Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity
Area of Study
Taught In English
Substantial prior successful study of politics/IR at university level.
Course Level Recommendations
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Recommended U.S. Semester Credits4
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units0
Hours & Credits
This module will be examining some deeply troubling events in recent history and politics
and the various ethical, legal and political responses that they have generated.
It has been argued that the Holocaust was a critical turning point, a catastrophe which
required a fundamental ethical, legal and political rethinking of how the rights of human
beings could be protected when states in the modern world engage in the systematic
attempt to murder large numbers of people, including many of their own citizens.
The module begins with reflections on the Nazi attempt to eliminate a whole group of
people (the Jews) and to murder and enslave millions of others. It then considers a range
of responses, including the Nuremberg trials, the Genocide Convention, and the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
It examines a number of cases of genocide and crimes against humanity that have
nevertheless occurred subsequently. It evaluates the repeated failure for decades to halt
or prevent these crimes and then considers the rethinking caused by the genocides in
Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and the setting up of ad hoc tribunals and an International
Criminal Court to prosecute perpetrators and provide justice to victims.
It concludes with reflections on how much progress has been made in protecting citizens
in a world of sovereign nation states and what forms of justice can work after such
crimes have been committed. These are highly contested questions and the module is
designed to encourage the critical analysis and evaluation of a wide range of arguments
that have been put forward from a variety of perspectives.
The focus for this semester is on considering some of the core questions and conceptual
issues and discuss different ways in which they have been thought about, from a variety
of perspectives. A number of case studies where genocide/crimes against humanity have
been committed are then examined.
? Introduction: 1945 and the impact of the Holocaust
? From Crimes against Humanity to Genocide and the Genocide Convention
? The political uses and abuses of genocide
? Understanding genocide and crimes against humanity 1 ? intentionalism
? Understanding genocide and crimes against humanity 2- functionalism
? Understanding genocide and crimes against humanity 3 ? from totalitarianism to
? The question of morality ? perpetrators, victims, bystanders, and rescuers
? Cambodia 1, Cambodia 2
? Guatemala 1, Guatemala 2
A number of case studies where genocide/crimes against humanity have been
committed are examined, then moving on to consider some common themes and issues
arising out of these developments, before concluding with an attempt at an overview of
what might have been learnt.
? Yugoslavia 1
? Yugoslavia 2
? Rwanda 1
? Rwanda 2
? The crises of the 90s and the question of intervention
? Prosecuting genocide and crimes against humanity ? from the Tribunals to the
? Genocide and crimes against humanity in the new millennium: Darfur 1
? Darfur 2 ... and other cases
Teaching: Lectures and seminars
STUDY OPTION 1:
? Production of a critical bibliography, which will involve a review of no more than
1500 words of 3 significant books in the field which offer different explanations
of how and why genocide and crimes against humanity have been committed
since the Holocaust. (Autumn semester, 40%).
? 2,500 word essay (Spring semester, 60%).
STUDY OPTION 2: Alternative assessment ? essay (tbc)
STUDY OPTION 3: Alternative assessment ? essay (tbc)
Study Option 1 = Whole Year
Study Option 2 = Autumn
Study Option 3 = Spring/summer
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.
Some courses may require additional fees.
Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.
Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.
Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.