The course focuses on the concept of Security, Definitions of Security, power, hegemony External and internal dimensions of security: Traditional security studies and changing notion of security, Non-traditional security studies and changing levels of analysis, Critical security studies, security and emancipation (Welsh School);  Basic theories of Security studies such as: Regional Security complex theory, Theory of securitization and offence-defense and Theory Strategic cultural approach and the  idea of “Security Community”. The course will focuses on the third world security predicaments in the context of National Security and Regional Conflict – from the African Perspectives. Additionally the course deals with Case Studies on Cold war security crisis, Cuban missile crisis, and Post-cold war humanitarian Intervention – just war, War on Terror.  This foundation course provides an opportunity to explore connections between the challenges and approaches identified in human rights and security issues in African context.

Course Objectives

·         To introduce the students about the evolution of security studies

·         To develop understanding of the major theme of the subjects

·          To enable students to understand the concepts of security, emergencies of security studies and the various schools of thought, and an introduction to non-traditional security threats in Africa.


Concepts and Theories

Concepts of Security

·         Introduction to concepts of security

·         Definition of Security, power, hegemony

·         External and internal dimensions of security


Evolution of Security Studies:

·         Traditional Security Studies and changing notions of security

·         Non-traditional security studies and changing levels of analysis

·         Critical security studies, security and emancipation (welsh school)


Basic Theories of Security Studies

·         Regional security complex theory

·         Theory of securitization and offense-defense theory

·         Strategic culture approach and the idea of “security community”


Africa Security Predicaments:

·         Definition – “Third world” “Security”, state making and interstate conflict in Africa

·         Third world, bi-polarity and cold war, post cold war and its impact in Africa

·         National Security and Regional conflicts – From African Perspectives


Case Study:

·         Cold war Security Crisis – Cuban missile crisis

·         Post-Cold War Humanitarian Intervention – Just war

·         Reasons for Arab spring and its impact in Africa

          War on Terror – A Critical Analysis


Ø  Ayoob, Mohammed, The Third World Security Predicament: State Making, Regional Conflict and International System, L. Rienner Publishers 1995

Ø  Barrkawi, Tarak and Mark Laffey, “The Postcolonial moment in Security studies,” Review of international studies 2006,

Ø  Barry Buzan and Lene Hansen, “Widening and Deepening Security” in the Evolution of International Security Studies, Cambridge University Press, 2009

Ø  David Baldwin, “The Concept of Security”, Review of International Studies, 23, 1997

Haftendorn, Helga, “The Security Puzzle: Theory-Building and Discipline-Building in international security”, International Studies quarterly, vol.35 No.1, 1991


LLM (Human Rights and Justice) & M.A (Human Rights and Security)


Course Code: MHJ 612 & MHS 612

Course Outline Prepared: Dr. Sam

Course Description

This course is concerned with the history and theory of the modern human rights regime. The discussion of the present will lead us to wonder when, where, and for whom human rights and, for that matter, humanitarianism provide actual solutions to real-life problems and what these problems might be. The course also explores the passions that motivated people to pursue human rights and the empathy that led them to uproot injustice and what this passion did and did not achieve. It will thus give a solid grounding in the philosophical underpinning of human rights as well as an overview of some of the current debates in the philosophy of human rights by examining the universality, justifications and criticism of human rights.

Course Objective:

After completing this course, the student will be able to:

  • Describe the historical background of the concept of human rights.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the view of human rights in the different historical time
  • Analyze and critically reflect on philosophical aspect concerning the background to and development of the present-day human rights regime.
  • Critically analyze political, policy and moral issues using a human rights framework


1.1. Definition and Meaning of human rights

1.2. Characteristics of Human Rights

1.3. Generations of Human Rights

1.4. Development of the Concept of Human Rights


2.1. The notion of Natural Rights and Natural Law

2.2. Natural Law as Source of Justice and Virtue – political thoughts by Socrates, Plato and Aristotle

2.3. Natural Law as a Reason by Cicero and Seneca,

2.4. Natural Law as Morality by Augustine of Hippo and St. Thomas Aquinas,

2.5. Nature of Man by Thomas Hobbes and John Locke

2.6. Kelsen’s Criticism on Natural Law Theory


3.1.   Western Philosophy of Human Rights

3.1.1   The Human Rights thoughts influenced by Francis Bacon, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, David Hume, Thomas Paine and John Stuart Mill

