Human Rights

Reviewing the origins of the concept of Human Rights, this module explores its importance for democracy and the potential consequences for a ‘democracy’ should it choose to repress human rights.

The DVD resource material in this module is divided into four strands each of which in turn consider:

Human Rights As Democratic Ideal: Perspectives that see human rights as integral to democracy.
Democracy As Majority Rule: Perspectives that testify to the validity of the majority-rule model of democracy.
Democracy As Process: Perspectives that challenge the majority-rule model against the democratic ideal that strives to deliver human rights for all its citizens.
Eruption Into Violent Conflict: Perspectives that reveal a connection between denial of human rights and eruption into violent conflict.
Strand 1 is introduced by a piece of film which dramatises the consequences for citizen’s human rights when a democracy feels under threat and goes on to present perspectives on human rights that argue its importance for democracy. Strand 2 explores perspectives that testify to the legitimacy of the majority rule model of democracy and the primacy of law and order while Strand 3 explores perspectives that reveal the escalating tension between the two models of democracy to the point of eruption into violent conflict. Finally Strand 4 concludes the module with perspectives that reveal how the militarisation of the conflict led to a cheapening of life and the normalisation of human rights abuse on all sides and brings the programme full circle to the tragic consequences of violent conflict when it becomes normalised.