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Unit information: Global Justice in 2015/16

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Unit name Global Justice
Unit code POLIM0005
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Alix Dietzel
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

Debates surrounding issues of global justice have recently moved to the centre of both political theory and political practice. The numerous topics and concerns that fall under the rubric of global justice (e.g. human rights, just war theory, global distributive justice, abject poverty, global health, environmental justice, etc.) are therefore becoming of increasing interest to students and practitioners alike. This unit aims to explore key debates concerning the scope of justice, the validity of thinking about justice at the global level, and the application of global justice arguments to key problems threatening global cohabitation. The course is divided into two parts. Part One examines the scope and limitations of justice in a globalized world; relational and non-relational forms of justice; and, justice and its demands for a broadened cosmopolitics. Based on these theoretical foundations, Part Two of the course applies theories of global justice to several key global issues, including climate change, poverty, global health, and humanitarian intervention.

The unit aims for students to develop:

1) Expertise on the historical, legal and moral development of global justice and its critics.

2) A critical understanding of global justice debates.

3) A contextual understanding of key philosophical and practical issues within these debates.

4) An in depth understanding of key global problems and what these imply for global cohabitation and demands of distributive justice.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the unit, students will be able to:

1) Explain why global justice debates have emerged and how they have developed.

2) Demonstrate substantial knowledge on global justice debates, including the key criticisms of these debates.

3) Critically evaluate global problems, such as poverty, climate change, conflict, and health from a global justice perspective.

Critically assess the current state of global cohabitation and how this relates to questions of distributive justice.

Teaching Information

Ten two-hour seminars

Assessment Information

Formative Assessment - Two page essay plan

Students will develop a two page plan to outline their approach to their chosen essay question. All essay questions will be designed to allow evaluation of student performance in relation to Intended Learning Outcomes 1-4 as detailed below. Essay questions will go through a process of internal review and external examiner review prior to their release to students. Assessment of the two page essay plan as formative assessment will allow, in advance of the submission of the summative essay at the end of the unit, for developmental feedback to be provided to students on key aspects such as: approach to the question; degree of relevant content; range of reading; integration of evidence and argument. More generally, the formative assessment will allow for provision of indicative feedback from the unit owner on the extent to which the essay plan indicates that the aims and intended learning outcomes are likely to be met in the essay, and for suggestions for improvement on all of the above. Written feedback will be provided, with the option of further follow-up discussions with the Unit Owner during office hours or by appointment.

Summative - 4000 word essay (100% of the mark)]

The summative essay will allow for assessment of students’ ability to meet the Intended Learning Outcomes 1-4, detailed below, by requiring students to develop an in-depth essay argument over a length of 4000 words that draws upon relevant readings, materials and debates covered in the unit. The essay questions will be designed so as to require: student engagement with debates on global justice; to demonstrate, relative to the question, substantial knowledge of different positions within these debates; to incorporate detailed evaluation of global problems (as applicable in each question) such as poverty, climate, changes, conflict and health as an integrated aspect of the essay argument; to incorporate critical reflection on the current state of global cohabitation as a substantive component of the essay argument.

Reading and References

Brown, G.W. and Held D., The Cosmopolitanism Reader (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2010)

Brock, G., Global Justice: A Cosmopolitan Account (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010)

Gardiner, S. M., Caney, S., Jamieson, D., and Shue, H., (eds) Climate Ethics – Essential Readings (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010)

Lenard, P. and Straehle, C., (eds) Health Inequalities and Global Justice (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2012)

Pogge, T., World Poverty and Human Rights (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2002)

Wheeler, N., Saving Strangers: Humanitarian Intervention in International Society (Oxford University Press, 2000)