First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Economics and Political Science
Course unit
EPP3050134, A.A. 2017/18

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2016/17

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
EP1980, Degree course structure A.Y. 2013/14, A.Y. 2017/18
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination CULTURE, SOCIETY AND HUMAN RIGHTS
Department of reference Department of Political Science, Law, and International Studies
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction English


ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses SPS/08 Sociology of Culture and Communication 6.0

Mode of delivery (when and how)
Period First semester
Year 2nd Year
Teaching method frontal

Organisation of didactics
Type of hours Credits Hours of
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 6.0 45 105.0 No turn

Start of activities 02/10/2017
End of activities 19/01/2018

Prerequisites: Students should possess the basic historical and juridical knowledge that is necessary to follow a theoretical argument concerning human rights, thare are here studied both as normative structures and as a cultural complex.
A strong sociological background - particularly in classic and contemporary social theory - can also help students understand better the implications of the main argument developed throughout the class.
Target skills and knowledge: The main goal is to provide the analytic tools needed to examine human rights in a sociological perspective, that is as a value complex emerging from particular structural and cultural conditions, by means of human agency and specific social processes.
This can be articulated into various, more specific steps, namely: (i) understanding cultural change, particularly the way values emerge, prompt commitment on both the individual and the collective level, and come to be institutionalized within modern societies; (ii) analyzing the problems concerning the pluralization of modernity and of the global cultures of human rights; and finally (iii) connecting these dimensions to the crucial issue of governance.
Examination methods: The exam consists of (a) writing a paper focussed upon a specific issue in the field of human rights, using concepts, categories, and authors studied in class (60% final grade); (b) oral exam, focussed mainly upon the assigned paper (40% final grade). Participation in class discussions will also be assessed.
Assessment criteria: As regards the paper, the essential criterion for assessment includes originality, relevance, and conciseness. More specific requisites the text should meet in terms of length, structure, and particular focus will be presented by the teacher when class begins.
The class presentation should be focussed and effective. Further instuctions will be given in class.
Participation in class discussions will be appreciated, and will make part of the overall assessment.

Note: the information above may slightly change. Depending on the number of attending students the teacher could propose other ways to work together in class, either individually or as a group. The relevant information will appear in the moodle page of the course , shortly after the course kicks off.
Course unit contents: Ths year the course wll be focussed upon war and political violence in global society.
The course will be divided into two distinct parts.

In the first part, a selection of the sociological theory of war will be presented, as well as an interpretation of its changes throughout modernity and in the current societal context, which will be called 'morphogenic society'.
In the second part, the possible consequences of the current transformations on human rights will be illustrated, through examples referring to contemporary conflicts.

The two parts of the course will also differ in the style of interaction. In the first part, the teacher will mainly lecture, while in the second he will lead class discussions, as well as individual and group presentations.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: The class will work through lectures presenting theories and organized discussions, i.e. discussions prompted and guided by study questions provided by the teacher or by student groups working on specific parts of the program.
The approximate schedule for a two hour class should be as follows:
45 min. background lecture; 15 min. questions; 30 min. discussion or group presentation.
In the last days of class, some provisional conclusions wll be drawn, concerning (i) some points we can call certain about a theory of human rights; (ii) issues and problems, to be taken up in the papers and / or in possible final dissertations.

More specific instructions to be delivered in class, depending on number of attending students etc.
Additional notes about suggested reading: For students who are regularly attending class, the texts listed in this syllabus should be studied by reference to specific parts, which will be indicated at the opening of the class page on the moodle Platform. All texts will be available from the local library.

Further texts and notes will be provided by the teacher in class, according to particular topics to be studied or to students' requests.

Non-attending students should study the texts indicated in this SYllabus. Texts 1 and 2 must be studied entirely. Text 3 must be studied as regards chapters 3 and 4.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Miguel A. Centeno, Elaine Enriquez, War and Society.. Polity Press: Cambridge, 2016.
  • Colin Wight, Rethinking Terrorism. Terrorism, Violence and the State. London: Palgrave MacMillan, 2015. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Paul Q. Hirst, War and Power in the XXI Century. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2001.