Department of Political Science


POLS0039 Global Economic and Social Rights

Course Code: POLS0039

Course Tutor: Dr M. Rodwan Abouharb (Department of Political Science)

Length: One term (Autumn Term)

Teaching: 20 contact hours (10 hours of lectures, 10 hours of seminars)

Assessment: 4000 word essay (100%)

Credits: 15 credits, 4 (US), 7.5 (ECTS) 

Module Level: L6 (Advanced)

economic and social rights; labour rights; rights to shelter; global financial crisis and economic social rights; colonialism and economic and social rights

About this course

The module will introduce students to the idea of what are economic and social rights, and different explanations about where these rights come from. We will briefly examine the broadening of what constitutes economic and social rights and the imbedding of these rights in international law since World War II. We will ask why governments vary in their efforts to realise the economic and social rights of their citizens. In particular we will try to understand the political advantage governments seek through the realisation or otherwise of these rights. We will then go on to examine what other international and domestic factors affect the realisation of economic and social rights. The international factors include the effects of trade and historical processes like the consequences of slavery on the realisation of economic, and social rights today. The domestic factors include variations in regime type, the independence of the judiciary, and the degree of domestic conflict on the realisation of economic and social rights. Throughout the class we will use examples from the world around us to test and illustrate the arguments made in the literature.