POL8039 : Global Justice and Human Rights

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


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 competing claims of universalism and relativism, 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 course
Week 2 - What are human rights?
Week 3 - Universalism vs relativism
Week 4 - Cosmopolitan distributive justice
Week 5 - Torture, terrorism and humanitarian intervention
Week 6 - Research paper writing workshop
Week 7 - National and cosmopolitan identities
Week 8 - Freedom of movement
Week 9 - Climate change and human rights I
Week 10 - Climate change and human rights II
Week 11 - Research paper sessions

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching112:0022:00N/A
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 paper1M100Research 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