This last topic explores the debates that have surrounded human rights since their inception in the 1940s. As a concept of rights that has sought global applicability and universality, it is little wonder why the concept is so contested. Even during the creation of the UDHR, scholars debated the extent to which individual rights should be prioritised over collective group rights, as well as the very validity of universalism over cultural difference. This unit therefore examines these key debates which have reemerged in recent years as challenges to the prevailing global order have arisen. The statement of inquiry for this unit is therefore:
STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
Human Rights are contested due to cultural differences about the relationship between individual liberty and collective rights
Identities and Relationships (Moral reasoning and Ethical judgment) - Students will explore identity; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities and cultures; what it means to be human.
Culture - Culture encompasses a range of learned and shared beliefs, values, interests, attitudes, products, ways of knowing and patterns of behaviour created by human communities. The concept of culture is dynamic and organic.
RELATED GLOBAL POLITICS CONCEPT(S)
Liberty - The concept of liberty refers to having freedom and autonomy. It is often divided into positive and negative liberty, with negative liberty defined as individuals having the freedom from external coercion and positive liberty defined as individuals having the autonomy to carry out their own rational will. Some scholars reject this distinction and argue that in practice, one form of liberty cannot exist without the other. It is also questioned if such an understanding of liberty is sufficient for an interdependent world, in which the seeming freedom and autonomy of some may depend on lack of some forms of liberty for others. Hence, debates on equality inform our understanding of liberty as well.