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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

Summer 2006

GOV f335M • State Sovereignty and Human Rights- W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
85960 MTWThF
8:30 AM-10:00 AM

Course Description

Contains a substantial writing component and fulfills part of the basic education requirement in writing. Course number may be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

This seminar illuminates and analyzes the philosophical and sociological dimensions of a political paradox. Today's international order is founded on the sovereignty of territorially bounded nation-states. On the one hand, democratic nation-states in particular claim sovereignty on the basis of the democratic self-determination of their people. On the other hand, modern democracies often claim to act, and sometimes might want to act, in the name of universal principles of human rights. But heres the rub: how can universal principles be circumscribed within particular civic communities, within the established legal orders of individual polities? How, if at all, can a political community embrace both human rights and citizens rights? Does our territorially circumscribed, state-centric world of international relations preclude any cosmopolitan standpoint, and that of human rights in particular?

Grading Policy

The final grade will be the average of four 4- to 5-page essays, adjusted for quality of seminar participation.


Immanuel Kant, Perpetual Peace Immanuel Kant, Metaphysics of Morals Charles Beitz, Political Theory and International Relations John Rawls, The Law of Peoples Packet of readings


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