Skip to main content

LA962 - Theories and Histories of Human Rights

  • Module code: LA962
  • Module name: Theories and Histories of Human Rights
  • Department: Law School
  • Credit: 20

Content and teaching | Assessment | Availability

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

This module explores normative and historical approaches to the making of the modern international law of human rights in the context of the contributions made by the Global South. The key thematics are: (i) the place of human rights within the Westphalian international structure; (ii) the birth and growth of the right to self-determination amidst struggles against colonialism and imperialism; (iii) human rights during the Cold War; (iv) the emergence of the International Bill of Human Rights; (iv) justifications for human rights with particular reference to socialist, feminist, critical race theory, and ecological critiques, and; (v) the changing languages of human rights, such as the movement towards human capabilities/flourishings.

Departmental link

Module assessment

Assessment group Assessment name Percentage
20 CATS (Module code: LA962-20)
A (Assessed work only) 4000 word essay 100%

Module availability

This module is available on the following courses:



Optional Core


  • LLM International Development Law and Human Rights (M1M2) - Year 2
  • Postgraduate Taught Politics (M1P0) - Year 2
  • Postgraduate Taught Advanced Legal Studies (M3PJ) - Year 2
  • Double MA in Politics and International Studies with (with NTU Singapore) (M91F) - Year 2
  • MA in Globalisation and Development (M9PB) - Year 2