85504 - Human Rights and Children's Rights

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Annalisa Furia

  • Credits 6

  • SSD SPS/02

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language English

  • Campus of Ravenna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in International Cooperation on Human Rights and Intercultural Heritage (cod. 9237)

  • Teaching resources on Virtuale

  • Course Timetable from Nov 12, 2021 to Dec 14, 2021

SDGs

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Gender equality Reduced inequalities Partnerships for the goals

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to analyze the theoretical content of the concept of children's rights in order to highlight the specific limitations and anomalies that characterize the history and practice of this specific category of human rights. The course will address and discuss the main interpretive paradigms of children's rights, with particular attention to the critical investigation of the capacity principle as elaborated by the Western juridical and political thought as well as to the complex relationship between children and democracy. At the end of the course the student knows the main theoretical approaches to children's rights and he/she is able to critically discuss their assumptions and limitations.

Course contents

The course investigates from a historical-political point of view the nature, political function and main contradictions of the concept/languange of human rights and, within this general framework, of children's rights.

Starting from the analysis of their historical origins and different doctrines from the Enlightenment to the contemporary age, the first part of the course analyses and discusses the ways in which human rights have been conceptualized and institutionalized throughout the centuries in Western history, by paying particular attention to their multiple links with the domestic construction and external projection of State sovereignty and the relevant inter/national documents. A special attention is devoted to the main traditional and contemporary criticisms that have been formulated against them and their use/abuse - e.g. in relation to their essentialism/ethnocentrism, class- and gender-biased nature, humanitarian declination and paternalistic imposition.

Within this framework, the second part provides an overview of the Western history and conceptualization of children's rights, with particular attention to their international affirmation and projection, as well as to their problematic link with the concepts of capacity/emancipation and democracy.

Readings/Bibliography

Attending students

The bibliography for attending students is composed of the books, chapters and essays listed under letter A and B. All the materials will be the object of class discussions and their list could be slightly amended or supplemented with additional references provided by the instructor at the beginning of the class, depending on the number of attending students and thus on the discussion methods that will be adopted (see Teaching methods section).

The specific sections within the texts under letter A and B to be prepared for class discussions will be indicated at the beginning of the class.

A.

  • M. Flores, The Story of Human Rights, Kingston upon Thames, Kingston University Press, 2011(*).
  • M. Langford, Critiques of Human Rights, Annu. Rev. Law Soc. Sci. 2018. 14:69–89.
  • G.C. Spivak, Righting Wrongs, «The South Atlantic Quarterly», 103 (2/3), Spring/Summer 2004: 523-581.
  • Carol Smart, The Woman of Legal discourse, «Social & Legal Studies», (1), 1992: 29-44.
  • S. Žižek, Against Human Rights, «New left review», 34 july/aug, 2005: 115-131.

B.

  • K. Cregan and D. Cuthbert, Global Childhoods: Issues and Debates, London, SAGE, 2014

  • A. K. Sen, Children and Human Rights, Indian Journal of Human Development, Vol. 1, No. 2, 2007.

  • L.M. Purdy, 1994. Why children shouldn't have equal rights. The International Journal of Children's Rights, 2/3, pp. 223-241.

  • M. Cowden, Capacity, claims and children's rights,«Contemporary Political Theory», 11(4), (Nov 2012): 362-380.

  • A. Gadda, Rights, Foucault And Power: A Critical Analysis Of The United Nation Convention On The Rights Of The Child,Edinburgh Working Papers in Sociology,No. 31, January 2008.

  • V. Pupavac, Misanthropy Without Borders: The International Children’s Rights Regime, «Disasters», 2001, 25(2): 95–112.

(*) this book is currently not available. More information will be provided at the beginning of the class.

Non-attending students

The bibliography for non-attending students is partially different from that to be prepared by the attending ones. For this reason non-attending students are kindly requested to contact the instructor in due time before the exam.

 

 

 

Teaching methods

The course will be based on both lectures and class discussions.

Lectures will include readings of texts, seminars by external experts, projection of materials and short documentaries.

The methodology adopted for class discussions (group discussion, whole class discussion, presentations, Q&A discussion) will be defined at the beginning of the class taking into consideration its size.

The aim of the teaching methodology adopted by the course is to activate the critical analysis and informed discussion of topics and to facilitate the interaction between the instructor and the students.

Assessment methods

Attending students

The assessment of the acquisition of expected knowledge and abilities by the attending students is based on the following components: Research paper (80% of the final grade); 2. Participation in class discussion (20% of the final grade). (3. Optional oral exam)

The research paper will be prepared by students after the end of the class and will be based on a model provided at the beginning of the course.

Participation in class discussion will be assessed taking into consideration the student's ability to actively participate in class activities, including her/his overall level of attention, contribution/participation to class presentations/discussions and number, pertinence and relevance of spontaneous intervention.

The (optional) oral exam will take place after the end of the class and will consist of four/five questions aimed at assessing the student’s level of knowledge of some of the most important topics addressed by the course, as well as her/his ability to critically analyse and verbally articulate them.

The final evaluation will be the weighted average of the evaluation of the research paper and the participation in class discussion (and of the possible oral exam).

Attending students who receive an insufficient evaluation for the research paper will undergo an oral exam on the entire syllabus after the end of the class.

The ability of the student to achieve a coherent and comprehensive understanding of the topics addressed by the course, to critically assess them and to use an appropriate language will be evaluated with the highest grades (A = 27-30 con lode).

A predominantly mnemonic acquisition of the course's contents together with gaps and deficienciesin terms of language, critical and/or logical skills will result in grades ranging from good (B = 24-26) to satisfactory (C = 21-23).

A low level of knowledge of the course’s contents together with gaps and deficienciesin terms of language, critical and/or logical skills will be considered as ‘barely passing' (D = 18-20) or result in a fail grading (E).

Non-attending students

Non-attending students will undergo an oral exam on the dedicated syllabus provided by the instructor. For this reason, non-attending students are kindly requested to contact the instructor in due time and at least once before the exam.

The oral exam will consist of three/four questions aimed at assessing the student’s level of knowledge of the topics addressed by the course, as well as her/his ability to critically analyse and verbally articulate them.

The ability of the student to achieve a coherent and comprehensive understanding of the topics addressed by the course, to critically assess them and to use an appropriate language will be evaluated with the highest grades (A = 27-30 con lode).

A predominantly mnemonic acquisition of the course's contents together with gaps and deficienciesin terms of language, critical and/or logical skills will result in grades ranging from good (B = 24-26) to satisfactory (C = 21-23).

A low level of knowledge of the course’s contents together with gaps and deficienciesin terms of language, critical and/or logical skills will be considered as ‘barely passing' (D = 18-20) or result in a fail grading (E).

 

Teaching tools

Lectures and class discussions will be held with the support of audio-visual tools (ppt, web, short documentaries).

Students with a form of disability or specific learning disabilities (DSA) who are requesting academic adjustments or compensatory tools are invited to communicate their needs to the teaching staff in order to properly address them and agree on the appropriate measures with the competent bodies.

 

 

Office hours

See the website of Annalisa Furia