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Torture in the 21st Century: History, Ethics, and Human Rights

Torture persists today as one of the most widespread human rights crimes. It is practiced in over 100 countries, including so-called liberal democracies. Examine what constitutes torture, and discuss the theory behind utilizing torture as a method of coercive interrogation. Determine how to situate present-day debates over the use of torture within a broader historical context, and investigate what psychological factors drive people to torture. Analyze whether or not there are any circumstances under which torture is justified, and delve into the relationship between torturer and victim. Case studies, including the use of torture post-9/11 in Afghanistan and Iraq, illustrate its contemporary practice and the existing domestic and international standards and mechanisms for protection and punishment.

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You'll Walk Away with

  • An examination of the definition of torture
  • Analysis of historical and contemporary cases of torture

Ideal for

  • New students of human rights who seek a greater understanding of the use of torture
  • Human rights advocates and activists who seek historical context for current debates
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.