First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Economics and Political Science
Course unit
EPP3050134, A.A. 2018/19

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2017/18

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
EP1980, Degree course structure A.Y. 2013/14, A.Y. 2018/19
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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
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction English
Single Course unit The Course unit CANNOT be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit is available ONLY for students enrolled in HUMAN RIGHTS AND MULTI-LEVEL GOVERNANCE


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

Course unit organization
Period First semester
Year 2nd Year
Teaching method frontal

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

Start of activities 01/10/2018
End of activities 18/01/2019
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2013 course timetable

Examination board
Examination board not defined

Prerequisites: Students should possess the basic historical and juridical knowledge that is necessary to follow a theoretical argument concerning human rights, that 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: This class has the broad aim to provide an understanding of the socio-cultural conditions which facilitate or hinder the emergence of human rights as a set of values and norms, creating individual and collective orientations and commitments that are apt to support them – particularly in a global society that is structurally complex, culturally and religiously plural. Learning how such processes and conditions work constitutes an important set of cultural endowments for those who must operate in our contemporary social and cultural context.

Therefore, the course completes the knowledge and competence students acquire in other classes based on Law, Political Science, or Political Philosophy.

This year the course will be focussed upon war and organized political violence in global society.

The primary learning goals of this course could be summarized as follows:

a) learn the fundamental sociological concepts and theories about war and politically organized violence

b) deploy sociological concepts and theories to examine the phenomenon of war in complex societies

c) understand the implications of war, and of the various ways of making sense of it in different cultures, for the defense of human rights

d) discuss effectively a complex social problem from various theoretical and practical vantage points

e) use research materials organizing them into dossiers and presentations with a practical as well as theoretical purpose
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) an oral exam, focussed mainly upon the assigned paper (40% final grade). Participation in class discussions will also be assessed (20%).

For non-attending students, assessment will be based on the paper (50%) and on the oral examination (50%).
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: This 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. Cerca nel catalogo
  • 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. Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Problem based learning
  • Case study
  • Interactive lecturing
  • Working in group
  • Questioning
  • Concept maps
  • Loading of files and pages (web pages, Moodle, ...)
  • Reflective writing

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
No Poverty Zero Hunger Good Health and Well-Being Climate Action Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions