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Global Justice

Purpose of Course  showclose

How might you define, understand, and uphold justice in a global and globalizing world?  That question forms the focal point of this course.  It leads to an examination of whether or not global justice is impossible because of a chaotic and extremely diverse world, or to varying degrees, whether or not justice by its very nature demands a global context and scope of applicability.  Justice, whether considered in abstraction or applied contexts, is fundamentally about human rights.  We will begin this course with an exploration of human rights, a subject that grounds the entire course.  Embedded in the human rights context is an analysis of the political theories of justice—through a cursory review of some of the seminal texts on global justice—along with an examination of applied and distributive justice focusing on specific issues or problems that have arisen in contemporary global dynamics.  Thus, gender/sexuality, race/ethnicity, genocide, self-determination, environmental concerns, class, and participatory rights become the concrete realities to be explored in light of the theoretical material on global justice.

Stepping stones on the path through this course include political philosophy, international and global relations, and history.  Such an interdisciplinary approach gives rise to a rigorous examination that includes practical reasoning, the tensions between universalism and relativism, as well as the very real issues and problems of creating and maintaining ‘just’ or ‘fair’ societies in a global context.  To extend this line of thought further, the course will consider the following question: can global society itself be ‘just’ or ‘fair’ (assuming that such an all-encompassing society, in fact, exists)?  Reflecting on the degree to which, if at all, individuals or states should desire convergence upon a set of abstract principles and consequent norms underscores the dual theoretical and applied nature of this course.  Further, does such a convergence (whether required, coerced, or encouraged) necessarily occur at the expense of particular cultures, traditions, or identities?

Course Information  showclose

Welcome to POLSC402.  Below, please find general information on the course and its requirements.
 
Course Designers: William Todd Davidson, Marchéta Wright, and Ulrike Gutberlet
 
Primary Resources: This course is composed of a range of different free, online materials.  Among the most frequently used sources are:
Additionally, the course integrates material offered by various IGOs and NGOs (e.g. United Nations, UNICEF, Free the Slaves).  A range of scholarly articles, international human rights instruments, video clips, and other readings supplement these materials.
 
Requirements: In order to complete this course, you will need to work through each unit and all of its assigned materials.  The course is developmental in nature, so it is important to work through each section thoroughly to understand that which follows.  You will also need to complete the Final Exam.
 
Note that you will only receive an official grade on your Final Exam.  However, in order to adequately prepare for this exam, you must work through all of the materials in each unit of the course.
 
In order to “pass” this course, you must earn a 70% or higher on the Final Exam.  Your score on the exam will be tabulated as soon as you complete it.  If you do not pass the exam, you may take it again.
 
Time Commitment: This course should take you a total of approximately 127.75 hours to complete.  Each unit includes a “time advisory” that lists the amount of time you are expected to spend on each unit and subunit.  These should help you with time management throughout the course.  It may be useful to take a look at these time advisories and to determine how much time you have over the next few weeks to complete each unit, and then to set goals for yourself.  For example, Unit 1 should take approximately 27.5 hours to complete.  Perhaps you can sit down with your calendar and decide to complete subunit 1.1 (a total of 2.5 hours) on Monday night; sub-subunit 1.2.1 (a total of 3 hours) on Tuesday night; sub-subunit 1.2.2 (a total of 4.25 hours) on Wednesday night; etc.
 
Tips for Completion: It will be helpful to take notes as you work through the materials in each unit.  Consider the learning outcomes at the outset of each unit, and keep these in mind as you take notes.  Reviewing your notes will help you prepare for the Final Exam.  In addition, at least at the outset of the course, we recommend that you create and maintain a list of key concepts and terms to help build an appropriate vocabulary for the course.

Learning Outcomes  showclose

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  • Discuss the significance of a human rights context for exploring global justice including key conceptual, international historical developments, and western versus non-western perspectives of human rights.
  • Compare and contrast competing notions of justice grounded in the debate between "natural order" and "utilitarian" conceptualizations.
  • Compare and contrast nationalist and cosmopolitan political perspectives, and explain how different conceptions of the self and corresponding theories of justice relate to each perspective. 
  • Identify different conceptions of global distributive justice and articulate arguments made in support of and against these conceptions.
  • Analyze western and non-western perspectives as well as their related conceptual underpinnings of human rights and associated notions of theoretical and applied justice.
  • Reconsider theoretical material in light of specific global realities pertaining to political agency, conflicting pursuits of justice and the "needs" versus "rights" discourse.

Course Requirements  showclose

In order to take this course, you must:

√    Have access to a computer.

√    Have continuous broadband Internet access.

