2020-2021 Undergraduate Bulletin

POL 316 The Politics of Rights

3 hours 

Rights and claims are defining features of American, and to an increasing degree, world political and social life. After taking this course, students will be better able to identify, understand, and critically evaluate how and why rights are used in our political and social world. We will study a range of materials that address such topics as: what rights are; if, why, and when rights-claims have power; the history of using rights-claims to achieve political goals; how, why, when, and who uses rights-claims in contemporary political disputes; and what we do when rights conflict. Particular attention will be paid to social and political movements that use rights-claims, as well as the various advantages, limitations, and problems that accompany rights-based political appeals. Individual instructors may anchor the course in specific sub-topics, primary texts, cultures, historical moments, etc., depending on their interests and areas of specialization.




ENG 201, and GOV 101 or POL 101, and junior standing