Monash University Handbooks 2008

ITM4010 - Global justice: civil and human rights after 1945

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Kate Murphy


Clayton First semester 2008 (Day)
Clayton First semester 2008 (Off-campus)
South Africa First semester 2008 (Day)


This unit explores civil and human rights campaigns since 1945. It examines their origins and outcomes, and the ways in which they drew from and contributed to an emerging international framework. Further case studies include women's rights and sexual liberation, freedom of speech, capital punishment, economic justice and unfair trade. The unit examines the development of global movements and organisations, new technologies and tactics of protest and the formation of virtual communities of activism. It also covers the relationship between universal notions of justice and differences of gender, culture and belief, and potential differences between local and global understandings of 'rights'.


Students successfully completing this unit will be expected to demonstrate:

  1. a comprehensive understanding of the key intellectual and political debates about the nature of justice, civil rights and human rights on a global scale, as well as the relationship between universal notions of justice and rights and arguments about difference and diversity;
  2. a thorough grasp of the key differences and similarities in the arguments, objectives, strategies and outcomes of significant campaigns for justice and rights during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, of the links and tensions between local and global campaigns and movements, and of the development of global civil and human rights frameworks;
  3. strong skills in the critical reading of a variety of texts, including contemporary documents, polemical literature and campaign material, the academic scholarship based upon those texts and the theoretical and conceptual debates about justice and rights;
  4. strong skills in critical oral and written assessment of the academic scholarship, including methods, assumptions and uses of evidence, and in organising and defending a verbal and written argument based upon those assessments;
  5. a capacity to devise, plan and successfully complete a detailed case study, including significant documentary research, that evaluates the significance of a particular campaign, organisation or issue; and
  6. a capacity to reflect upon and make critical use of a range of resources including, where relevant, on-line materials, film and visual images.


Tutorial presentation and review paper (2000 words): 30%; Research essay (5000 words): 50%; Take-home exam (2000 words): 20%.

Contact hours

A two-hour seminar per week


INT4010, ITM5010

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