Human Rights

Competing Visions of Human Rights: Questions for U.S. Policy

Human rights have been central to political struggles and social movements throughout history. Individuals have organized, spoken out, and even risked their lives to demand that their rights be respected. Today, it is generally accepted around the world that governments have a responsibility to ensure and protect certain rights for their people. Yet while the general principle of human rights has been broadly accepted, human rights abuses persist and questions about the subject remain highly contested. These questions have significant implications for the policy decisions of governments and ultimately for the lives of individuals.
In Competing Visions of Human Rights: Questions for U.S. Policy, students examine the evolving role that human rights has played in international politics and explore the current debate on U.S. human rights policy.

Introduction: What are Human Rights?

Part I: A Brief History of Human Rights

Part II: Human Rights in Practice

Part III: Case Studies in Human Rights

Lesson: Key Concepts in Human Rights

Lesson: Promoting Human Rights through Social Movements

Lesson: Human Rights Controversies

Featured Scholars

Susan Allee photo
United Nations
Anthony Bogues photo
Brown University
Dennis Davis photo
High Court of South Africa
Brown University