EL 237 Why Human Rights

Home / Modules / El-237-why-human-rights

Module Level


Time Allowance

Summer School


Essay: 1500-2000 words (100%)

Module Aims

Aims: The former Secretary General of the United Nations Boutros Boutros-Ghali called human rights “the common language of humanity”. Yet, challenges, often linked to globalisation, appear to expose inherent weaknesses and contradictions. This module will explore human rights discourse as a multi-faceted and normative language.

Learning Outcomes

  • Philosophical and Theological approaches to Human Rights
  • Contemporary Human Rights Documents, Instruments and Institutions
  • Contemporary challenges


  • Brownlie, I. and G.S. Goodwin-Gill. Basic Documents on Human Rights. 6th Ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.
  • Goodhart, Michael. Human Rights: Politics and Practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.
  • Regan, E. Theology and the Boundary Discourse of Human Rights. Washington DC: Georgetown University Press, 2010.
  • Hogan, Linda, Keeping Faith with Human Rights. Washington DC: Georgetown University, Press, 2015.
  • Steiner, H.J. and P. Alston. International Human Rights in Context Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012