POLS253 Human Rights: Where Do They Come From and Why Do We Need Them


The course aims to introduce the students to the origin, aims and functions of the human rights, as well as to acquaint them with the main documents and institutions which regulate the matter.

The aim of the course is to build deep and up-to-date knowledge for the human rights and their protection.

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Politics and Society (in English)


Dragomir Yordanov

Course Description:



After completing successfully this course the students will:

1) know:

" The basic concepts, principles, documents, and institutions related to the concept of human rights.

2) are capable of::

" Analyse and evaluate the basic legal norms, documents and institutions related to the human rights

" To measure and evaluate the degrees of protecting or/and violating the human rights.

3) job opportunities, according to the National Register of Jobs and Positions in the Republic of Bulgaria:

- Mid-level specialists and experts in international organizations - UN, The Council of Europe, OSCE, NATO

- Experts in the EU institutions

- Experts and consultants in international NGOs

- Teachers in colleges and schools

- Experts in social and related sciences and humanities

- Journalists and editors

- Diplomatic servants

- Specialists with analytical and control functions in the administration

- Journalists


Full-time Programmes

Types of Courses:

Language of teaching:



Suggested Readings

An-Na'im, Abdullahi A. 1990. Toward an Islamic Reformation. Civil Liberties, Human Rights, and International Law (Contemporary issues in the Middle East). Syracuse: Syracuse University Press.

Benito, Elizabeth Odio 1989. Elimination of all forms of intolerance and discrimination based on religion or belief. New York: United Nations.

Capotorti, Francesco 1979. Study on the Rights of Persons Belonging to Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities. New York: UN Publications.

Hannum, Hurst 1993. Documents on Autonomy and Minority Rights. Dordrecht/Boston/London: Marticus Nijhoff Publishers.

Krishnaswami, Arcot 1960. Study of Discrimination in the Matter of Religious Rights and Practices. New York: United Nations.

Lerner, Natan 1982. "The Final Text of the U.N. Declaration Against Intolerance and Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief", Israel Yearbook on Human Rights 12.

Tibi, Bassam 1994. "Islamic Law/Shari'a, Human Rights, Universal Morality and International Relations", Human Rights Quaterly 16 (2): 227-299.

Van der Vyver, Johan D. und John Witte (ed.) 1996. Religious Human Rights in Global Perspective. 2 vol. The Hague/Boston/London: Martinus Niyjhoff Publishers.

Social science analyses of multireligious societies

Allen, Douglas (ed.) 1992. Religion and Political Conflict in South Asia. India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka (Contributions to the Study of Religion). Wesport, Conn. & London: Greenwood Press.

Arjomand, Said Amir (ed.) 1993. The Political Dimension of Religion (SUNY Series in Near Eastern Studies). New York: State University of New York Press.

Barot, Rohit (ed.) 1993. Religion and Ethnicity: Minorities and Social Change in the Metropolis. Kampen: Kok Pharos Publishing House.

Beckford, James (ed.) 1986. New Religious Movements and Rapid Social Change. Paris and London: UNESCO/Sage Publications.

Beckford, James A. and Sophie Gilliat 1998. Religion in Prison. Equal Rites in a Multi-Faith Society. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Beyer, Peter 1994. Religion and Globalization. London: Sage Publications.

Casanova, Jose 1994. Public Religions in the Modern World. Chicago: Chicago University Press.

Ingles, Christine 1996. Multiculturalism: New Policy Responses to Diversity. (MOST Policy Papers, No. 4). Paris: UNESCO.

Juergensmeyer, Mark 1994. The New Cold War? Religious Nationalism Confronts the Secular State. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Kerr, Donal A. (ed.) 1992. Religion, State and Ethnic Groups (Comparative Studies on Governments and Non-Dominant Ethnic Groups in Europe, 1850-1940, Volume II). Dartmouth: European Science Foundation/New York University Press.

Misztal, Bronislaw and Anson Shute (ed.) 1992. Religion and Politics in Comparative Perspective: Revival of Religious Fundamentalism in East and West. Westport/CT: Praeger.

Nielsen, Jorgen S. (Hg.) 1992. Religion and Citizenship in Europe and the Arab World (CSIC Studies on Islam and Christianity). London: Grey Seal.

Robertson, Roland und William R. Garrett (ed.) 1991. Religion and Global Order. New York: Paragon House Publisher.

Rouner, Leroy 1988. Human Rights and the World's Religions. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press.

Sahliyeh, Emile (ed.) 1990. Religious resurgence and politics in the contemporary world. Albany: State of New York University Press.

Swatos, William H. (ed.) 1989. Religious Politics in Global and Comparative Perspective (Contributions in Sociology). New York, Westport, London: Greenwood Press.

Swatos, William H. (ed.) 1994. Politics and Religion in Central and Eastern Europe: Traditions and Insitions. Westport, CT: Greenwood.

Swidler, Leonard 1986. Religious liberty and human rights in nations and religions (Conference papers, Haverford, 1985) . Philadelphia: Ecumenical Press.








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