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War, Peace and Human Rights

Course Code: PUBLG089

Course Tutor: Dr Theo Boutruche (Department of Political Science)

Assessment: One 3,000 word essay

Credit Value: 15

About this course

This course aims to introduce and examine the key themes in international relations at the juncture of war, peace and human rights and the interplay between related norms of international law, such as international human rights and humanitarian law or international criminal law. The themes in the course include, the prohibition of war in international relations, the exceptions to that prohibition, namely self defence and the debated doctrine of humanitarian intervention, the rules and principles on the conduct of hostilities related to the protection of combatants and civilians, principles and practice of UN action in the fields of peace-enforcement and peace-building, and the inter-sectionality of human rights concerns in these debates.

The topics will be discussed with reference to key texts in international law literature, existing institutional arrangements at the United Nations and contemporary case-studies.

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Have knowledge of key normative debates in international relations on war, peace and human right.
  • Have knowledge of the institutional landscape in the field of regulation of armed conflict, peace enforcement and peace-building. 
  • Have an understanding of the practical application of some of the relevant legal norms and policy debates in these fields.
  • Have an understanding of how to analyse and assess cases and contemporary challenges related to the use of military force by states or non state actors and to peace building efforts undertaken by international organisations.

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School of Public Policy,
The Rubin Building,
29/31 Tavistock Square,
London, WC1H 9QU.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 4999,
Fax: +44 (0)20 7679 4969,

Postgraduate enquiries

Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 4982/4950

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Page last modified on 19 aug 13 10:42

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