Human Rights in an Age of Great Power Rivalry, War, and Political Transformation (CLASSICS 129, GLOBAL 125, GLOBAL 225)

Cohen, D. (PI)
Section Number
As is well known, great and emerging power rivalries largely shaped the course of the 20th century through WWI, WWII, and the Cold War. In the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union, the 21st century been characterized by the geopolitical reconfiguration underway today with the rise of China and India and the challenges posed for American and European influence. The end of the Cold War brought hope that the proxy wars, post-colonial conflicts, and mass atrocity events that characterized the mid-20th century would yield to a more stable international order of cooperation and, hence, to a greater realization of the human rights aspirations embodied in the UN framework. The founding of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2002 was widely hailed as a watershed event marking that transformation. Needless to say, those hopes have remained largely unrealized and the refusal of China, India, the United States, and Russia to join the ICC is indicative of how far away a realization of those aspirations remains. As this age of great power political, economic, and military rivalry intensifies how is it impacting both the countries where the rivalries are being played out (e.g.,in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Africa) and the societies of the rival nations themselves? How are these conflicts affecting the response to global humanitarian issues such as migration, refugees, statelessness, human trafficking, modern day slavery, climate change, and the turn towards increasing authoritarian governance?The course will explore the humanitarian dimension and consequences of war, conflict, and political transformation in such contexts through a series of case studies.
Letter (ABCD/NP)
Course Tags
Academic Year
Section Days
Start Time
1:30 PM
End Time
4:30 PM
McMurtry Art Building 360