International Human Rights and Democratic Theory

This seminar will examine the democratic legitimacy of international human rights law. In the years since World War II, international law has undergone a transformation. It now holds nations accountable not simply for how they treat each other, but for how they treat individuals. Yet, the most common democratic justification for this change namely, that nations have delegated portions of their sovereignty through treaties is often regarded as insufficient to justify the intrusions on internal governance that contemporary human rights standards entail. This seminar will survey political theory, comparative law, and evolving international practices and institutions to consider the plausibility of alternative democratic justifications and their likely impact. The theoretical issues will be investigated in the context of specific international controversies.
Credits: 2

Type: SEM