Human Rghts&Development (LAW-739S-001)
6/6/16-6/17/16. Friday classes will end at 6:20 pm
Human rights and development have evolved largely in separate tracks, and even, to a large degree,separate worlds. But times have changed. There are now clear spheres of convergence between these fields in theory, applied research and practice. In September 2015 UN member States are expected to conclude a new global agreement on development cooperation including a set of “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDG's) to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDG's). Human rights demands have featured prominently in global consultations and most major proposals for the post-2015 development agenda to date. Many bilateral and multilateral aid organizations, non-governmental organizations and development workers now profess to implement “rights-based approaches” to development. At the same time, governments, development agencies and others are facing increasing demands for accountability for human rights violations carried out in development’s name. The infiltration of human rights within development thinking and practice has been warmly embraced in many, but by no means all, quarters. No less a figure than Amartya Sen has remarked: “The suspicion is that there is something a little simple-minded about the entire conceptual structure that underlies the oratory on human rights.” Other commentators have derided rights-based approaches to development as mere “rhetorical repackaging.” The Human Rights and Development course will critically examine key features of this dynamic landscape, through a mix of lectures, group work discussions and practical exercises. Beginning with a brief historical overview, the course will explore the contemporary conceptions and meanings of human rights and development, laying the ground for a more detailed examination of the points of convergence - as well as tensions - between these fields in both theory and practice. Consideration will be given to how international human rights standards and principles have influenced technical programming approaches of development agencies, as well as public policy debates concerning international aid, trade, investment, the Millennium Development Goals (MDG's) and climate change, in the context of the international debates leading towards a new “the post-2015 development agenda” in September 2015. There will be a strong institutional focus within the program, with a close look at the roles and functions of United Nations development agencies, international financial institutions including the World Bank, as well as transnational corporations and business entities, set against political debates on human rights and development in the United Nations’ inter-governmental bodies.
Textbooks and Other Materials
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First Class Readings
Not available at this time.