262.62 sec. 001 - From Minority Rights to Human Rights -- 1878-2018 (Spring 2020)
Instructor: Richard M. Buxbaum (view instructor's teaching evaluations - degree students only | profile)
View all teaching evaluations for this course - degree students only
Due to COVID-19, law school classes were graded as credit/no pass in spring 2020.
- Th 3:35 PM - 5:25 PM
Location: Law 107
From January 16, 2020
To February 27, 2020
Course End: February 27, 2020
Class Number (1Ls): 32014
Class Number: 32014
Enroll Limit: 23
As of: 06/16 11:02 PM
This course will review the almost two centuries-long and to this day controversial history of "Minority Treaties". The "Great Powers" that helped new nations to gain national autonomy from the decaying Ottoman Empire provided that help on condition that these nations in their turn guaranteed the religious, ethnic and linguistic minority populations within their borders political, civic, social and cultural rights. Particularly in the Balkans these obligations were bitterly resented and poorly enforced.
Yet at the end of World War I, when more new nations were formed (in Central/Eastern Europe and in the Near and Middle East), the Allies doubled down on this imposed treaty regime policy. In the 20 years before World War II the resentment both of dominant groups and of newly subservient groups stranded by new borders outside their "homeland" rose to the point that the system was a non-trivial factor contributing to that war.
The United Nations, making minority rights part of the early postwar Compacts/Conventions, at first continued this tradition now made necessary but also aggravated by decolonization in South and Southeast Asia and Africa. And the difficulties continue to this day -- see only Kashmir, Iraq, Israel, and -- perhaps surprisingly -- Belgium for examples.
This is a legal as much as a political and socio-cultural history, which we will explore (in this short seven-week timeframe) through a judicious selection of primary and secondary sources as well as a couple of visiting experts. Students will be evaluated on the basis of an 8-10 page written assignment.
Course reader will be provided.
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Instructor has indicated that no books will be assigned.