Human Rights and Globalisation

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Human Rights and Globalisation

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study

    International Studies, Sociology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    The course focuses on important contemporary issues affecting human rights protection in a globalizing world. We live in a world where territorial borders are rapidly losing their significance as regards economic activities and other issues, such as pollution. At the same time, questions of justice are still largely tied to the territorial state. We will take an innovative approach to human rights law to find ways in which we can discuss justice on a global scale.


    This course focuses on a series of topical issues affecting human rights in Europe and globally. The emphasis is on the challenges posed by social and political evolution and the question of global justice. We will discuss such divergent question as the challenges caused by environmental pollution, the fight against terrorism, the regulation of international migration and global inequality.

    A snapshot of the course (we will discuss these divergent areas and discuss common themes and debates that are interlinked in these areas): 

    1. Globalization, sovereignty and international protection of human rights 
    2. Environmental protection and the rights of indigenous peoples 
    3. The fight against terrorism and global security regulation
    4. European regulation of migration, zooming in on new technologies of border control
    5. Human rights and the regulation of the export of arms
    6. Accountability of rights violations by multinational corporations
    7. Equality and justice on a global scale with a focus on questions of distributive justice

    The course will look at the aspects of human rights protection that have become topical as a result of social evolution in the recent years. A running theme through the course is that of global justice and the role of law and constitutionalism. We will focus on human rights law from different legal orders, such as established by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the American Convention on Human Rights, the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, and the European Social Charter. 

    The course consists of 7 meetings. Each seminar will include both a lecture and extensive discussion with students, based on the literature and suggested case law. Students will be required to reflect on the regional European framework of human rights regulation (Council of Europe and EU) vis-à-vis other international systems of human rights protection. Furthermore, students prepare, present and report on judgments of various courts. The final assignment will be comprised of an essay question, discussing a certain case study. Students will be asked to assess possibilities and limits of European law, select relevant examples from other systems, and unpack how human rights law relates to social reality.

    Individual essay. Students will have an opportunity to safeguard a higher grade via individual or group presentations about relevant judgments of the international tribunals.


Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Some courses may require additional fees.


This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some are essential to make our site work; others help us improve the user experience. By using the site, you consent to the placement of these cookies.

Read our Privacy Policy to learn more.