3.1.2  A theory of Justice by John Rowls

3.1.3. Louis Henkin - “Rights of Man Today”

3.1.3. Social contract  and  Reciprocity

3.2. Critiques of Human Rights Philosophy

3.2.1. Edmund Burke on Natural Rights

3.2.2. Jeremy Bentham on natural rights

3.2.3. Marxist Critique of Human Rights

3.2.4. Alasdair MacIntyre on Human Rights

3.3. Soviet concept of Human rights and the legal system;

3.4. The relevance of Human Rights in Gandhian Philosophy – an analysis.

3.5. Confucius philosophy: Confusion Human rights ideas and their influence on modern human rights thought.

3.6. Human rights in Africa



4.1. Christian reflections on Human rights;

4.2. Islamic principles of Human rights;

4.3. Theological reflections on Human rights in Hinduism,

4.4. Human rights and Buddhism,

4.5. Human rights  and Sikhism  


5.1. Interest and will theory

5.2. Maslow's Human Need Theory.

5.3. Ipso Facto Legal Rights Theory (by that very fact)

5.4. Man for Man Theory of World Peace

5.5. Contractual Theory: (Thomas Hobbes)



6.1. Modern perspectives on human rights

6.2. Constructing human rights: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

6.3. Human rights and cultural relativism


7.1. International  Human Rights Conventions

7.2. International Custom and Human rights

7.3.  General principles of law and its application in Human rights law

7.4. Subsidiary means for the determination of rules of law and Human rights


Evaluation: Term papers, presentation and final examination

Reference materials

1.      Forsythe ,David P , Human Rights in International Relations,New York, Cambridge University Press,

2.      Bauman Z.Postmodern Ethics. Cambridge, Basil Blackwell, Cambridge University Press, 1993

3.      Nickel, James. “Human Rights.” In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

4.      David Boersema , Philosophy of Human Rights; Theory and Practice, Westview Press, 2011

5.      Aakash Singh Rathore, Alex Cistelecan, Wronging Rights?: Philosophical Challenges for Human Rights,2011

The protection of vulnerable persons has become one of the major issues in international and national human rights agendas. And states and other actors have increasingly been subjected to international supervision mechanisms particularly in relation to the available legal, institutional and other measures concerned with the protection and enforcement of the rights of vulnerable groups. The course, therefore, mainly aims to introduce the students with this contemporary trend and the development of the international legal norms in this respect. So having first considered the contested notion of vulnerability and its relevance in the current academic/theoretical, political and policy debates and locating the same within the general debates of human rights, the course will engage the students with such themes as the rights of women, children, minority groups, persons with disabilities, refugees and internally displaced persons, migrant workers, and indigenous and tribal peoples and communities under international law. As such the course will pay particular attention to the justification(s) for the need for special protection of vulnerable persons, the contents of their substantive rights and corresponding States party obligations as established in different international instruments and human rights jurisprudence. In each theme, the course will also assess the respective normative, institutional and policy frameworks being in place in Ethiopia. The following will be the focal point of the course:-

Course Objective:

After successful completion of this course students will able to:

·         Determine who are vulnerable groups

·         Justify the need to provide special protection to vulnerable groups

·         Policy and legal framework at the international, regional and national level for the protection of vulnerable groups

·         Identify major gaps in the protection of vulnerable groups

Course Content

The following topics will be the focal point of the course:-

  • The Notion of Vulnerability and Vulnerable Persons
  • The rationale for the Special Protection of Vulnerable Persons
  • Children
  •  Women
  •  Persons with Disabilities
  • ·Minority Groups
  •  Indigenous and Tribal Communities/Peoples 
  •  Stateless persons / Non-Citizen Rights
  •  LGBT Rights
  •  Refugees, 

  • Internally Displaced Persons 
  •  Migrant Workers
  • The Rights of Persons deprived of their Liberty

  •   National Level Legal Remedies and mechanisms in the protection of Vulnerable People

Method of delivery: Lecture, discussion and presentation

Evaluation: Term papers, article review, presentation and final examination

Reference Materials:

1.       “Vulnerable groups ; the promise of an emerging ceoncept in European human rights convention law” International Journal of Constitutional Law, Vol 11, Issue 4,  ( 2013)

2.        K.M.Smith ,International Human Rights , ,7th ed.(2014) oxford university

3.       H. E. Morawa, Alexander “'Vulnerability' as a Concept in International Human Rights Law” Journal of International Relations and Development, Vol. 10, (2003)  