√    Have the ability/permission to install plug-ins or software (e.g., Adobe Reader or Flash).

√    Have the ability to download and save files and documents to a computer.

√    Have the ability to open Microsoft files and documents (.doc, .ppt, .xls, etc.).

√    Have competency in the English language.

√    Have read the Saylor Student Handbook.

√    Have completed the following courses listed in “The Core Program” of the Political Science discipline: POLSC101: Introduction to Politics; POLSC201: Introduction to Western Political Thought; and POLSC211: Introduction to International Relations

√    Have completed the following course from the “Political Theory Subfield” section of the major: POLSC302: Contemporary Political Thought.  

Unit Outline show close


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  • Unit 1: A Human Rights Context For Global Justice  

    The purpose of this unit is to review some of the human rights discourse relevant for the study of global justice, or more to the point, justice in a global setting.  This unit includes a brief overview of the ‘rights’ v. ‘needs’ discourse.  In addition, you will examine three principal pairs of categorizations for human rights and the potential for tensions among them (subunit 1.2). 

    First, this unit will consider the most fundamental question to ask: are human rights universal or relative (particular) in the abstract and/or in practice?  The idea of rights itself, and thereby justice, is universal; despite cultural and socio-political variants, rights and justice do exist.  Second, your inquiry will turn to the pairing of individual and collective rights.  Finally, you will study questions surrounding balancing and/or integrating economic, social, and cultural rights with civil and political rights.  Another conceptual framework for exploring global justice emerges from the general understanding of political theory and philosophy being either western or non-western in nature.  While these terms are a bit ethnocentric—perhaps even pejorative—they nonetheless indicate the bifurcation of political thought as it pertains to human rights and associated matters of justice.  Recognizing and examining this framework at the outset of the course is critical given that ‘global’ justice is our focal point of this course.  As you work though the readings, keep in mind the central question of this course: how might you define, understand, and uphold justice in a global and globalizing world?

    Unit 1 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 1 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 1.1 The Development of Human Rights: A Brief History  
  • 1.2 Human Rights Dichotomies  
  • 1.2.1 Human Rights Overview  
    • Reading: The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: James Nickels’ “Human Rights”

      Link: The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: James Nickels’ “Human Rights
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read the entire encyclopedic entry on human rights for an in-depth consideration of the human rights concept and its application.  This reading bears significance for all subunits in this unit.
       
      Reading and taking notes should take you approximately 3 hours to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 1.2.2 Universal – Relative Rights  
  • 1.2.3 Individual – Collective Rights  
  • 1.2.4 Civil/Political – Economic/Social/Cultural Rights  
    • Reading: University of Maryland: Maryland Journal of International Law: Stephen P. Marks’ “The Past and Future of the Separation of Human Rights into Categories”

      Link: University of Maryland: Maryland Journal of International Law: Stephen P. Marks’ “The Past and Future of the Separation of Human Rights into Categories” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above for the table of contents of an issue of the Maryland Journal of International Law.  Scroll down until you see the title of the article, click on the title to open the PDF file, and read the entire text (35 pages).  In his introduction, Marks touches on the classic dichotomy between civil and political and economic, social, and cultural rights.  After a brief discussion of the historical, political, and legal contexts for this differentiation, the author rejects this differentiation in favor of an alternative understanding of human rights.  In essence, human rights need to be considered holistically to ensure their protection and promotion.
       
      Reading and taking notes should take approximately 3 hours to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above. 

    • Reading: University of Maryland: Maryland Journal of International Law: Marley S. Weiss’ “Human Rights and the Global Economy: The Centrality of Economic and Social Rights” andAmerican University, Washington College of Law’s Human Rights Brief: Aryeh Neier’s “Social and Economic Rights: A Critique”

      Links: University of Maryland: Maryland Journal of International Law: Marley S. Weiss’ “Human Rights and the Global Economy: The Centrality of Economic and Social Rights” (PDF) and American University, Washington College of Law’s Human Rights Brief: Aryeh Neier’s “Social and Economic Rights: A Critique” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: The first link above takes you to the table of contents of an issue of the Maryland Journal of International Law.  Scroll down to the title of the article (“Human Rights and the Global Economy: The Centrality of Economic and Social Rights”), click on the title to open the PDF file, and read the entire article (13 pages).  Weiss provides an introduction to and analysis of the ways in which specific human rights (e.g. labor rights, discrimination, etc.) cut across the boundary between civil and political rights on the one hand and economic, social, and cultural rights on the other hand.  The author further elucidates Marks’ analysis through this consideration of concrete specific rights.  In doing so, she explores the relationships between various globalization dynamics and their impact on human rights. 

      The second link above takes you to the table of contents of an issue of the Human Rights Brief; click on the title of the article (“Social and Economic Rights: A Critique”) to access the PDF version, and read the entire article (3 pages).  Neier clearly and succinctly argues that the only meaningful way to discuss human rights is in the context of a contractual relationship between an individual and his or her state or community.  The lynchpin of this argument is that rights must be enforceable; therefore, the judicial process becomes central to the protection and promotion of human rights.
       
      These readings should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above. 

    • Reading: International Social Science Journal: Janusz Symonides’ “Cultural Rights: A Neglected Category of Human Rights” and The Carnegie Council: Elsa Stamatopoulou and Joanne Bauer’s “Why Cultural Rights Now?”

       Links: International Social Science Journal: Janusz Symonides’ “Cultural Rights: A Neglected Category of Human Rights” (HTML) and The Carnegie Council: Elsa Stamatopoulou and Joanne Bauer’s “Why Cultural Rights Now?” (HTML)
        
      Instructions: Please click on the first link above, and read the entire article.  Symonides laments the apparent lack of attention given to cultural rights in comparison to economic and social rights.  Several explanations for this disparity of attention are offered along with an historical analysis of this development or lack thereof.  The article explores the disparate manner in which cultural rights are enumerated in terms of various other human rights.  This lack of cohesion has led to cultural rights being undervalued and, therefore, not protected and promoted to the same extent as other rights. 
       
      Then, click on the second link above, and read the entire text.  In her address, Stamatopoulou reflects on why there now seems to be recognition of the prior lack of attention on cultural rights.  Further, she discusses the reasons why cultural rights are now receiving attention by the various actors within the international community.
       
      Reading and taking notes should take approximately 3 hours to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above. 

  • 1.3 Western and Non-Western Perspectives on Human Rights  
  • 1.4 Justice and Human Rights  
    • Reading: University of Oxford, Centre for the Study of Social Justice: David Miller’s “The Responsibility to Protect Human Rights” and International Political Science Association: Carol C. Gould’s “Approaching Global Justice through Human Rights: Elements of Theory and Practice”

      Links: University of Oxford, Centre for the Study of Social Justice: David Miller’s “The Responsibility to Protect Human Rights” (HTML) and International Political Science Association: Carol C. Gould’s “Approaching Global Justice through Human Rights: Elements of Theory and Practice” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the first link above, which will take you to a list of working papers of the Centre for the Study of Social Justice.  Scroll down the webpage to the title and author of the reading (2007), and select the ‘download’ link to access the scholarly paper.  Miller tackles the problems inherent in enforcing human rights in a state system grounded in sovereignty.  After narrowly defining human rights for the purposes of this discussion as basic human needs, Miller explores the responsibility to protect the concept of human rights in the context of specific humanitarian ‘disaster’ situations (both natural and human-induced).  In doing so, Miller provides a clear analysis of the intrinsic link between protecting and promoting human rights in such situations and the pursuit of global justice. 

      Next, click on the second link above.  To access the PDF version of the second article, you need to click on ‘download full paper’ to the right of the abstract.  Here, from a more philosophical standpoint, Gould examines the relationships between human rights and global justice.  Specifically, she “… argue[s] for a strongly egalitarian principle of justice, namely, … equal positive freedom (or EPF).”  Further, Gould argues that such an approach provides guidance for resolving practical problems associated with distributive justice on a global scale.
       
      Reading and taking notes should take approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above. 

  • Unit 1 Reading Questions  
  • Unit 2: Some Origins Of The Contemporary Justice & Rights Discourse  

    First, this unit will introduce you to works that have provided a foundation for the contemporary debate surrounding conceptions of global justice.  The notions of justice, as based in an existing and unchanging natural order, will be contrasted with justice (and the scope of justice) as born out of necessity or utility.  This unit will also address the notion of justice as an integral part of the continual progression of human nature in coming to realize its potential.  Second, you will be introduced to the inherent challenges that come with attempts to establish the legitimacy and authority of international law.  Third, this unit will address the subject of a “state of nature” between states with an eye toward the place of justice within an international order based upon state sovereignty.    

    Unit 2 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 2 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 2.1 Natural Rights, Utility, and the Crooked Timber of Humanity  
  • 2.1.1 Grotius and Natural Right  
  • 2.1.2 Hume and Utility  
    • Reading: Saint Anselm College: David Banach’s version of David Hume’s An Inquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals:“Section III: Of Justice”

      Link: Saint Anselm College: David Banach’s version of David Hume’s An Inquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals: Section III: Of Justice” (HTML)

      Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read all of Parts I and II of Section III.  Pay particular attention to the last paragraph of Part I, where Hume succinctly describes how justice arises from utility.  At the same time, notice how Hume describes how justice varies according to, and is a product of, particular situations and human sentiments, yet it is universal in its fundamental utility for civilization.
       
