This is a syllabus for the course "The Age of Human Rights" (Capstone course – International Relations & International Law) designed for the University College Groningen (UCG), University of Groningen (the Netherlands). The syllabus is designed by taking into consideration the UCG’s focus on project-based education and it is further inspired by the design thinking approach to education.
This course aims to do two things. Firstly, to provide a good knowledge base on what international human rights are and what mechanisms exist to implement, supervise and enforce them. Secondly, to discuss in a critical manner how international human rights thinking has become inextricably linked to almost all areas of international cooperation. Students are asked to critically analyse specific human rights issues from a multi- or interdisciplinary perspective, thereby drawing upon information from the various disciplinary fields that they have covered in their programmes.
The first part of the course (6 sessions) is used to create the relevant knowledge base through interactive lectures. In the second part of the course (12 sessions), students are asked to work in small subgroups on particular issue areas which will be chosen in consultation with the instructors. The course concludes with a half-day conference on human rights in which the participating students act as panel members (this may be subject to change).