PUCV: Human Rights: evolution, approaches and debates in Latin America (dictado en inglés)

Este curso tiene como objetivo examinar la evolución y los debates existentes sobre los derechos humanos en Latinoamérica, durante los siglos XX y XXI. Se revisará desde una mirada histórica, política, legal, social y cultural.

Course description
This course will examine the evolution, approaches and debates regarding Human Rights in Latin America during the 20th and 21st centuries, paying particular attention to the Chilean case. Since the end of WWII, we have seen “human rights” evolve from a more abstract theoretical concept to an increasingly compelling and influential moral and legal instrument in confronting human suffering, injustice and collective memory. Yet, numerous challenges remain to the prevention and eradication of human rights violations globally. For instance, the very idea of “universal” human rights remain controversial, and debates over what issues can legitimately be considered under the umbrella of human rights persist. This course provides an introduction to the interdisciplinary study of human rights as a concept, as a set of laws and institutions, and as a set of political and cultural practices. We will examine the historical, political, legal, social and cultural aspects of the topic.
Thus, we will begin with a study of the philosophical foundations of human rights that seeks to answer questions such as “What are human rights?” and “How and why do we have these rights?”, as well as a revision of the concept through western history. We will then move to the practice of human rights and examine the political structures that enable us to address human rights violations around the globe. Finally, we will consider some of the most salient, and often controversial, contemporary human rights challenges we face today in Latin America and Chile.

Course Objectives
– Comprehend the philosophical origins of the modern idea of human rights.
– Comprehend the historical evolution of the idea of human rights in Modern times and Early Latin America.
– Comprehend the different approaches and debates that human rights imply in current times.
– Analyze the historical process of human rights in Latin American and Chile during 20th and 21st centuries.
– Analyze contemporary human rights challenges we face today in Latin America and Chile.

– The modern idea of human rights.
– Historic evolution of the modern idea of human rights.
– Human rights in Latin America.
– Guerrilla and social violence.
– State repression.
– Transition to democracy
– Social Memory
– Current social issues: migration, inequality, gender issues.
– Contemporary challenges in Latin America.