Skip to main content


POL8039 : Global Justice and Human Rights

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Graham Long
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


During the last fifty years, global justice and human rights have become major preoccupations of the international world. This module subjects the ideas of global justice and human rights to close analysis and examines the many issues to which they give rise, including the foundation and content of human rights, humanitarianism and global distributive justice, cosmopolitan democracy, and environmental justice.
The aims of this module are:

1. To analyse and examine the concepts of global justice and human rights
2. To analyse and examine the theories and debates that surround these concepts
3. To acquaint students with the most important literature on these subjects
4. To develop students' ability to think cogently, rigorously and critically about the ethical and political questions raised by ideas of global justice and human rights.

Outline Of Syllabus

Week 1 – Introduction to the themes of the course; administration
Week 2 – Universal Human Rights
Week 3 – Human Rights and global diversity
Week 4 – global distributive justice part 1 – poverty
Week 5 – global distributive justice part 2 – equality
Week 6 – climate justice and environmental sustainability
Week 7 - Rights, justice and the use of force 1: Just War
Week 8 - Rights, justice and the use of force 2: Humanitarian intervention
Week 9 - National and cosmopolitan identities
Week 10 – global governance part 1: formal institutions of global justice
Week 11 – global governance 2: part informal just governance

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching112:0022:00PiP
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1178:00178:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

A seminar format will be used so that students can
•       give their own presentations on aspects of each major subject heading
•       engage in critical discussion which is an essential part of this discipline
•       receive instruction, guidance, advice, and help in identifying issues and critical questions from the seminar leader

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research paper2M100Research project of 4000 Words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

This mode of assessment will test students’ ability
•       to address a major question in the area of global justice and human rights
•       to draw upon and to engage critically with the relevant literature
•       to show analytical rigour in their use of concepts and their examination of theories and arguments

Reading Lists