Human Rights in Southeast Asia

Subject ASIA90001 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment:

Total of 10 hours per week.


Admission to the Masters of International Relations.



Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request 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 Sow Keat Tok

Subject Overview:

This seminar will focus on human rights and its critics from a historical and comparative perspective. We will explore the factors that have given rise to radically different conception of rights and justice (i.e. political, economic, cultural, religious, ideological) and look at their implementation and the obstacles at the local, national, and international levels. What is the relationship and relevance of the international human rights movement to local notions of rights? What impact is this having on local gender relations and the relationships of women to their states and communities? Are human rights NGOs weakening or strengthening the nation-states in Southeast Asia. are they sites of resistance or complicity? The seminar introduces students to different conceptions of rights, and social justice, including feminist critiques of rights discourse and of 'development'. ethnographic studies on the relationship between attitudes towards bodily integrity and human rights. the debates about poverty, economic development and access to adequate health care as human rights. We shall draw upon a wide range of sources from theoretical works, philosophical and anthropological critiques of rights discourse, and NGO documents. On completion of the subject students should have a broad historical, comparative and critical perspective on the debates about rights and justice in Southeast Asia.

  • have a comprehensive grasp of established international and human rights discourses the emergent critiques that destabilize rights discourse
  • demonstrate an understanding of the larger international political arena of human rights work, beyond the realm of academic discussions and theory.
  • have a capacity to articulate their findings and views in oral and written presentations.
  • have an advanced understanding of major issues and sensitivities regarding contemporary Asia.

A reflective essay, based on the readings for the subject of 2000 words 40% (due late semester) and a research paper of 3000 words 60% (due during the examination period).

Prescribed Texts:

Materials prepared by the Institute.

Recommended Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

•. the reception of new ideas and the contextualisation of judgments. the adaptation of knowledge to new situations. •. critical analysis and synthesis through the study of competing theories of rights and their application to diverse examples. the engagement with and processing of different critical perspectives across the interdisciplinary field of asian studies. the development of independent thought and arguments. •. effective written and oral communication through seminar discussions and debates. critical reading skills through the reading notebook, the preparation and execution of written assessment exercises. exposure to and emulation of competing genres and protocols of critical writing. •. information management and information literacy through the practice of library and archival research and engagement with electronic databases. •. teamwork, flexibility, and tolerance through group discussions in seminars. reception of new ideas and opinions. engaging and cooperating with other people from diverse backgrounds. •. time management and planning through managing and organizing workloads for recommended reading, seminar presentations, and assessment requirements.



Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts (Honours)(Media and Communications)
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Media and Communication)
Postgraduate Diploma in Islamic Studies
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 100 Point Master of Criminology
100 Point Master of Development Studies (CWT)
100 Point Master of Development Studies (Gender && Development)
100 Point Master of International Relations
100 Point Master of Islamic Studies
100 Point Master of Journalism
150 Point Master of Criminology
150 Point Master of Development Studies (CWT)
150 Point Master of Development Studies (Gender && Development)
150 Point Master of Islamic Studies
150 Point Master of Journalism
200 Point Master of Criminology
200 Point Master of Development Studies (CWT)
200 Point Master of Development Studies (Gender && Development)
200 Point Master of Global Media Communication
200 Point Master of International Relations
200 Point Master of Islamic Studies
200 Point Master of Journalism
Asian Studies
Asian Studies
Media and Communications
Public Policy and Management
Public Policy and Management

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