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

Rhonda L Evans Case

Affiliated Faculty, Adjuncts and Lecturers Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin

Adjunct Associate Professor and Interim Director, Edward A. Clark Center for Australia & New Zealand Studies

GOV 365N • Human Rights & World Politics

38055 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm MEZ B0.306
(also listed as WGS 340 )
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GOV 365N Human Rights and World Politics

Rhonda Evans

 

Human rights as codified in various international instruments form a central part of contemporary politics. International human rights provide activists with a powerful discourse that can be used to frame and legitimate contested claims.  Moreover, its legal and institutional manifestations offer activists new political opportunities for pressuring human rights violators to change their behavior.  This course takes human rights activists as its focus, examining them from a distinctly political perspective.  It traverses the ways in which advocates and their organizations give meaning to human rights and mobilize these meanings in pursuit of political and policy objectives.  In so doing, the course engages three key questions:  (1) What are the mechanics of international human rights advocacy?  (2) Does international human rights advocacy work?  (3) And, does it ultimately promote democratic practices and values? 

 

This course introduces you to the legal, political, and policy dimensions of human rights. It explores the philosophical, legal, and moral foundations of human rights and surveys the legal and institutional infrastructure and processes that exist at domestic and international levels for promotion of human rights. In so doing, it examines various actors involved in human rights advocacy, including states, international organizations, international tribunals, nongovernmental organizations, and the media. The course also engages critical social science questions about the study of human rights, including: How do we operationalize and measure human rights abuses and advances over time and geopolitical space? And, on what basis can we assess the effectiveness of international human rights advocacy?

 

Answers to the all of the questions that animate this course will be pursued through critical engagement with important contemporary issues in human rights policy.  By the semester’s end, you should understand basic laws, policies, institutions, processes, and debates in the evolving international human rights regime and appreciate the role of human rights advocacy in international and domestic politics.

 

Course Requirements:  Final course grades will be based upon the following:  participation in a simulation exercise (15%); a midterm exam (30%); a final exam (30%); and, a group research project (25%).  Note that all electronic devices, including laptop computers, will be strictly forbidden absent documentation of need by an appropriate university official.

 

Books: Beth A. Simmons, Mobilizing for Human Rights:  International Law in Domestic Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2009); Ann Marie Clark, Diplomacy of Conscience (Princeton University Press, 2001).

GOV 365N • Australian Society & Polit

38963 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm MEZ B0.306
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Description:

Australia is the principal democratic, economic, and military power in the Southwest Pacific.  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples inhabited the continent and its surrounding islands for some 50,000 years before Europeans arrived.  In 1788, British colonization began with establishment a penal colony near present-day Sydney.  Six distinct colonies federated voluntarily in 1901 to form the Commonwealth of Australia. Today, the country boasts a multi-ethnic population of 22 million, dispersed unevenly across a landmass nearly the size of the lower 48 US states.  It has served as a key US ally since World War II. While Australia retains special ties to Britain and the US, it has become an important economic and political actor in the Asia Pacific region, with strong trading links to China, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, the Philippines, and, increasingly, India. This course will (1) provide a succinct overview of Australia’s history and constitutional development; (2) examine the country’s political institutions and party politics; and (3) consider distinct opportunities and challenges that Australia faces across a range of domestic and foreign policy areas, including energy, trade, immigration, welfare, and issues concerning its Indigenous population. Throughout the course, Australia will be compared and contrasted with Texas, the US, and the other Anglo-American democracies – Britain, Canada, and New Zealand.  

Requirements:

(1) Three exams, each worth 25% of the final grade.  The last of these will be administered during the final examination period.  All exams will include a combination of essay, short-answer, multiple-choice, and true-or-false questions.  (2) A group project that involves data analysis and visual presentation of data plus a written assignment will be worth 25% of the final grade. Students who anticipate missing more than two or three classes are advised not to enroll. Likewise, reading and absorbing assigned materials will be important, with roughly half of each examination concentrating on their content. Students unwilling to read two relatively compact books and a collection of articles are advised not to enroll.

