1 Course introduction, and organizational details; and Reading the Universal Declaration of Human Rights  
2 What are human rights? History, philosophy and character of the rights discourse  
3 Key conceptual debates: universality v. cultural relativism, public v. private, relativity of rights, liberal origins, individual v. community rights, civil v. human rights  
4 Sovereignty and Self-determination?: The Impact of North-South divisions, the West v. Rest  
5 Security v. human rights: The torture debate  
6 Economic development, globalization and poverty  
7 The push for democracy and democratization  
8 International Women's rights  
9 Ethnic, religious and racial violence and group rights  
10 Forcible Intervention versus sovereignty  
11 Domestic avenues for realizing rights Topics for final paper are due
12 Transnational/International avenues for the realization of rights  
13 The role of Nongovernmental Organizations and Social Movements  
14 Criticisms of and challenges to rights, Conclusion and wrapping up Final papers are due

*In addition to the final paper, students will select any two classes on which they will write short papers (5-7 pages long) illustrating a current human rights issue from any part of the world.