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Academic Year 2024/2025

Politics of Human Rights (POL41020)

Social Sciences & Law
Politics & Int Relations
4 (Masters)
Module Coordinator:
Assoc Professor Alexander Dukalskis
Mode of Delivery:
On Campus
Internship Module:
How will I be graded?
Letter grades

Curricular information is subject to change.

By examining recent political science scholarship on human rights, this module will facilitate understanding of how human rights norms spread and what effects they have on state behavior. After a brief theoretical and historical overview of international human rights, the course will turn to perspectives that seek to explain how and under what conditions human rights norms would be expected to influence state conduct. Topics covered include the role of transnational activist networks, legalization and legal norms, transitional justice, trade and economic sanctions, and the role of domestic institutions. The module does not cover the normative basis of human rights in any detail. The module will examine both quantitative and case-study empirical work to understand how and when various theories hold and what scholarship has yet to uncover. The module will be taught as a series of seminars in which students will be expected to complete all required reading and come to class prepared to discuss it in a critical and collegial fashion.

About this Module

Learning Outcomes:

-Understand multiple theoretical perspectives on the politics of human rights

-Analyze cross-national empirical patterns

-Interrogate the perspectives and empirical patterns in your written work

-Construct and evaluate arguments

-Compare, contrast, analyze, and evaluate the politics of human rights across contexts

-Prepare a short but academically rigorous piece of research on a topic related to human rights

-Think creatively about human rights and (hopefully) politics more generally

Indicative Module Content:

See module descriptor.

Student Effort Hours:
Student Effort Type Hours
Seminar (or Webinar)


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Seminar-style discussions, reading, written analysis, original research.

Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Assignment(Including Essay): Short writing assginment 1 Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6, Week 7, Week 8 Graded No


Assignment(Including Essay): Short writing assignment 2 Week 9, Week 10, Week 11, Week 12 Graded No


Participation in Learning Activities: Seminar participation. Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6, Week 7, Week 8, Week 9, Week 10, Week 11, Week 12 Graded No


Assignment(Including Essay): Final research paper. Week 11, Week 12, Week 14, Week 15 Graded No



Carry forward of passed components

Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 

Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Peer review activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback will be provided to students within 20 working days of the deadline for the assignment in according with university policy.