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Human Rights and Global Communication

Human Rights and Global Communication: How the World Wide Web Shapes the Struggle for Human Rights


Seminar: Sozialwissenschaften-Einführung

Block, Ort: AM k12, Veranstaltungsbeginn: 19.11.2015

Since the Arab Spring the digital shift in the struggle for human rights has become obvious. Global Communication Technologies – mainly social networking sites - were said to have played a key role in the people’s uprising by providing the formerly missing possibility to connect to like-minded people and therefore take a stand for human rights. On the other hand, the World Wide Web has also made it easier to limit and violate human rights. This discrepancy in the perception of risks and opportunities of the web for human rights entails inter alia the following questions: Does the Internet really enable human rights? Which rights – except for the right to freedom of expression – are influenced by the communications revolution? Do we need new human rights in the digital age? Should the right to access to the Internet be recognized as a human right? Based on introductory sessions about the philosophical and political basis of human rights on the one hand and the structural shift in global communication to “bottom-up” approaches and “mass self-communication” on the other hand, the abovementioned questions will be addressed by discussing latest research results and specific examples. The aim of the seminar is to provide a basic understanding of human rights in general and the influence of global communication on the struggle for human rights in particular.

Literatur: Boersema, D 2011, Philosophy of human rights: theory and practice, Westview Press, Boulder, Col. Jørgensen, RF 2013, Framing the Net – The Internet and Human Rights, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham. Wu, T 2010, The master switch: the rise and fall of information empires, Alfred A. Knopf, New York.

Teilnahmevoraussetzungen: Regular and active participation, English.

Hinweise zur Veranstaltung: Please register by sending an e-mail to until October 16, 2015.

Hinweise zum Blockseminar: Termine: 19.+20. November: 10-18 Uhr; 25.-27. November: 14-18 Uhr. Alle Sitzungen finden in Raum AM k12 statt.

Leistungsnachweis: Participation, opinion piece, term paper.

Sprache: English