This course covers concepts and theories related to recent political and intellectual challenges to human rights regimes and liberal democracy in a national context.
The historical context for this course is the so-called wave of new-authoritarianism in various countries that has expressed itself through various forms of populism and nationalism in recent decades.
After the fall of the Iron Wall in 1989 the American writer and political scientist Francis Fukuyama coined the phrase ”The End of History” which expressed the conviction that liberal democracy had become the only viable and reasonable political alternative around the world. For several years this statement also seemed to be reasonable with the fall of several dictatorships and authoritarian regimes around the world. However, in recent years the world has seen a backlash for liberal democracy in more or less violent forms. These political changes evoke questions concerning the prerequisities for and the critical challenges to liberal democracy.
The course adress in this regard different theories and explanations with reference to ”the new authoritarianism” from an interdisciplinary perspective.
The legal context is the terms and strategies of human rights law. The course provides specialisation in a set of relevant and contemporary issues related to human rights law in national contexts. Relevant examples may be the use of states of emergency, media and freedom of expression, migration or the role of civil society. It may also involve novel and modern approaches to human rights law, such as critical perspectives.