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POLS375 Human Rights - From the Cradle to the Grave

An exploration of the meaning, value, justification and application of rights as applied to different stages of a person’s life. Considers the continental and analytical philosophical traditions plus relevant data.

The aim of this paper is to combine a deep delve into some of the most important questions confronting humans – Is there meaning to life? What counts as a good life? – with analysis of one of the most central and important political concepts: rights. We will cover a diverse range of topics, including reproductive freedom, the rights of children, rights related to refuse work, citizenship, free movement, as well ask questions about what we owe to the dying and the dead, and the meaning of human rights amidst talk of 'post-humanism'.

Paper title Human Rights - From the Cradle to the Grave
Paper code POLS375
Subject Politics
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2023 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $955.05
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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18 200-level POLS points
Schedule C
Arts and Music

Teaching staff

Dr David Jenkins


There is no text book for this course.  Readings will be made available on eReserve (will consist of chapters, book excerpts and journal articles).

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Scholarship, Critical thinking, Ethics, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

This course will help you:

  • Develop a sophisticated understanding of the meanings, functions and (mis)use of rights.
  • Connect political concepts and themes with wider ethical issues and controversies. 
  • Gain familiarity with the normative vocabulary and arguments specific to political life.
  • Understand developments across a range of subjects in political theory.  

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Not offered in 2023

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system