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DHIS 1890A - Human Rights: A History of the Present

Type d'enseignement : Elective

Semester : Autumn 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

After a brief introduction to early modern theories of natural rights and late 18th-century rights of man, the course will examine the rise to prominence of human rights beginning with the inaugural moment of the early 1940s. It will proceed to examine successive moments of codification (declarations, covenants and conventions), institutionalization (international organizations and NGOs), and instrumentalization (by various political projects from anti-fascism to globalization). The course will explore notions of human rights as they have been defined and redefined in the course of the construction and reconstruction of post-WWII world order, in an attempt to understand how the politics of humanity (rather than of citizenship or class) has emerged as a defining feature of today's world.


MAGIDOFF, Jonathan (Professeur, Université Paris II-Panthéon Assas)

Course validation

Short reading-response paper; oral presentation; final paper

Required reading

  • Arendt, Hannah, The Origins of Totalitarianism; Borgwardt, Elizabeth, A New Deal for the World: America's Vision for Human Rights
  • Hunt, Lynn, Inventing Human Rights: A History; Meister, Robert, After Evil: A Politics of Human Rights

Additional required reading

  • Moyn, Samuel, The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History
  • Snyder, Sarah, Human Rights Activism and the End of the Cold War: A Transnational History of the Helsinki Network
  • Guilhot, Nicolas, The Democracy Makers: Human Rights & International Order