Required Reading Materials: 

(1) Stuart Macintyre, A Concise History of Australia, 3rd ed. (Cambridge University Press, 2009); (2) Dennis Woodward, John Summers, and Andrew Parkin, eds., Government, Politics and Policy in Australia, 9th ed. (Pearson/Longman Publishers, 2010); additional readings will be made available on Blackboard.

GOV 365N • Human Rights & World Politics

39310 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm MEZ B0.306
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PREREQUSITES: 

 

There are no special prerequisites for this course.  I don’t know if there are any standard prerequisites for 365N courses.

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

 

Human rights play an important role in contemporary politics.  International human rights provide activists with a powerful discourse that can be used to frame and legitimate contested claims.  Its legal and institutional manifestations offer activists new opportunities for pressuring human rights violators to change their behavior.  This course examines human rights activists from a distinctly political perspective.  It traverses the ways in which advocates and their organizations give meaning to human rights and mobilize these meanings in pursuit of political and policy objectives.  In so doing, the course engages three key questions:  (1) What are the mechanics of international human rights advocacy?  (2) What is the role of law?  and (3) Does international human rights advocacy work?  This course introduces you to the political and policy dimensions of human rights.  It explores the philosophical, legal, and moral foundations of human rights and surveys the legal and institutional infrastructure and processes that exist at domestic and international levels for promotion of human rights.  In so doing, the course examines various actors involved in human rights advocacy, including states, international organizations, international tribunals, nongovernmental organizations, and the media.  Answers to the key questions that animate this course will be pursued through critical engagement with important contemporary issues in human rights policy.  By the semester’s end, you should understand basic laws, policies, institutions, processes, and debates in the evolving international human rights regime and appreciate the role of human rights advocacy in world politics.

 

GRADING POLICY:

 

There will be three exams and a 7-10 page paper.  Each will be worth 25% of the final course grade. 

 

REQUIRED TEXTS:

 

  • Margaret E. Keck and Kathryn Sikkink, Activists beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics (Cornell University Press, 1998);
  • Jo Becker, Campaigning for Justice:  Human Rights Advocacy in Practice (Stanford University Press, 2013);
  • Ann Marie Clark, Diplomacy of Conscience:  Amnesty International and Changing Human Rights Norms (Princeton University Press, 2001).

GOV 365N • Australian Society & Polit

39290 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm PAR 201
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Course Description

Australia is the principal democratic, economic, and military power in the Southwest Pacific.  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples inhabited the continent and its surrounding islands for some 50,000 years before Europeans arrived.  In 1788, British colonization began with establishment a penal colony near present-day Sydney.  Six distinct colonies federated voluntarily in 1901 to form the Commonwealth of Australia. Today, the country boasts a multi-ethnic population of 22 million, dispersed unevenly across a landmass nearly the size of the lower 48 US states.  It has served as a key US ally since World War II. While Australia retains special ties to Britain and the US, it has become an important economic and political actor in the Asia Pacific region, with strong trading links to China, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, the Philippines, and, increasingly, India. This course will (1) provide a succinct overview of Australia’s history and constitutional development; (2) examine the country’s political institutions and party politics; and (3) consider distinct opportunities and challenges that Australia faces across a range of domestic and foreign policy areas, including energy, trade, immigration, welfare, and issues concerning its Indigenous population. Throughout the course, Australia will be compared and contrasted with Texas, the US, and the other Anglo-American democracies – Britain, Canada, and New Zealand.  

Grading Policy

Course grades will be based on three exams.  The first two exams will each be worth 30% of the final grade.  A final, cumulative exam will be worth 40% of the final grade.  It will consist of a take-home component and an in-class exam that will be administered during the final examination period.  All in-class exams will include a combination of essay, short-answer, multiple-choice, and true-or-false questions.  Although attendance and participation will not formally factor into the final course grade, students who anticipate missing more than two or three classes are advised not to enroll.  Likewise, reading and absorbing assigned materials will be important, with roughly half of each examination concentrating on their content.  Students unwilling to read two relatively compact books and a collection of articles are advised not to enroll.

 

Texts

(1) Stuart Macintyre, A Concise History of Australia, 3rd ed. (Cambridge University Press, 2009);

(2) Ian Ward and Randal G. Stewart, Politics One, 4th ed. (Palgrave, 2010);

(3) additional readings will also be made available on Blackboard.

