AIR203 - Human Rights in World Politics

Unit details


2024 unit information

Enrolment modes:Trimester 2: Burwood (Melbourne), Waurn Ponds (Geelong), Online
Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125
Unit Chair:Trimester 2: Costas Laoutides
Cohort rule:Nil


Incompatible with: AIR234
Typical study commitment:

Students will on average spend 150-hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

This will include educator guided online learning activities within the unit site.

Educator-facilitated (scheduled) learning activities - on-campus unit enrolment:

1 x 1-hour lecture per week, 1 x 1-hour seminar per week

Educator-facilitated (scheduled) learning activities - online unit enrolment:

1 x 1-hour lecture per week (recordings provided) and 1 x 1-hour seminar per week


The unit explores the evolution of the modern human rights regime as well as some of the major debates about the role of human rights in international relations, such as: the dichotomy between individual and group rights; discussion on Universalism and Relativism; the relation between state sovereignty, violence and human rights.

Accordingly, the unit focuses on critically applying these debates to contemporary issues of human suffering such as: genocide, forced migration, state terrorism. The unit will then examine international mechanisms of addressing human wrongs in world politics such as humanitarian intervention and the International Criminal Court. The unit will conclude with recent challenges on human rights coming from the changing nature of warfare in the twenty first century, to this end the role of private military companies and the use of artificial intelligence in the battlefield will be explored.

ULO These are the Learning Outcomes (ULO) for this unit. At the completion of this unit, successful students can: Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes

Apply the concept of human rights in international politics, evaluate the scholarly debates surrounding this concept and develop a clear understanding of the human rights norms and rules in the international system and the challenges they face

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities


Engage in critical analysis of particular episodes of human suffering in world politics and to provide an assessment of human rights debates by discussing ideas with clarity

GLO4: Critical thinking


Evaluate the evolving challenges to human rights in the twenty first century and the consequent impact on the human rights standards in the international political system

GLO8: Global citizenship


Assessment Description Student output Grading and weighting
(% total mark for unit)
Indicative due week
Assessment 1 - Online Quiz 800 words
or equivalent
20% Week 6
Assessment 2 - Essay 1600 words
or equivalent
40% Week 8
Assessment 3 - Test 1600 words 40% Week 11

The assessment due weeks provided may change. The Unit Chair will clarify the exact assessment requirements, including the due date, at the start of the teaching period.

Learning Resource

The texts and reading list for the unit can be found on the University Library via AIR203
Note: Select the relevant trimester reading list. Please note that a future teaching period's reading list may not be available until a month prior to the start of that teaching period so you may wish to use the relevant trimester's prior year reading list as a guide only.

Unit Fee Information

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