Human Rights in Latin America
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso
Valparaíso and Viña del Mar, Chile
Area of Study
Latin American Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies
Taught In English
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits4
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units6
Hours & Credits
This course will examine the evolution, approaches and debates regarding Human Rights in Latin America during the 20th and 21st centuries, paying particular attention to the Chilean case. Since the end of WWII, we have seen "human rights" evolve from a more abstract theoretical concept to an injustice and collective memory. Yet, numerous challenges remain to the prevention and eradication of human rights violations globally. For instance, the very idea of "universal" human rights remains controversial, and debates over what issues can legitimately be considered under the umbrella of human rights persist. This course provides an introduction to the interdisciplinary study of human rights as a concept, as a set of laws and institutions, and as a set of political and cultural practicies. We will examine the historical, political, legal, social and cultural aspects of the topic.
Thus, we will begin with a study of the philosophical foundations of human rights that seeks to answer questions such as "What are human rights?" and "How and why do we have these rights?", as well as a revision of the concept through western history. We will then move to the practice of human rights and exaine the political structures and enable us to address human rights violations around the globe. Finally, we will consider some of the most salietn, and often controversial, contemporary human rights challenges we face today in Latin America and Chile.
- Comprehend the philosophical origins of the modern idea of human rights.
- Comprehend the historical evolution of the idea of human rights in Modern times and Early Latin America.
- Comprehend the different approaches and debates taht human rights imply in current times.
- Analyze the historical process of human rights in Latin American and Chile during 20th and 21st Centuries.
- Analyze the historical process of human rights in Latin American and Chile during 20th and 21st centuries.
- Analyze contemporary human rights challenges we face today in Latin America and Chile.
The course has been planned in three units - organized both chronologically and thematically. Each unit will help us to move through space and time as we grapple with the human rights history in Latin America.
I. Historic evolution of the modern idea of human rights.
II. Human rights in Latin America during the 20th century.
III. Globalization and human rights in Latin America.
- The modern idea of human rights.
- Historic evolution of the modern idea of human rights.
- Human rights in Latin America.
- Guerrilla and social violence.
- State repression.
- Contemporary challenges in Latin America.
Your final grade will be made up of the following components:
- Class workshops (30%)
- Oral presentation (30%)
- Final paper (40%)
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.