      This material should take you approximately 45 minutes to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above. 

  • 2.1.3 Kantian Idealism  
  • 2.2 Legitimacy, Authority, and the State of Nature among Sovereigns  
  • 2.2.1 The Legitimacy and Authority of International Law  
    • Reading: The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Leslie Green’s “Legal Positivism”

      Link: The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Leslie Green’s “Legal Positivism” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read the encyclopedia entry on legal positivism in its entirety.  This reading is meant to give an idea of the field called legal positivism, which can roughly be described as the idea (contrary to natural law theories among others) that the conditions of legal validity are purely a matter of social facts and are not a matter of morality.  Green makes frequent reference to H.L.A. Hart, a prominent legal scholar.  In his seminal work The Concept of Law, Hart makes the argument that regardless of the lack of an organized authority to implement international law, international law still has relevance over behavior in establishing international norms and rule-following. 
       
      Studying this material should take you approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete.
                 
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law: Luis Moreno-Ocampo’s “The International Criminal Court: Seeking Global Justice” and Sydney Law Review: Samantha Besson’s “The Authority of International Law: Lifting the State Veil”

      Link: Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law: Luis Moreno-Ocampo’s “The International Criminal Court: Seeking Global Justice” (PDF) and Sydney Law Review: Samantha Besson’s “The Authority of International Law: Lifting the State Veil” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the first link above, which will take you to the table of contents of an issue of the Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law.  Scroll down to the title of the article (first one listed under the heading ‘Punishment’), and click on the title to download the PDF file.  Please read the entire article (11 pages).  Here, the first prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, expounds on the dynamic nature of international law.  He reviews the path the ICC took to come into existence, takes stock of the court’s first five years, and discusses cooperation between various actors seeking global justice.  In what ways does the ICC contribute to global justice? 

      Then, click on the second link, which takes you to the table of contents of an issue of the Sydney Law Review.  Click on the title of the article (first one listed) to access the PDF version of the article.  The author presents a strong argument for the legitimacy and authority of international law.  Her argument relies on a legal emphasis of the individual and a de-emphasis of the state.  Specifically, consider whether or not such a conceptualization of international law furthers global justice.
       
      Reading, note-taking, and exploring the questions above should take approximately 5 hours to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 2.2.2 The State of Nature among Sovereigns  
  • Unit 2 Reading Questions  
  • Unit 3: Political Theory And Global Justice  

    This unit will expand upon general human rights and the theoretical material on justice in Units 1 and 2 in two ways.  In the first subunit, you will learn to distinguish between the Universalist and Relativist accounts of reasoning about action.  Generally speaking, Universalists orient ethical reasoning with an appeal to common principles that are presumed to hold—or should hold—for all lives and across all situations.  Relativists, on the other hand, orient ethical reasoning with appeal to the practices, traditions, or patterns of judgment of particular communities.  Through addressing these two perspectives, you will be introduced to three distinct but associated ideas regarding human rights and justice in a global context.  First, with constructivism and practical reasoning—how do we think about, and what is, the scope of ethics and ethical issues?  Second, how do we then conceptualize principles of justice when trying to design systems of global justice?  Finally, what is the role of consent in following principles of justice?  In the second subunit, you will beexposed to how Universalism and Relativism underlie more applied political theories, specifically nationalist and cosmopolitan political theories.  The readings will show that although a cosmopolitan political perspective is necessarily aligned with a conception of global justice, there are different types of cosmopolitanism.  In a similar fashion, although many nationalist perspectives are opposed to a conception of global justice, some are sympathetic on ideological grounds, while being dismissive in terms of how a conception of global justice could gain traction among something akin to a world citizenry. This unit also places focus on global distributive justice, which can be defined as the distribution of scarce resources across a scope of global scale.  Typically, theories of distributive justice begin with a scope of domestic scale, meaning a scope defined by the citizenship of a territorial state.  This delimitation, however, comes in conflict with the fundamental liberal principle that all humans are entitled to equal moral consideration regardless of morally arbitrary facts or matters of luck, such as place of birth.  It is argued, on the one hand, that equality of moral consideration seems to require a global scope when considering issues of distributive justice.  On the other hand, it is argued that distributive justice can only have meaning—and is only feasible—within a delimited area accompanied by a range of accompanying principles, rules, and institutions.  

