Fall 2022  |  PA 5885 Section 001: Human Rights Policy: Issues and Actors (23822)

Class Component:
3 Credits
Grading Basis:
Student Option
Instructor Consent:
No Special Consent Required
Instruction Mode:
In Person
Enrollment Requirements:
Graduate Student
Times and Locations:
Regular Academic Session
09/06/2022 - 12/14/2022
Mon, Wed 01:00PM - 02:15PM
UMTC, West Bank
Hubert H Humphrey Center 60
Enrollment Status:
Open (14 of 30 seats filled)
Also Offered:
Course Catalog Description:
Politics of human rights issue emergence; relevant international, regional, and domestic norms; correlates of state repression; measurement of human rights abuse and remedies; human rights promotion by states, political parties, international organizations, NGOs, social movements, faith-based organizations, and providers of international development assistance.
Class Notes:
Class Description:

This is a graduate-level introductory course on human rights policy, issues, actors and mechanisms. Human Rights is generally understood to refer to the ways in which states treat their citizens and not the relationship between private citizens. For example, the difference between a murder committed by the police (extrajudicial killing) and the murder of one civilian by another (homicide). In this course, we will spend the majority of our time exploring the International Human Rights System, including the United Nations, International Civil Society, and International Justice mechanisms. We will also explore the United States policy system and human rights policy, both domestic and foreign.

This course will cover many topics, in many cases we will merely scratch the surface of the wealth of information available on these topics. The assignments will ask you to explore in-depth a topic that is of particular interest to you.

The syllabus is available here https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WzRcRzForqgvDRZ593pcCtds7Cd2nQiIkem1liBgAXw/edit?usp=sharing

Learning Objectives:

As a result of completing this course and the assigned readings, activities, papers, and projects you will be able to:

  • Understand the international human rights context and mechanism and how these standards affect governments and individuals

  • Distinguish the difference between U.S. domestic rights and how these intersect with international human rights.

  • Identify human rights issues and place them within the larger human rights framework.

  • Identify and analyze international and domestic human rights actors.

  • Effectively communicate, through a variety of media, a specific human rights issue, and policy recommendations.


This course has two major assignments, which will be broken down into a number of steps, and a number of smaller assignments throughout the semester. In addition, each person is expected to sign up to lead one discussion session. This section of the syllabus will provide an overview of the two large assignments and the expectations for the discussion leaders. Additional information will be available through the Canvas site.

The assignments will carry the following weight for your final grade:

  • Story Map - 50%

  • Interview -20%

  • Discussion Group Leader - 15%

  • Participation - 15%

Each assignment will be graded on a 100 point scale and then weighted as indicated above. Letter grades are assigned as follows. 97-100=A+, 94-96=A, 90-93=A-, 87-89=B+, 84-86=B, 80-83=B-, and so on. Unless prior arrangements have been made, late assignments will be penalized three points immediately and then again for every 24 hours that pass after the due date/time.

Exam Format:
This course does not contain any exams.
Past Syllabi:
http://classinfo.umn.edu/syllabi/jamesr_PA5885_Fall2016.docx (Fall 2016)
Instructor Supplied Information Last Updated:
16 August 2021

ClassInfo Links - Fall 2022 Public Affairs Classes

To link directly to this ClassInfo page from your website or to save it as a bookmark, use:
To see a URL-only list for use in the Faculty Center URL fields, use:
To see this page output as XML, use:
To see this page output as JSON, use:
To see this page output as CSV, use:
Schedule Viewer
8 am
9 am
10 am
11 am
12 pm
1 pm
2 pm
3 pm
4 pm
5 pm
6 pm
7 pm
8 pm
9 pm
10 pm
Class Title