This seminar will study various forms of and theories about ever-growing inequalities both within and between countries, and their implications for human rights law, policy and advocacy. Existing inequalities powerfully determine who is in a position to avoid harm and even reap profits from human rights violations. In addition to examining the nature and extent of existing inequalities, this seminar will consider whether human rights approaches might exacerbate those inequalities, adequately respond to them, or both.
The seminar will be organized around the visits of leading scholars and practitioners in the fields of inequality and human rights who will come to the Law School to present their research, which will be the focus of the seminar. Students will spend two weeks considering work by each speaker. During the first week, we will meet in a traditional seminar format to discuss the papers the presenters submit in advance. In the second week, the authors will present their papers in a public forum, and will engage in dialogue with seminar students, as well as with others in the university community who choose to attend the talk. Students will thus have the opportunity both to participate in critical discussion of the work in a small setting and to observe and contribute to a conversation with the authors in a broader audience.
Students are expected to participate actively in class discussions, write short critical papers responding to some of the papers presented in the seminar, and write a longer essay on a topic related to the themes that arise during the semester.
The seminar is open to law students as well as to non-law graduate and professional students with relevant background.