Human Rights in China & East Asia

Subject CHIN20025 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 27-Jul-2015 to 25-Oct-2015
Assessment Period End 20-Nov-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 07-Aug-2015
Census Date 31-Aug-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 25-Sep-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 2.5 hours of classes per week
Total Time Commitment:

Time commitment totals 170 hours.





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:


Prof Anne Mclaren


Professor 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.

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this subject, students should:

gain an appreciation of major human-rights related issues facing East Asian populations in the contemporary era;
acquire insight into cross-cultural interpretations of human rights in East-West comparative contexts;
acquire the ability to adopt critical frameworks in the interpretation of human rights in non-Western frameworks;
develop oral and written communication skills by participant in tutorial discussion and the completion of essays and class papers;
develop time management and organisational skills with regard to the timely completion of assessment items;
enhanced ability to work collaboratively in groups and use initiative in developing research frameworks.


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


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

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