Who Needs Human Rights?

Name of Award

Spring 2019 APDC Grant

Date Awarded




Project Description

Nawojka Lesinski, Assistant Professor of Economics, Political Science, and Public Policy was awarded an $800 APDC Grant for curriculum development. Due to St. Kate’s social-justice driven mission, many of our students are interested in the concept of human rights, either tangentially as it might relate to their areas of interest or as a primary career goal. The proposed work will, therefore, focus on the development of a much-needed human rights course for the political science curricula, which also feeds into the revised International Studies program and the new “Women, Gender and Human Rights” track, which has value for students from all disciplines. The course will begin with an exploration of what constitutes human rights and the institutions that promote them, but will also interrogate the contradictions inherent to the concept (universalism vs. relativism; globalization vs. sovereignty). The course will also revolve around a collective class project in conjunction with the State Department’s Diplomacy Lab to culminate with formal recommendations to the U.S. State Department on best practices in protecting human rights defenders and advancing human rights.

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