Subject details

At the completion of this subject students will be able to:

  1. describe and critique human rights theories and philosophies
  2. use appropriate technologies to locate and critically appraise relevant human rights literature
  3. analyse and communicate human rights theories and philosophies
  4. critically analyse political, policy and moral issues using a human rights framework
  5. demonstrate an understanding of plagiarism, paraphrasing and the principles of Academic Integrity.
  • Topics
    • What do we mean by human rights?
    • Modern perspectives on human rights - part one
    • Modern perspectives on human rights - part two
    • Constructing human rights: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
    • Human rights and the cultural relativist critique
    • Human rights and the postmodern and postcolonial critiques
    • The feminist critique and rights in the private domain
    • Human rights norms, regimes and socialisation
    • Human rights and the ethics of the use of force
    • Sexual orientation, gender identity and human rights
    • Human rights and disability
    • Human rights and the environment
  • Study resources
    • Instructional Methods
      • Disscusion forum/Discussion Board
      • Online assignment submission
      • Podcasting/Leacture capture
      • Streaming Multimedia
      • Web links

No eligibility requirements

Special requirements

  • EquipmentDetails - Audio/Visual equipment

This subject questions what is meant by human rights, and examines the foundations of conventional human rights discourse in western philosophy. It also examines the development of the post-Holocaust human rights tradition, in particular the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and some contemporary rights perspectives including human rights norms, regimes and socialisation theories. Critiques of universalism are also explored from the cultural relativist, postmodern and feminist perspectives.

Please Note:  If it’s your first time studying a Curtin University subject you’ll need to complete their compulsory ‘Academic Integrity Program’. It only takes two hours to complete online, and provides you with vital information about studying with Curtin University. The Academic Integrity Program is compulsory, so if it’s not completed your subject grades will be withheld.

Find out more about the Academic Integrity module.

  • Assignment 1 - Online Discussion — Discussion Points (30%)
  • Assignment 2 - Final Essay (40%)
  • Assignment 3 - First Essay (30%)

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a subject

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