The Politics Of Accessing Human Rights After Socialism POLITIC4025

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course explores how human rights norms, discourses and practices are translated and accessed in countries undergoing large-scale social, economic and political transformations with a focus on the experiences of countries of the former Soviet Union.


This course may not be running this year. For further information please check the Politics Moodle page or contact the subject directly.

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements

Entry to Honours Politics requires a grade point average of 12 (Grade C) over Politics 2A and Politics 2B as a first attempt.

Excluded Courses



Critical review of 3 journal articles 40% (1500 words)

Research essay 60% - devise question and approach in agreement with lecturer (2500 words)

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course critically investigates the ways in which the political, social and economic transformations taking place in the countries of the former Soviet Union have provided both opportunities for, and barriers to, the realisation of human rights. The course explores the various ways in which human rights norms, discourses and laws are 'exported, 'adopted' and translated into daily practices. These themes are then analysed more fully through selected case study examples that explore differing understandings of human rights and modes for accessing them. Students are encouraged throughout the course to reflect on the commonalities and differences in the use of and levels of access to human rights in different contexts, and to consider how this might inform our understandings of the relationship between democracy and human rights globally.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ describe the key features of international human rights regime;

■ be able to explain how human rights norms, discourses and practices have been variously promoted, adopted and accessed in a range of case study contexts of the former Soviet Union;

■ to analyse processes of access to human rights in different case study examples;

■ critically assess the similarities and differences in access to human rights in different case study examples.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.