The course Diversity of Human Rights touches on various problems of human rights discourses. The participants come from different nations and bring in different disciplinary perspectives relevant for human rights theory and practice: The Course aims at an interdisciplinary debate between philosophy, jurisprudence, and political science, and a dialogue between researchers and human rights activists from the region.
The topic of this year’s course is Human rights and violence. At first sight, it is pretty clear that these are mutually exclusive concepts: Rule of law and human rights are just here to replace relations of violence by relations regulated by rules and principles acceptable for all concerned. We need human rights to enjoy social guarantees that conflicts and ways of conflict-resolution will not violate our basic interests and our dignity.
Still, human rights have an ‘interventionist core’. Taking them seriously does not only imply not to violate them oneself. It implies duties to protect and to help others, whose human rights are under threat or who are already deprived. In that regard, no social sphere and no state should be immune against necessary interference to realize basic human rights. Some proponents of a ‘political conception’ of human rights even argue that the point and purpose of human rights is just to set limits to the sovereignty of states and that the violation of a human right is a reason for intervention in the international arena.