NOTE: Course offerings change. Classes offered this semester may not be offered in future semesters.

261.95 sec. 1 - International Law, Policy and Development (Spring 2014)
"U.S. Human Rights and Democratization Policy"

Instructor: Jamie O'Connell  (view instructor's teaching evaluations | profile)
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Units: 3
Meeting Time: MW 11:20-12:35
Meeting Location: 123

Course Start: January 06, 2014

Spring 2014 topic:
United States Human Rights and Democratization Policy:
Substance and Process

The United States government’s policies on human rights and democratization abroad will be the focus of Law 261.95 in spring 2014. A select group of no more than eight students and the professor will examine the internal government processes and the external factors that shape U.S. policy. The course will be more dynamic and collaborative than a traditional seminar, combining seminar-style discussions with student-driven research, sometimes conducted in teams rather than individually. (The application process is described below.)

CASE STUDIES will be selected after consultation with admitted students, but may focus on U.S. policy on current issues (such as the Syrian civil war, sectarian conflict in Burma, democratization in Egypt, and cooperation with the International Criminal Court), historical cases (such as relations with Latin American dictatorships during the 1970s and 1980s, the Rwandan genocide, and civil wars in former Yugoslavia), and global policies (such as on counterterrorism and cooperation with foreign militaries).

A GROUP TRIP to Washington, DC, over spring break will enable face-to-face engagement with policymakers, human rights advocates, and other experts. These meetings will yield insights unavailable from public sources. Last year, we met with current and former officials and staffers from the National Security Council, Congress, the State Department, the Defense Department, Human Rights Watch, the Brookings Institution, and other government agencies and organizations.

Students may have the opportunity to form professional connections through the course, as well as hone a range of intellectual and professional skills. Those who aim to work in or influence the Federal government in any policy area will benefit, as well as those specifically interested in international affairs or human rights.

APPLICATION AND ENROLLMENT: Admission is by permission of the instructor. 1Ls may be admitted *if* they have previous experience working in or studying human rights, foreign policy, and/or government (in any policy area). For all other students, there are no academic or professional pre-requisites.

By the end of ***MONDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2013*** (11:59 p.m.), interested students should submit an email with the following attached to AND


--Short cover letter (about 1 page) or the equivalent in the body of the email, explaining the applicant’s motivation for enrolling in the course and describing any relevant academic or professional preparation that is not obvious from the resume. (It is fine to discuss things that are on the resume, but not necessary.)

--A list of any courses the applicant has taken that s/he feels will be especially relevant, including course name, professor, semester taken, and (if outside Boalt) institution and department.

Finalists will have a brief interview. (Telephone or Skype can be used for anyone who is away from Berkeley for the semester.) Admission decisions will be made before the beginning of Telebears II.

FURTHER QUESTIONS: Professor O’Connell will be available in 444 North Addition to discuss the course during the following times. Drop in or reserve a slot at

Monday, October 14: 4-5 p.m.
Thursday, October 17: 10:45-11:45 a.m. and 4-5:30 p.m.
Friday, October 18: 10:45-11:45 a.m.
Monday, October 21: 10:45-11:45 a.m. and 4-5 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 22: 5-6:30 p.m.
Thursday, October 24: 4-6 p.m.
Friday, October 25: 10:00-11:30 a.m.
Monday, October 28: 10:45 “ 11:45 a.m. and 4-5 p.m.

Exam Notes: P+
Course Category: International and Comparative Law

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A reader will be used in this class.

Instructor has indicated that no books will be assigned.

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