Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies (CHRHS)


Fall 2019 courses focusing on human rights and humanitarian issues

POLS 1500 The International Law and Politics of Human Rights

Nina Tannenwald

Introduces students to the law and politics of international human rights; examines the construction of an international human rights regime and its influence on international politics. Will survey the actors and organizations involved in the promotion of human rights around the globe, as well as the obstacles. Will review competing conceptions of human rights, whether human rights are universal, problems of enforcement, and the role of human rights in foreign policy. Major topics include civil and political rights; economic, social and cultural rights; genocide, torture, women's rights, humanitarian intervention, and the international criminal court. POLS 0400 strongly encouraged as a prerequisite.

PHP 2730 Section S01, CRN 17015 Including the Excluded: Global Health Ethics

Caroline C Kuo

This course explores the ethics of global public health engagement. Global health implementation is fraught with ethical conundrums. These ethical conundrums include the process of generating rigorous evidence, championing health as a human right, engaging global partners in meaningful collaborations, and implementing complex programs in low-resource settings. These ethical challenges are driven by North-South inequities and by differences in socioeconomic backgrounds, culture, language, and other intersectional identities. This course introduces scholars to global health ethics as a framework for tackling health disparities, grappling in a scholarly and practical way with the complex fabric of global health research, policy, and practice.

HIST 1080 Section S01, CRN 16003 Humanitarianism and Conflict in Africa

Jennifer Johnson

This course focuses on the major issues and debates concerning humanitarianism and international intervention in 20th century Africa. It will explore the history of humanitarianism and the many challenges that arise when governments and institutions intervene in a conflict. Then students will investigate specific sites of conflict in Africa (ranging from Nigeria, Somalia, Rwanda, Sudan, and Western Sahara) and analyze different models of intervention and aid. These case studies will expose students to pivotal events in African history and equip them with a critical vocabulary with which to assess contemporary conflicts.

CSCI 1805 Section S01, CRN 16715 Computers, Freedom and Privacy

Timothy Edgar

Who is the Big Brother that we most fear? Is it the NSA -- or is it Google and Facebook? Rapidly changing social mores and the growing problem of cybersecurity have all contributed to a sense that privacy is dead. Laws protecting privacy and civil liberties are stuck in the analog age, while the capabilities for mass digital surveillance continue to advance rapidly. This course will examine a variety of informational privacy and technology issues. A major theme: the historical and contemporary struggle to bring surveillance under democratic control to protect against abuses of privacy, civil liberties and human rights.

INTL 0600 Section S01, CRN 17659 Foundations of Security

Rose McDermott

This course presents an interdisciplinary approach to the study of security. This means we examine the notion of what constitutes security from a variety of disciplinary perspectives that may not always agree or overlap. Specifically, in addition to political science, the course draws on recent work in evolutionary psychology, biological anthropology and behavioral economics to examine existing problems, issues and questions in security studies. The goal of this course is to investigate the extent to which various disciplinary models and methods can help to further inform or develop the study of security. Substantive applications include a wide variety of empirical methods.