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DAFF 3075A - Human Rights, Law, and Politics in Contemporary Russia

Type d'enseignement : Elective

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

This seminar is designed to give a broad understanding of the lines of theorizing and types of research that animate the study of human rights issues and human rights mobilizations in post-Soviet Russia, through acquainting students with academic research in history, political and social sciences on the matter.
 This course will first analyze how “human rights” have been constructed - as a cause, as a discourse, as a legal and institutional framework - since the Soviet human rights movement, then in the 1990s and 2000s, until today, when “human rights” have become a dominant frame on a number of very heterogeneous issues for media and activists denouncing the political regime in “Putin's Russia”. It will pay particular attention to the sociology of actors, as well as to historical, political and social conditions of emergence, possibility and development of human rights mobilizations. In the second section of the course, we will focus on various case studies on highly mediatized “human rights” issues (Chechen wars, “political prisoners”, policing of protests and protest-related trials, LGBTQ rights). These case studies will, on the one hand, provide students with a broader empirical knowledge on contemporary Russian society, and on the other hand, will serve as a magnifying glass, as they highlight complex dynamics of Russian politics and law in the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s.


MUSTAFINA, Renata (doctorante contractuelle)

Course validation

Oral presentation - 25%; Discussion of academic articles - 20%; Final paper in form of an argumentative essay based on a case study highlighting one of the human rights issues, including the course's references and individual research - 35 % (25 000 characters); Attendance, active and regular participation in collective discussions - 20 %.