What is natural law, and which historical event signaled a global shift towards understanding human rights based on it?

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May 31, 2021


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Answer any 4 of the following 5 short-answer questions (25% each). Use as much relevant detail as possible, and wherever possible, use the names and arguments of authors weve read, and incorporate cases weve examined.
1) What is the elite theory of democracy, how have scholars tested its accuracy, and how does this relate to the study of human rights?
2) What is natural law, and which historical event signaled a global shift towards understanding human rights based on it? Why did this shift occur, and what did the global community do as a result?
3) Which international declaration did Melville Herskovits reject, and from which social science discipline? In your answer, be sure to describe the various bases of Herskovits position, and how this relates to the role of cultures in shaping human values.
4) What are some Feminist and Activist critiques of traditional human rights theory?
5) What is the Responsibility to Protect (R2P)? Explain the Realist and Liberalist views of R2P, and illustrate R2P in action with an example weve studied.

Instructions (please read carefully before you begin):
Your answers should draw upon the class lectures and readings. There is no expectation that you will do any outside research for this exam, and in fact, this is discouraged; better answers will show a deep engagement with the class material, and an understanding of key concepts and cases and how they interrelate.

Your answers should each be 500-600 words in length (youll lose 3% for each answer that exceeds 600 words). The word limit exists to protect your TA, who will be doing all the grading. If you feel you have lots more to say, edit your answers carefully to condense as much information as possible into the word limit (this is an advanced writing skill).
Your answers do not need to be structured as essays (you do not need an introduction, main body, conclusion, or thesis statement). However, your answers should be methodically organized and free of spelling or grammatical errors, so edit carefully before submission.

You do not need a bibliography, nor do you need to formally cite the class readings; when citing a reading, use quote marks to denote a direct quote, and give the authors name and page number; if using an indirect quote, you can just put the relevant authors name in brackets at the end of your sentence. Lecture material can be treated as common knowledge for the purposes of this exam, so you do not need to cite the lecture date or a specific lecture slide.

You may begin working on this exam as soon as you like, and work at a pace that suits you. You may take as long as you need between when the exam is posted and when it is due, which is by 11:59pm on Sunday May 30. There are no constraints on how quickly you need to finish the exam within that time frame; you can start the exam, take as many breaks as you want (recommended), and complete it and submit when youre ready.

You should choose the four questions about which you feel most confident and answer only those. Do not answer five questions and request that you get credit for your four best answers; this creates more work for your TA, which is unfair.
Be sure to submit your work in a file (word doc or PDF) with a file name that includes your last name and student ID#. Be sure to also include your first name, last name, and student ID# at the top of the exam itself.
Good Luck!


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