 

 

GOV 365N • Human Rights & World Politics

38947 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm MEZ B0.306
show description

Course Description

Human rights form a central part of contemporary international politics.  International human rights provide activists with a powerful discourse that can be used to frame and legitimate contested claims.  Moreover, its legal and institutional manifestations offer activists new political opportunities for pressuring human rights violators to change their behavior.  This course takes human rights activists as its focus, examining them from a distinctly political perspective.  It traverses the ways in which advocates and their organizations give meaning to human rights and mobilize these meanings in pursuit of political and policy objectives.  In so doing, the course engages three key questions:  (1) What are the mechanics of international human rights advocacy?  (2) Does international human rights advocacy work?  (3) And, does it ultimately promote democratic practices and values? 

This course introduces you to the political and policy dimensions of human rights.  It explores the philosophical, legal, and moral foundations of human rights, including both well-established civil/political rights and more controversial economic, social, and cultural rights.  The course also surveys the legal and institutional infrastructure and processes that exist at domestic and international levels for promotion of human rights.  In so doing, it examines various actors involved in human rights advocacy, including states, international organizations, international tribunals, nongovernmental organizations, and the media.  Answers to the three key questions that animate this course will be pursued through critical engagement with important contemporary issues in human rights policy.  By the semester’s end, you should understand basic laws, policies, institutions, processes, and debates in the evolving international human rights “regime” and appreciate the role of human rights advocacy in world politics.

 

Grading Policy

 Final course grades will be based upon the following:  participation (15%); a midterm exam (25%); a final exam (30%); and, a ten-page policy memo, including a draft (10%) and final version (20%).  Note that attendance will be mandatory, and all electronic devices, including laptop computers, will be strictly forbidden absent documentation of need by an appropriate university official.

 

Texts

Margaret E. Keck and Kathryn Sikkink, Activists beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics (Cornell University Press, 1998); Clifford Bob (ed.), The International Struggle for New Human Rights (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008); Jo Becker, Campaigning for Justice:  Human Rights Advocacy in Practice (Stanford University Press, 2013).

GOV 365N • Australian Society & Polit

38813 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 930am-1100am WAG 214
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Course Description

 Australia is the principal democratic, economic, and military power in the Southwest Pacific.  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples inhabited the continent and its surrounding islands for some 50,000 years before Europeans arrived.  In 1788, British colonization began with establishment a penal colony near present-day Sydney.  Six distinct colonies federated voluntarily in 1901 to form the Commonwealth of Australia. Today, the country boasts a multi-ethnic population of 22 million, dispersed unevenly across a landmass nearly the size of the lower 48 US states.  It has served as a key US ally since World War II. While Australia retains special ties to Britain and the US, it has become an important economic and political actor in the Asia Pacific region, with strong trading links to China, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, the Philippines, and, increasingly, India. This course will (1) provide a succinct overview of Australia’s history and constitutional development; (2) examine the country’s political institutions and party politics; and (3) consider distinct opportunities and challenges that Australia faces across a range of domestic and foreign policy areas, including energy, trade, immigration, welfare, and issues concerning its Indigenous population. Throughout the course, Australia will be compared and contrasted with Texas, the US, and the other Anglo-American democracies – Britain, Canada, and New Zealand.  

 

Grading Policy

(1) Three exams, each worth 30% of the final grade.  The last of these will be cumulative and administered during the final examination period.  All exams will include a combination of essay, short-answer, multiple-choice, and true-or-false questions.  (2) Attendance and participation will determine the remaining 10% of the course grade.  Students who anticipate missing more than two or three classes are advised not to enroll. Likewise, reading and absorbing assigned materials will be important, with roughly half of each examination concentrating on their content. Students unwilling to read two relatively compact books and a collection of articles are advised not to enroll.  

 

Texts

(1) Stuart Macintyre, A Concise History of Australia, 3rd ed. (Cambridge University Press, 2009); (2) Dennis Woodward, John Summers, and Andrew Parkin, eds., Government, Politics and Policy in Australia, 9th ed. (Pearson/Longman Publishers, 2010); a course packet of additional readings will also be made available for purchase from a local vendor.

 

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