International Conflict and Human Rights

International Conflict and Human Rights Image


The International Conflict and Human Rights concentration provides students with the opportunity to explore the causes, courses, and consequences of international conflict (including but not limited to war, revolution, political disputes, terrorism, and genocide). Students will also examine how these conflicts have influenced the articulation and protection of human rights, as well as how they pose ongoing challenges to human rights. This concentration will position students to better understand and engage with contemporary international struggles and human rights advocacy. International Conflict and Human Rights blends courses from various disciplines in the Social Sciences within an interdisciplinary conceptual framework to address such important questions as:

  • What historical factors have produced various forms of international conflict?

  • When, how, and why have fundamental conceptions about human rights originated?

  • What forces have driven the development of ‘humanitarian wars’ in the modern era?

  • What kinds of institutions and practices have developed to mitigate conflict and fortify human rights?

  • Can human rights truly be universal when persons have equal but exclusive claims?

  • What is the new frontier of human rights advocacy? 

Apart from preparing students to be engaged global citizens, the concentration appeals to students interested in careers in law, conflict resolution and mediation, education, public service, policy analysis, advocacy, activism, journalism, politics, international development, humanitarian or refugee work, the foreign service, and national, transnational government and non-government agencies, as well as the military and law enforcement.

Program Structure

The International Conflict and Human Rights concentration is recommended for students in the HBASC Interdisciplinary Studies major who are taking disciplinary courses in History, Political Science, Criminology, Geography, and Sociology.  Students should ensure they have the appropriate pre-requisites for upper year disciplinary courses; HIST 1100, in particular is recommended as an elective at the first-year level. Program details for the concentration can be found here