Human Rights in China & East Asia

Subject CHIN20025 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable


Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 2.5 PER WEEK
Total Time Commitment: 10.5 per week
Prerequisites: Any two first year subjects in the Faculty of Arts .
Corequisites: None.
Recommended Background Knowledge: None.
Non Allowed Subjects: None.
Core Participation Requirements: None.


Assoc Prof Anne Mclaren


Assoc Prof Anne McLaren

Subject Overview:

This subject deals with human rights issues in mainland China and other regions of East Asia such as Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The impact of the pre-modern Confucian tradition will be assessed on the shaping of human rights discourse in China and East Asian contexts. An important conceptual issue is the perceived contingent nature of human rights in non-Western locations. Students will be encouraged to investigate case studies drawn from democratic and workers&amp.amp.rsquo. rights movements, cases of religious and ethnic discrimination, media censorship, and resistance to patriarchal authority. The diverse ideas put forward by Chinese and East Asian human rights theorists will be evaluated as part of an ongoing debate about the dynamic and contested nature of human rights discourse East and West.


  • Have an appreciation of major human rights-related issues facing people in East Asian contexts in the contemporary era
  • Have an enhanced understanding of the contingent nature of human rights in non-Western contexts
  • Be able to apply theoretical perspectives on human rights to diverse cultures and contexts
Assessment: A class paper 1,500 words (due 1 week after class presentation) 40%. 1 essay 2,500 words (due during the examination period) 60%.
Prescribed Texts:

Joanne R.Bauer and Daniel A. Bell, eds. The East Asian Challenge for Human Rights .Cambridge University Press, 1999.

Ann Kent, China , the United Nations and Human Rights:the Limits of Compliance . University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999

Recommended Texts: None.
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

  • Be able to apply critically notions drawn from the West in non-Western cross-cultural contexts.
  • Strengthened abilities in oral and written communication and formal argumentation.
  • Familiarisation with research methods in non-Western cultural contexts.
  • Enhanced ability to contextualize judgements and knowledge in cross-cultural contexts.
Notes: None.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Asian Studies
Asian Studies
Asian Studies

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