RSOS4950 – Torture, Surveillance and Rights
Starting with philosophical reflections on the nature of torture and surveillance, the course takes you through ethical, historical, legal, and cultural aspects of intelligence gathering practices, with a special focus on torture and surveillance as information- and knowledge-producing strategies in “the war against terror
At the end of the course, you will have obtained thorough knowledge of some of the most central questions and positions in contemporary debates about torture and surveillance:
what is torture and can it ever be morally justified?
what can we learn about torture and surveillance from the history of the social sciences, criminal justice and warfare?
what are the limits and possibilities of contemporary surveillance practices in “the war against terror”?
how should torture and surveillance be situated in a wider social and cultural context?
learn to interpret, analyze and critically discuss scholarly texts, official documents and cultural representations with a view to their possible implications for social and political practices;
learn to compare and evaluate moral, political and legal ideals and proposals
enhance their capability to question and discuss urgent and sensitive aspects of contemporary social and political realities;
enhance their capability to formulate and reflect on their own ideas of the legitimacy of means and ends in the (in)security state
Students with admission to other master programmes at UiO and exchange students may also register for this course.
Students are graded on the basis of a final 7-day take-home exam that you deliver electronically in Inspera.
Size: Maximum 4000 words (roughly 10 pages). Front page, contents page (optional) and bibliography are not included. If footnotes are used in the text (at the bottom of each page), they are included in the 4000 word limit. Papers that exceed the 4000 word limit will be disallowed.
Any exam at the University of Oslo is being checked for both correct word count and incidents of cheating.
Language of examination
The language of examination is English. It is also possible to submit your response in Norwegian, Swedish or Danish.
Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.
Explanations and appeals
Resit an examination
Special examination arrangements
Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.