HENK03917U English - Free topic 19: Engaging in Human Rights Activism: Lessons from the Apartheid Era (exam form A,B,C)

Volume 2015/2016

This course examines how human rights, which are usually a matter of state policy, can be approached in other arenas of society. Individually, citizens can engage in human rights activism through the use of a number of methods which include boycotts, demonstrations, sit-ins, petitions, hacking, adbusting, subvertising, culture jamming etc. Collectively – through participation in social movements and NGOs – the consequences and scope of these actions are amplified.

Historically, the transnational Anti-Apartheid Movement (1960-1994) pioneered and employed many of the tactics later used by Greenpeace and other social and environmental movements. The main focus of the course will be the Anti-Apartheid Movement and the development in human rights activism that has taken place since its inception. Narrowing in on British anti-apartheid activism, the course also offers an alternative approach to postcolonial studies with its emphasis on the practical dimensions of a socio-historical field of study.

The course material will feature news and magazine articles, as well as visual resources such as posters, advertisements etc. In terms of theoretical outlook, we will be discussing Ulrich Beck and Anthony Giddens’ ideas on reflexive modernity, life politics, and subpolitics in relation to the course readings.


  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 28
  • Preparation
  • 176,75
  • Total
  • 204,75
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Criteria for exam assesment