Početna Undergraduate StudiesSocial Policy and Social WorkFourth year of studies – Social PolicyCulture of Human Rights

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Culture of Human Rights

  • Study programme/study programmes: Social Policy and Social Work – module Social Policy
  • Type and level of studies: Undergraduate academic studies
  • Name of the course: Culture of Human Rights
  • Teacher (Surname, middle initial, name): Đorđe M. Pavićević, PhD; Dušan D. Spasojević, MA
  • Status of the course: Compulsory
  • Number of ECTS: 6
  • Teaching methods: Lectures, exercise
  • Number of classes: 3+1

Aim and outcome of the course

The course consists of three conceptually connected parts. The first part of the course deals with basic problems of theories of human rights. Three key problems pertain to justification, content and conflicts of certain rights. In the second part of the course students shall deal with the content of individual rights and mechanisms of their protection. Particular attention shall be paid to consideration of rights in borderline cases, in which certain rights enter into conflict. The third part of the course shall consider the relation of human rights, culture and politics. Improvement and protection of rights, without defined cultural and political assumptions, turns out as a weak construction which is often transformed into an empty rhetoric.

The aim of the course is to show that human rights are a large civilization heritage which requires careful moral, legal and political articulation which, without cultural imperialism, can be enrooted in diverse cultures.

At the end of the course student is expected to

-          improve his/her understanding of human rights, their importance and role in complex societies

-          understand and distinguish moral, cultural and political assumptions which human rights are based on

-          understand and distinguish various types of human rights and assess their individual value

-          independently and critically assess argumentation and use literature pertaining to human rights

-          independently research and assess cases of violation or conflict of the rights and have a good knowledge the mechanisms of protection of rights

can theoretically articulate and defend his/her attitude in relation to certain rights

Content of the course
Theoretical teaching

Introductory class: human rights through history; Conceptualization of human rights; Nature of rights: rights, moral and culture

Nature of rights: can rights be constrained; Subject of rights: individual and group rights; Subjects of commitment: another individual, society and state; Typology of rights; Rights in disputes: abortion, sexual choice, rights of unborn, animals; Human rights in extraordinary situations; Protection of rights: rights and the constitution; Protection of rights: human rights in international relations; Rights and politics; Rights and democracy: human rights, political representation, autonomy and secession.

Practical teaching: Exercise, Other modes of teaching, Study research work


a)       basic

The literature shall consist of a volume of texts that shall contain the following titles:

Đorđe Pavićević – Uvod: kultura ljudskih prava; Prokopijević, Miroslav (1996): Ljudska prava, in: Ljudska prava, ed. Miroslav Prokopijević, IES/Belgrade, pp. 1-32; Barry Norman: Moderna politička teorija, Službeni glasnik/Belgrade, chapt. 9; Plant, Raymond (2002): Prava i država in: Suvremena politička misao, pp. 317-366; Sen, Amartja (2002): Kultura i ljudska prava, in: Razvoj kao sloboda, Filip Višnjić/Belgrade, pp. 269-292; Elmond Brands, Prava, in: Uvod u etiku, ed. Peter Singer, pp. 375-389; Voren, Meri En; Abortus, in: Uvod u etiku, ed. Peter Singer, pp. 437-452; Okin, Suzan Moler, Pravda i polni sistem, Savremena politička filozofija, 408-416; Grajan, Lari, Životinje, in: Uvod u etiku, ed. Peter Singer, pp. 493-507; Kimlika, Vil, Multikulturno gradjanstvo, chapters 3 and 4; Habermas, Jirgen: Nacionalni princip – Pravo na otcepljenje?, Nova srpska politička misao, 3-4/1997, pp. 37-46; Isansee, Joseph, Osnovna prava i demokracija, in: Država, ustav i demokracija, pp. 179-202; Matulović, Miomir (1996): Ljudska prava, pp. 197-205 and 209-227; Collection of documents about human rights

Assessment of knowledge

Pre-examination commitments

  • Activity during the lectures 20
  • Colloquim(a) 30
  • Seminar(s) 20

Final examination

  • Oral examination 30