4.       A.R. Chapman, Benjamin Carbonetti “Human Rights Protections for Vulnerable and Disadvantaged  Groups:” The Contributions of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Human Rights Quarterly, Vol 33, No 3, (2011)

5.  Prem Sam Ponniah.V. “Human rights of Indigenous People in India- The Case of Irula Tribe” LAP Lambert Academic Publication, 2020. (353 pages)  ISBN: 978-620-2-51501-6

Course outline prepared by Dr.SAM

Course Description

Human Rights are of tremendous significance in the contemporary world. The module deals with the  contemporary idea of human rights include:  human rights and development,  Climate change and disaster-induced cross-border displacement, Business and Human Rights, Minorities, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, Protection from Corruption, and so on. The module reflects upon the key driving forces for contemporary human rights and security concerns, particular attention will be given to the natural and man-made disasters,  gender based violence, trafficking and forceful disappearance which affects the human security. Further, the module will look into Transnational Criminal Network and assess the Various Techniques and Methods for Analyzing Insurgency, Guerilla Warfare and terrorism in the field to analyze and develop a better understanding and critique the African problems in these areas. 

Course Objectives

·         To provide the students with a basic understanding of contemporary Human rights and security issues especially on the human security

·         To develop a balanced understanding on the key driving forces for contemporary Human rights and security concerns, and combating Transnational Criminal Networks, Insurgency, Guerrilla Warfare, and Terrorism

 Course Contents

 Unit one - Contemporary Human Rights Issues:

·         Human rights and development with relationship to security

·         Human rights, climate change and disaster-induced cross-border displacement

·         Business and Human Rights

·         Human rights of Minorities and Indigenous people

·         Discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity

·         Corruption and Human Rights: Designing Effective Interventions

·         Coherence on International Policy Making on Preventing Violent Extremism, Radicalization,     Intolerance, and Incitement

 Unit Two - Human Rights and Human Security:

·         From National/Traditional security to Human Security

·         Human Security Threats 

·         Human Security Emphasizes Triangular Relationship With Freedom, ie. Freedom From Fear (Security), Freedom From Want (Livelihood/Development), And Freedom To Live In Dignity (Human Rights).

·         Human Security relationship with Development, Environment, Gender and humanitarian intervention

·         Trends in human security: The Arab Spring Case; State- based armed conflict & non-state armed conflict; Interstate war between Ethiopia and Eretria


Unit Three - Key Driving Forces for Human Rights and Security Concerns:


·         Natural and Man-Made Disasters;

·         Conflicts and Internal Violence;

·         Gender based violence

·         Massive Displacements;

·         Health Related Risks;

·         Sudden Economic and Financial Downturns;

·         Human Trafficking

·         Disappearance

Unit Four - Transnational Criminal Networks

·         Transnational organized crime (TOC):  money laundering; human smuggling; cyber crime / warfare; and trafficking of humans, drugs, weapons, kidnapping, people smuggling, endangered species, body parts, or nuclear material

·         International Enforcement Agencies: United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, Interpol, Europol

·         Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering

·         Their Role in Contemporary International and Human Security


Unit Five - Insurgency, Guerrilla Warfare, and Terrorism

·         Nature, Strategies, and Mechanics of Insurgency especially in Africa,

·         Guerrilla Warfare and Terrorism, the Spectrum Of Conflict, 

·         Various Techniques and Methods for Analyzing Insurgency, Guerilla Warfare and terrorism

·         Human rights violations and abuses against civilians 

          Islamic Fundamentalism  Its Threats To Human Rights And Security

          HEZBOLLAH; HAMAS; AL-QAEDA; JANJAWEED ; Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS)

           Terrorism in Horn of Africa







African Union Non-Aggression Common Defense Pact, 2005. Online Available at (Retrieved on January 25, 2013)

 Alkire, Sabina. 2003. A Conceptual Framework for Human Security. Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity, CRISE Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford. Working Paper 2.

 America's Climate Choices: Panel on Advancing the Science of Climate Change, National Research Council (2010). ""Chapter 16. National and Human Security".". Advancing the Science of Climate Change. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. p. 389

Commission on Human Security, 2003.Human Security Now: Protecting and Empowering People. New York.

 Human Security at the UN. September 2012, Briefing on the Report of the Secretary-General on Human Security. A/66/763

 Human Security Center, August 2005. Human Security Report: War and the Peace in 21st Century, The University of British Columbia, Canada.

