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Arts & Science Program

First-year Arts & Science Capstone Project: Kiran Oberai

Kiran Oberai

Kiran Oberai

Winter 2024 Capstone Project Title: Reassessing Human Rights Dichotomies: Achieving a More Justiciable Future for the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights

Project Description: My capstone contrasted the justiciability of the UN’s two human rights covenants. I explored several theories common in human rights discourse, such as negative vs positive rights, the generational rights theory, and neoliberal policies. I examined their impact on economic, social, and cultural rights relative to civil and political rights to demonstrate that the rights enshrined in the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights are less enforceable and attainable than those in International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The 1C06 Capstone experience: This was a topic that I had briefly learned about in my high school’s law class, so I was interested in exploring it further. This topic engages with many important issues that we learned about in class. Through this capstone, I was able to research and examine this issue meaningfully, gaining further insights into the class discussions that interested me the most. I struggled with narrowing my topic because I had a lot of case studies that I wanted to bring up but didn’t have the space to explore in the depth they needed. Overall, working on this capstone was a lot of fun! Sometimes the research was difficult to digest and the writing was challenging, but I was really interested in the topic so the experience was very rewarding.

Key Takeaways: The Global Challenges Inquiry course was the first time I got to write such an involved and lengthy research project, where I had completely free reign from start to finish about what I wanted to write and how I wanted to write it. The entire process has helped me build some really essential research skills that I know I’ll be using for the rest of my undergrad. The biggest challenge when writing my first capstone was how open the assignment was. I remember someone asked if there was a template or any structure they wanted our writing to follow, and our profs told us to do what works best for us. I had never experienced that kind of freedom when writing and it built my writing skills in an entirely different way than high school writing ever did. Then I got to see how much my writing has improved for this capstone, and how I had already gotten better at the whole research process in a short amount of time.

Kiran Oberai Capstone Poster

Click here to read interviews with the other first year Arts & Science students.