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 resourcematerial 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