeton UP, 2012).
David Kennedy, The Dark Sides of Virtue: Reassessing International Humanitarianism (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005).
Sven Lindqvist, “Exterminate All the Brutes”: One Man's Odyssey into the Heart of Darkness and the Origins of European Genocide (New York: The New Press, 1996).
Karuna Mantena, Alibis of Empire: Henry Maine and the Ends of Liberal Imperialism (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010).
Joseph Massad, Desiring Arabs (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007).
Mark Mazower, No Enchanted Palace: The End of Empire and the Ideological Origins of the United Nations (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009).
Essay (90%, 5000 words) in the WT.
Class participation (10%) in the AT.
An electronic copy of the assessed essay, to be uploaded to Moodle, no later than 4.00pm on the second Thursday of Winter Term.
Attendance at all classes and submission of all set coursework is required.
Total students 2022/23: 37
Average class size 2022/23: 39
Controlled access 2022/23: Yes
Value: Half Unit
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Personal development skills
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