Human Rights in China & East Asia

Subject CHIN20025 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

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

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 2.5 hours of classes per week
Total Time Commitment:

10.5 per week





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:


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 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

A class paper 1,500 words (due 1 week after class presentation) 40%. 1 essay 2,500 words (due during the examination period) 60%.

Class attendance is required for this subject; if you do not attend a minimum of 80% of classes without an approved exemption you will not be eligible for a pass in this subject. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

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:


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.


Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Asian Studies
Asian Studies
Asian Studies
Asian Studies Major

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