 Human Security Reports. Online Available at

 James R. Lewis, Carl Skutsch, (eds.,)  “The Human Rights Encyclopedia,” Armonk, Sharpe Reference, New York, c 2001.

Langley, Winston. E, Encyclopedia of Human Rights Issues Since 1945, Greenwood Press, Westport, Conn., 1999.

Maddex Robert L., (ed.,) International Encyclopedia of Human Rights: Freedoms, Abuses, and Remedies, CQ Press, Washington, 2000.

Ogata, Sadako and Amartya Sen. 2001.Independent Commission on Human Security. UNDP

Organization of American States. October 2003. Declaration on Security in the Americas.Online Available at (Retrieved on January 24, 2013)

Sucharitkul, Sompong. "The Concept of Human Rights in International Law.". International Sustainable Development Law. 1. Vol. I - The Nature and Sources Of International Development Law, pp. 4–5.

Thomas Risse, Stephen C. Ropp, Kathryn Sikkink, The Power Of Human Rights: International Norms And Domestic Change, Cambridge University Press, New York, 1999.


The course deals with the  Key Concepts and Theories such as definitions of Conflict, armed conflict, Conflict resolution, Conflict management, Conflict resettlement, Conflict prevention, conflict regulations and conflict transformation;  Peace keeping,  peacemaking, peace building, and peace enforcement.

Case study on Ethiopia and other relevant countries will be used to understand the complexity; the ways in which conflict dynamics emerge and interact with social, political economic environmental and other factors.

This course is about to bringing together relevant techniques used in African conflict management as well as developing skills of conflict resolution, such as Mediation, Arbitration, Facilitation, Negotiation and adjudication.

Additionally, the course deals with introduction to conflict analysis tools; conflict wheel, conflict tree and conflict mapping, Glasl’s escalation model, INMEDIO’s conflict perspective analysis, Needs- fears mapping, multi casual role models and conflict mapping of interstate/ intra state conflict/ Resources based conflict.

Course Objectives:

  • To equip the students to analyze conflicts and map them
  • To develop an understanding on the major themes related the subject
  • To enable the students get an understanding of the different cycles of conflict, and familiarize them with peace building tools like negotiation and mediation.

Course Contents:


Concepts and Theories

·          Definition – conflict, armed conflict

·          Conflict Resolution, Conflict Management, Conflict Settlement, Conflict Prevention, Conflict Regulation, Conflict Transformation

·          Peace Keeping, Peace Making, Peace Building, Peace Enforcement

·          Theories – Liberal , Marxist, Gandhian, Feminist


Sources and Elements of Conflict

·          Sources of Conflict – material ideational

·          Conflict cycle – Escalation, De-escalation, intractability

·          Actors- individuals, Institutions, State, Non-State

·          Case study – any one of the following: (a) South Sudan (b) Somalia (c) Democratic  Republic of Congo


Types of Conflict

  • ·          Inter State Conflict
  • ·          Intra- State Conflict


Conflict Resolution

·          Mediation

·          Arbitration

·          Facilitation


To enable the students get an understanding of the different cycles of conflict, and familiarize them with peace building tools like negotiation and mediation.


Conflict Analysis Tools:

·          Introduction to Conflict Analysis Tools – Conflict Wheel, Conflict Tree, Conflict Mapping

·          Glasl’s Escalation Model, IMMEDIO’s Conflict Perspectives Analysis, Needs – Fears Mapping, Multi-Causal Role Model

·          Exercise – Conflict Mapping of Inter State/ Intra State Conflict/ Resource Based Conflict


1.        Berrovitch, Jacob and Jeffery Z. Rubin, (eds), Mediation in International Relations: Multiple Approaches to Conflict Mangement, New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1992

2.        Centre for Security Studies, Zurich “Tip Sheet: Conflict Analysis Tools” SDC, copret December 2005, available at Conflict Analysis Tools.

3.        Miall, Hugh, Ramasbotham and Woodhose, Tom, Contemporary Conflict Resolution: The Prevention, Management and Transformation of Conflicts, Cambridge Polity Press, 1999.

4.        Walt, Stephen M, “ The Renaissance of Security Studies”, International Studies Quarterly 35.2 1991

5.        Weber, Thomas “Gandhian Philosophy, Conflict Resolution Theory and Practical Approches to Negotiation’, Journal of Peace Research, Vol.38, no.4, 2001