Rethinking Rights and Global Development

Subject GEND90007 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
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: A 2-hour seminar per week.
Total Time Commitment: An average of 10 hours each week.
Prerequisites: Usually admission to an MA in Gender Studies
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: Knowledge gained in the successful completion of an undergraduate degree with Honours.
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website :


Dr Maree Pardy


Dr Maree Pardy

Subject Overview:

This subject explores the theoretical and political issues surrounding ideas of rights and human rights, with special reference to the development process within the contemporary globalising order. It draws on recent critical feminist and other (re)theorising within a range of disciplines, including anthropology and sociology, political science, international relations, geography, legal studies, history and development studies. The subject examines definitions of rights and the reframing of such ideas within critical theory; the background to the development of the international human rights regime; the moral basis of and possibility of global civil society and global citizenship; histories of rights discourses, especially the so-called four generations of rights; the state, citizenship and rights in the developing world; "rights", universalism, cosmopolitanism and "culture", with particular reference to "Asian Values"; participation and rights-based development theory and practice, especially in relation to poverty alleviation, economic and land rights; indigenous people's rights; labour, unfree labour and rights; war, displacement, the new migrations and refugees' rights; women's rights; sexuality rights; children's rights; disability rights; and NGOs, social movements and rights.


Students who successfully complete this subject will

  • have an understanding of the main historical developments in thinking about issues of rights and human rights in the development process.
  • be able to understand the main theoretical approaches to the analysis of "rights" and "claims to rights" in the developing world.
  • be able to understand the principal contemporary debates around rights and human rights.
  • be able to appreciate the significance of gender, "race", ethnicity, class and colonialism in analysing issues of rights.
Assessment: A research essay of 3000 words 60% (due mid semester), a reflective essay of 2000 words 40% (due at the end of semester).
Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available at the bookshop at the start of semester.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

Students who successfully complete this subject will

  • show an advanced understanding of the changing knowledge base in the specialist area.
  • be able to evaluate and synthesise the research and professional literature in the discipline.
  • have an appreciation of the design, conduct and reporting of original research.
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Master of Development Studies (Gender & Development)
Master of Development Studies(CWT)
Master of Global Media Communication
Master of Islamic Studies
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Anthropology and Social Theory
Development Studies
Gender Studies
Gender Studies
Gender Studies
Social Theory
Social Theory
Social Theory

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