Course code EDS245

EDS245 Human Rights and Development

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Showing course contents for the educational year starting in 2018 .

Course responsible: William Derman, Shai André Divon
ECTS credits: 10
Faculty: Faculty of Landscape and Society
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in Spring parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Spring parallel.
Course frequency: Annually
First time: 2009V
Preferential right:
Students enrolled in one of Noragric's study programmes.
Course contents:
Human rights has become increasingly important as a normative-based approach to development theory, policy and practice. By the addition of economic and social rights to civil and political rights, human rights laws make development central to the realization of virtually all human rights. This course considers the range of economic, social and cultural rights in light of how, if implemented, it can augment or alter paths to social and economic development and equality. The class will consider the history of human rights and a selection of recognized human rights including:  the right to food, to water, to health,to work, to a clean environment, and to gender equality,  We consider if extreme poverty is a violation of human rights. States (and other international institutions) practices will be examined in light of how they respect, protect and fulfil their obligations under the range of human rights principles and laws. With the tremendous growth of international business, investment agreements and trade, the class will consider the possibilities and effects existing human rights law might have upon international business practices. Throughout the course critiques of human rights approaches will be covered, especially those which focus on their western biases, their ineffectiveness, or their costs. The aim is to support students in their understanding of human rights law, its uses, its limits and how it can be used to meet the goals and objectives of development.
Learning outcome:
1. To give an overview and academic understanding of major theories in international human rights: 2.To enable course participants to critically discuss and use these theories and concepts in development policy in their social, economic and environmental contexts: 3. To develop awareness of values and normative approaches in development including the tensions and contradictions in human rights-based approaches to development theory, policy and practice.
Learning activities:
The course employs a problem-oriented approach to development policy. Learning builds on active participation and interaction between course participants and teachers to enable sharing of diverse experiences and academic insights. Major learning methods are (i) lectures, (ii) assisted information search and management, (iii) self-directed work and individual writing, (iv) group work, (v) presentations and discussion in class.
Teaching support:

Text Books: Human Rights by Kerri Woods. Palgrave Macmillan, 2014

Failing to Protect: The UN and the Politicisation of Human Rights by Rosa Freedman. London, Hurst, 2014,

Articles including: Alston, Philip, Ships Passing in the Night: The Current State of the Human Rights and Development Debate seen through the Lens of the Millennium Development Goals in Human Rights Quarterly, Volume 27 (3) 2005. Pogge, Thomas. Severe Poverty as a Human Rights Violation in Freedom from Poverty as a Human Right: Who Owes What to the Very Poor? Oxford University Press, 2007. Pp. 11-53. Pogge, T.W. 2002. World poverty and human rights:cosmopolitan responsibilities and reforms. polity Press Cambridge; UK and Blackwell Publishers INC, Malden, MA, USA. Engendering socio-economic rights by Sandra Fredman in Women's Human Rights: CEDAW in International, Regional and National Law edited by Anne Hellum and Henriette Sinding Aasen, Cambridge University Press, 2013. Women¿s Rights are human rights ¿ Chapter 6 in The Political Sociology of Human Rights (Chapter 6) by Kate Nash. 2015. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Recommended prerequisites:
There will be one essay examination in class based upon the text book and the first four weeks of class. This is worth 30% of the grade (A-F). Each student must participate in a group project comprising a written and oral component exploring a human rights-based case study. This is worth 30% of the grade. And a final oral examination worth 40% of the grade. The Exam is in ENGLISH ONLY. All three activities must be completed to receive a grade for the course.
Nominal workload:
300 hours
Entrance requirements:
Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (generell studiekompetanse)
Reduction of credits:
Type of course:
There will be two lectures with discussion each week. In addition, there will be group work. Participants are expected to spend additional time on group work and self-directed study.
A human rights expert with a PhD will serve as an external examiner for the final exams.
Examination details: Continuous exam: A - E / Ikke bestått