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KDEC 9115 - Human Rights, Global Poverty and Development

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Autumn 2018-2019

Number of hours : 39

Language of tuition : English


The seminar is designed for students interested in socio-economic development, global poverty, inequality, globalization and human rights issues. Prior or concurrent course in human rights and/or international law, and/or academic or professional background in international/development studies, is preferable, but not an absolute requirement.

Course Description

This weekly seminar will explore the linkages between global poverty, human rights and development from a historical, theoretical, institutional and policy-making perspective. A number of questions have been raised by the field of "human rights and development", which has emerged in academic and policy circles as a result of the failure of development economics and the human rights movement to effectively address the challenge of global poverty and inequality: is development too often conducive to human rights violations, or is it a means to “realize” human rights? Does a human rights focus hinder development, or does it help generate more, and “better”, development? Is poverty a violation of human rights? Is development a human right? What does this entail? The seminar will seek to answer some of these questions by offering a multidisciplinary lens to engage with and introduce some of the key policy debates in the field.


  • PERELMAN, Jeremy (Professeur à Sciences Po)
  • WHITE, Lucie E. (Professor of Law)

Pedagogical format

Most sessions will be formatted around a brief introduction of the week's theme, a structured class discussion around the readings, and by a short summary of take-away points. Some of the class discussions will be structured dynamically with a small team of students playing a leading role around a role-play/debate, others will feature invited guests. The last sessions will be articulated around case studies, explored in the format of workshops prepared and taught by small teams of students.

Course validation

Paper or take-home in 48h.


Students will be asked to read around 50 pages of required materials from a variety of disciplines (international law, cultural anthropology, political sciences, development economics), write up 2 short (3-page, double-spaced) reaction papers throughout the semester on a session of their choice, and participate in group activities.

Required reading

Students will receive the required reading electronically