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Examining Aspirations and Applications: Human Rights in US Foreign Policy

This course will examine US national security issues through the prism of human rights, exploring how humanitarian concerns became woven into the fabric of traditional security studies and how this does or does not affect current policy. We will survey the most important literature and debates on the concepts of human rights and US national interest. We also will use case studies to explore the intersection of human rights, economic aims, strategic concerns, and peacebuilding. In addition, we will test the consistency of US guiding principles, the influence of nonstate actors on policy formation, and the strength of the international human rights regime. Ultimately, the course will challenge assumptions about how human rights first arose as a global phenomenon and assess the conflicted legacy of human rights in US foreign policy over the last several decades and in current policy.

More details

You'll Walk Away with

  • An understanding of how human rights arose in US foreign policy
  • The ability to think critically about how human rights are expressed in international relations
  • Familiarity with the effect of changing administrations on human rights policies
  • The ability to communicate effectively on this subject matter through research and writing

Ideal for

  • Foreign policy practitioners
  • Those interested in pursuing a career in international relations
  • Prospective and current employees of human rights NGOs
  • Continuing education students interested in our current state of politics and how we got there
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.