Current Issues in Human Rights and Democracy

General information

The course is a compulsory component of the M.A. Program in Human Rights and Democracy.

Course description

The course consists of one or two blocks where students will deepen their grasp of different theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches through intensive studies of one or two current issues or contexts of relevance to human rights and democracy. The course is taught through seminars, intensive reading and writing assignments where students bring together different theoretical tools in analyzing relevant primary sources for the given themes. The themes at hand are usually tied to one or two current research projects at the School of Human Rights and Democracy.

Learning Outcomes 

On completion of the course, the student shall be able to

Knowledge and understanding

  • skillfully summarize the state of research on current issues of relevance to human rights and democracy,
  • integrate and contrast different academic perspectives on current issues of relevance to human rights and democracy, 
  • display an in-depth grasp of the possibilities and limitations of interdisciplinary research within the field of study,
  • provide an overview of the most important academic forums, including journals and book series, where the scholarly conversation on the current issues takes place

Competence and skills

  • plan, execute, as well as orally present and defend an academic essay on current issues of relevance to human rights and democracy, showing an awareness of the different conventions of style and reasoning within different academic disciplines, 
  • account and argue for one’s assessment of complex phenomena—orally as well as in writing; 

Judgement and approach

  • reflect critically and independently on central theories and concepts within the field of inquiry; 
  • analyze and assess information using scientific criteria. 

Reservation för revidering av litteraturen.


Part I a: Freedom of Religion or Belief in a Global World

Clapham, Andrew & Gaeta, Paola, 2014. The Oxford Handbook of International Law in Armed Conflict. Oxford: Oxford University. S. 91-270, 410-543 (312 p). Available as e-book (OSAIL).

Additional articles (100 p)


Part I b: Freedom of Religion or Belief in a Global World

Bielefeldt, Heiner, Ghanea, Nazila & Wiener, Michael, 2016. Freedom of Religion or Belief. An International Law Commentary. Oxford: Oxford University Press. P 41-52, 363-592 (240 p). Available as e-book (OSAIL).

Bielefeldt, Heiner & Wiener, Michael, 2019. Religious Freedom Under Scrutiny. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press (280 p) Available as e-book (EbscoHost).

European Court of Human Rights, 2021. Guide on Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights. (99 p) – Guide on Article 9.pdf Download Guide on Article 9.pdf

Foster, Dion A., Gerle, Elisabeth & Gunner Göran (eds.), 2019. Freedom of Religion at Stake. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications. P. 1-280 (280 p) – Freedom of Religion at Stake.pdf Download Freedom of Religion at Stake.pdf

Blackford, Russell, 2011. Freedom of Religion and the Secular State. Malden, MA: John Wiley & Sons (224 p). Available as e-book (EbscoHost). OR Sachedina, Abdulaziz, 2009. Islam and the Challenge of Human Rights. New York: Oxford University Press. (248 p) Available as e-book (EbscoHost).


Part II: The Un/Making of Refugees. On Borders, Rights and Rightslessness.  

Balibar, Étienne, 2002. What is a Border? In: Etienne Balibar (red.). Politics and the Other Scene. London; New York: Verso. (12 s.)

Djampour, Pouran, 2018. Borders Crossing Bodies. The Stories of Eight Youth with Experience of Migrating. Malmö: Malmö university, Faculty of Health and Society, Diss. (166 s)

Land, Molly Katrina et.al., 2021. Beyond Borders: the Human Rights of Noncitizens at Home and Abroad. Cambridge University Press. (ca 70 s)

Bohmer, Carol & Shuman, Amy, 2018. Political Asylum Deceptions. The Culture of Suspicion. Springer International Publishing, Cham. (170 s)

B.S. Chimni, “The Geopolitics of Refugee Studies: A View from the South”, Journal of Refugee Studies, Vol.11, No.4 (1998), pp.350–74. (24 s)

Costello, Cathryn, Foster, Michelle & McAdam, Jane (red.), 2021. The Oxford Handbook of International Refugee Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press.  (192 s)

Gundogdu, Ayten, 2014. Rightlessness in an Age of Rights. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (ca 30 s)

McKinnon, Sara L., 2016. Gendered Asylum. Race and Violence in U.S. Law and Politics. Urbana, Chicago, and Springfield: University of Illinois Press. (130 s)

Saunders, Natasha, 2018. International Political Theory and the Refugee Problem. Routledge. (200 s)

Stoyanova, Vladisava & Smet, Stijn (red.), 2022. Migrants’ rights, Populism, and Legal Resilience in Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (excerpts)

Zimmermann, Andreas (red.), 2010. 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol: a Commentary. New York: Oxford University Press.  (200 s)

Additional articles et al. (maximum 500 p.)

Schemat finns tillgängligt senast en månad innan kursen startar. Vi rekommenderar inte att du skriver ut schemat eftersom vissa ändringar kan ske.

Öppna schemat

Maria Bexelius

Doktorand, adjunkt


Göran Gunner

Docent, högskolelektor, pastor



A = Framstående, B = Mycket bra, C = Bra, D = Tillfredsställande, E = Tillräcklig, Fx = Otillräcklig, komplettering möjlig, F = Otillräcklig


  • PM

The applicant must have a Bachelor’s degree in human rights studies or another related
field in social or political science, law or the humanities. Students with undergraduate
degrees in the natural sciences, engineering or medicine may also be admitted subject to
their ability to demonstrate a proficiency in human rights, for instance through professional
or voluntary work or activity.

In addition, advanced level studies in human rights studies of 30 credits or the equivalent.

If English is not the applicant’s native language, his or her language proficiency is to be
demonstrated by e.g. IELTS test, TOEFL test, Cambridge/Oxford test, a Bachelor’s degree
from a study programme taught entirely in English, or a passing grade in English 6/English B from
Swedish upper secondary school.

  • För fullgjord kurs krävs minst 80% närvaro vid föreläsningar och 100% närvaro vid seminarier/gruppövningar och andra tillfällen för redovisning. Frånvaro därutöver kan kompenseras genom kompletteringsuppgift (-er) om kursansvarig lärare bedömer det möjligt. Vid frånvaro om 50 % eller mer betraktas kursen som avbruten, även om examinationsuppgifter har genomförts.
  • Om student har ett beslut från EHS om särskilt pedagogiskt stöd på grund av funktionsnedsättning, skall examinator vid behov anpassa examinationen och genomföra examinationen på ett alternativt sätt.
  • Student har möjlighet att tentera kurs enligt ursprunglig kursplan inom två år efter kurstillfället. Om särskilda skäl föreligger kan sådan omtentamen ske även senare. Normalt ges inte undervisning enligt äldre kursplan. Möjligheten till dispens ska avgöras av rektor eller biträdande rektor.

Fastställd av Kollegiet i Mänskliga rättigheter vid Enskilda Högskolan Stockholm den 3 februari 2021.