Module Catalogue 2022/23

POL3129 : Global Justice: Global Issues in Contemporary Political Philosophy

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Johannes Kniess
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



• To introduce students to key debates, theories and thinkers in the field of global political philosophy

• To develop an understanding of normative reasoning and to apply it to international affairs

• To provide students with the opportunity to discuss contemporary world events through the lens of political philosophy

Outline Of Syllabus

The focus of the module lies on the assessment of normative judgements: which developments in international affairs are to be welcomed, and which should be resisted? Moving from fundamental conceptual and theoretical questions to applied problems, the course provides an overview of some of the main debates in Global Political Philosophy. The topics covered may include:

•       Cosmopolitanism
•       Statism, Nationalism and Self-Determination
•       Global Economic Justice
•       Theories of Human Rights
•       Climate Change and Justice
•       Fairness in International Trade
•       The Ethics of Migration
•       Just War and Humanitarian Intervention

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

Upon completing the course, students should be able to:

• Identify and explain core concepts in political philosophy, such as rights, duties and justice

• Demonstrate familiarity with key debates, approaches and theories in global political philosophy

• Understand the normative issues at stake in specific issues in international affairs, such as war, world poverty or immigration policy

Intended Skill Outcomes

• To develop the ability to analyse and evaluate the structure of normative arguments

• To improve the ability to critically discuss contemporary issues in international affairs by drawing on normative theories, concepts and ideas

• To practise discussion, presentation and writing skills

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials101:0010:00Pre-recorded lecture
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture101:0010:00PiP lecture
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00PiP seminar
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery21:002:00PiP Q&A Office Feedback Hour with Module Leader
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1167:00167:00Module reading and assessment preparation
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

• Pre-recorded and PiP lectures introduce and explain key ideas, concepts and theories in global political philosophy, providing students with an overview of the field

• Seminars provide an opportunity for students to develop their analytical and oral skills by discussing texts and debates, presenting and receiving feedback. Seminars are a forum to test, apply and mutually reinforce knowledge. . One of the seminars will be taught as an essay workshop to support students in planning and writing their assessments.

• In between sessions, students familiarise themselves with the required readings, preparing questions and comments

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M501800 words
Essay2M501800 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The aim of the essays is for students to demonstrate their ability to develop a coherent, clear and rigorous argument in support of a specific thesis. It also tests their ability to plan and execute independent research, including a critical engagement with the relevant literature.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2022/23 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2023/24 entry will be published here in early-April 2023. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.