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Rethinking Rights and Global Development (GEND90007)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeGEND90007
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject explores the theoretical and political issues surrounding ideas of rights and human rights, with special reference to the development process within the contemporary globalising order. It draws on recent critical feminist and other (re)theorising within a range of disciplines, including anthropology and sociology, political science, international relations, geography, legal studies, history and development studies. The subject examines definitions of rights and the re-framing of such ideas within critical theory, the background to the development of the international human rights regime, the moral basis of and possibility of global civil society and global citizenship, histories of rights discourses, especially the so-called four generations of rights, the state, citizenship and rights in the developing world, "rights", universalism, cosmopolitanism and "culture", with particular reference to "Asian Values", participation and rights-based development theory and practice, especially in relation to poverty alleviation, economic and land rights, indigenous people's rights, labour, unfree labour and rights, war, displacement, the new migrations and refugees' rights, women's rights, sexuality rights, children's rights, disability rights, and NGOs, social movements and rights.

Intended learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • have an understanding of the main historical developments in thinking about issues of rights and human rights in the development process;
  • be able to understand the main theoretical approaches to the analysis of "rights" and "claims to rights" in the developing world;
  • be able to understand the principal contemporary debates around rights and human rights;
  • be able to appreciate the significance of gender, "race", ethnicity, class and colonialism in analysing issues of rights.

Generic skills

Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • show an advanced understanding of the changing knowledge base in the specialist area;
  • be able to evaluate and synthesise the research and professional literature in the discipline;
  • have an appreciation of the design, conduct and reporting of original research.

Eligibility and requirements





Non-allowed subjects


Recommended background knowledge

Students enrolling in this subject must have a Bachelor of Arts degree or equivalent.

Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home


Additional details

  • An assignment on 'major concepts' of 2,000 words (40%) due mid semester.
  • A research essay of 3,000 words (60%) due during the examination period.
  • Hurdle requirement: Students must attend a minimum of 80% of classes in order to pass this subject.

Dates & times

  • Semester 2
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours24 contact hours: A 2-hour seminar per week for 12 weeks.
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Teaching period29 July 2019 to 27 October 2019
    Last self-enrol date 9 August 2019
    Census date31 August 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail27 September 2019
    Assessment period ends22 November 2019

    Semester 2 contact information

Time commitment details

170 hours

Further information

Last updated: 2 August 2019