POL30012 History, Politics and Human Rights

About this Unit

The aim of this unit of study is to introduce students to the international framework for human rights in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Beginning with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the unit examines responses to genocide, inequality and campaigns for self-determination. Through an historical analysis of case studies the unit reflects on contemporary political limitations in human rights law and protection.


  • Rights versus Justice
  • The Trials at Nuremburg and Tokyo
  • International Law versus the Sovereign State: The Declaration
  • Displaced Persons and Rights of Refugees
  • ‘The dove flies east’: Human Rights as ideology
  • Human Rights as Self Determination
  • The rights of man and woman
  • Humanitarian Intervention to R2P
  • Prisons and Punishment: a case study in human rights
  • Drones, Torture, Justification and the Just War
  • Transitional and Restorative Justice
  • Rights versus Justice Revisited 

This unit is found in Bachelor of Social Science With a Major in Security and International Relations.