PSIA, Master in Human Rights and Humanitarian Action
Pedagogical method : Each week's session will take the form of a structured discussion introduced and led by the teacher and including at a designated point a ﬁfteen-twenty minute presentation by a group of students. Students will be assigned to presentation topics based as far as possible on preferences, and before the ﬁrst class they will be asked to send a shortlist of topics on which they would have a particular interest to present. Course Description : This course will examine the interplay of the principles of human rights with the complex reality of contemporary international politics. It will explore a series of issues and controversies that have been prominent in international relations in recent years, analysing them both in terms of underlying principles and the policy calculations of state actors. The course is designed to give students a feel for the factors that shape ofﬁcial decision-making and that should be taken into account for effective advocacy. The aim is to look at a series of interconnected topics that together will add up to a composite picture of the current scope for advancing human rights through global politics. Topics considered will include : the place of human rights in EU and US foreign policy ; the US “war on terror” including debates over detention and drone strikes, as well as European responses to the recent rise of ISIS ; the politics of international justice, and the relationship of justice to the search for peace ; the North African revolutions of the “Arab Spring” and the international response ; intervention and nonintervention (Libya & Syria) ; human rights in the UN system ; the challenges posed by authoritarian great powers like Russia and China ; enforcement measures to counteract human rights violations, including the use of sanctions ; the rise of populist-nationalist parties in Western democracies ; migration ; and surveillance/human rights in the digital world. The course will build towards an analysis of the way in which changes in the international system shape and constrain efforts to uphold human rights overseas Required reading : Required readings will be assigned on a week-by-week basis. It would be helpful for students to come to the class with a basic understanding of the frameworks for EU and US action on human rights ; those who are unfamiliar with these topics might consult standard texts such as Karen Smith, EU Foreign Policy
in a Changing World (3rd edition, chapters 5 & 6) and Jack Donnelly, International Human Rights (4th edition, chapters 5, 6, & 9).
Semester : Spring Number of hours : 24 Language of tuition : English
Opened to the exchange program
Teachers : Xavier CROMBE (Research Director, Fondation Médecins Sans Frontières). Pedagogical format : Seminar Course validation : Case studies ; ﬁnal paper. Course Description : This seminar will explore the concrete interactions involved in aid work between humanitarian practicioners and their many interlocutors in the ﬁeld. Advocacy campaigns by humanitarian agencies tend to focus on moral and legal principles in support of their "right to bring assistance" in conﬂicts. Access to populations in need, autonomy of evaluation, safety of their personnel, however, are much more likely to depend on negotiations and compromises with those holding power in given situations. Relying on essays by scholars and practicioners as well as documentary ﬁlms, the course will seek to familiarize students with the relations of force, logics and interests that aid workers need to grasp to identify their constraints and the means available to increase their room for manœuvre in carrying out their assistance goals. Required reading : David Keen, Complex Emergencies, Polity Press, 2008 ; Magone, Neuman & Weissman (ed.), Humanitarian Negotiations Revealed, Hurst/MSF, 2011 ; Larissa Fast, Aid in Danger, The Perils and Promise of Humanitarianism, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014.