    Unit 3 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 3 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 3.1 Nationalism and Patriotism Objections to Global Justice  
  • 3.1.1 Nationalism  
  • 3.1.2 Patriotism  
    • Reading: IPT Beacon:Eamonn Callan’s “Love, Idolatry, and Patriotism”

      Link: IPT Beacon: Eamonn Callan’s “Love, Idolatry, and Patriotism
       
      Instructions: Access IPT Beacon’s website by clicking the link above, and then click on the hyperlink after “Download the article” to access the text by Eamonn Callan.  Please read this entire article (22 pages).  The reading makes the case that patriotism not only is constitutive of our identity, but patriotism is, or at least can be, virtuous. 
       
      Studying the reading should take you approximately 2 hours to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Igor Primoratz’s “Patriotism”

      Link: The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Igor Primoratz’s “Patriotism
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read the entire encyclopedic entry on patriotism.  The author calls attention to the relative novelty of ‘patriotism’ in philosophical discourse.  In considering the readings so far in this unit, think about the relationship between patriotism and global justice.  Is patriotism conducive to global justice, or is it perhaps an impediment to global justice?
       
      Reading and note-taking should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Boston Review: Martha C. Nussbaum’s “Patriotism and Cosmopolitanism”

      Link: Boston Review: Martha C. Nussbaum’s “Patriotism and Cosmopolitanism” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Click on the link above to access Nussbaum’s cautionary reflections on patriotism and cosmopolitanism.  She argues in favor of a cosmopolitan orientation to self-identification as opposed to one grounded in nationalist and patriotic ideals.  Pay close attention to her line of reasoning and the ways she applies this differentiation to education.  Carefully consider the argument and attempt to ascertain your position on this issue.  Is cosmopolitanism or patriotism more conducive for global justice?  Why?
       
      Reading and answering the questions above should take approximately 1 hour to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 3.2 Cosmopolitanism and Global Distributive Justice  
  • 3.2.1 Obligation and the Relevance of Global Distributive Justice  
    • Reading: University of Groningen: Menno Kamminga’s “On Global Justice”

      Link: University of Groningen: Menno Kamminga’s “On Global Justice” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above to access a list of research reports made available by the University of Groningen of the Netherlands.  Scroll down to the title of the article, and click on ‘download’ to view the PDF file.  Read the entire text (47 pages).  Kamminga provides an argument for cosmopolitan liberalism.  Kamminga uses the adjectives of natural, relevant, fair, and obligatory to describe the nature of global justice.  Pay attention to the argument for each attribute.
       
      Reading and note-taking should take approximately 4 hours and 30 minutes to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: The University of Utah – the Tanner Lectures on Human Values: Martha Nussbaum’s “Beyond National Boundaries: Capabilities and Global Justice”

      Link: The University of Utah – the Tanner Lectures on Human Values: Martha Nussbaum’s “Beyond National Boundaries: Capabilities and Global Justice” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: The link above takes you to a list of lectures presented in the Tanner Lecture Series.  Click on the author’s name (Nussbaum, Martha) to access the PDF file of her three lectures.  Scroll down to page 45 of the document, and read the second lecture in the series (24 pages long).  Nussbaum examines the usefulness of the social contract theory (with special emphasis on Rawls) for accounting for a model of global justice.  She argues that social contract theorizing falls short when applied to the global stage.  In its stead, Nussbaum proposes a capabilities approach that is anchored in the pursuit of basic human necessities for the achievement of global justice.
       
      Studying this reading should take approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 3.2.2 Ethics and the Economic Aspects of Global Distributive Justice  
  • Unit 3 Reading Questions  
  • Unit 4: Empowerment, Agency, And Global Justice: Revisiting The Universal—Relative Debate  

    One of the assumptions underlying much of the preceding material is that the individuals subject to considerations of justice are rational actors capable of decision-making in a societal context. Implicit in this assumption is that the individuals in question are either empowered or are capable of seeking empowerment; that is, they are capable of engaging in self-advocacy.  However, in reality a significant number of individuals do not find themselves in such circumstances.  It is incumbent upon us to consider questions of global justice, in particular distributive justice, in light of the most disempowered segment of any society: children.  This unit, the first in the course to address issues of applied global justice, examines two key contexts for children: marriage and armed conflict.  Concurrently, the notion of advocacy, more importantly its converse—voicelessness—can be considered in light of environmental issues as well.  Therefore, this unit will also consider distributive justice with respect to resource scarcity, environmental degradation, and waste distribution.  The nexus of these two apparently disparate topics (advocacy for children and for the environment) is crystallized in the question: how meaningful are the debates surrounding global justice in light of the realities of those who lack access to any form of justice?

    Unit 4 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 4 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 4.1 Empowerment, Agency, and Distributive Justice  
    • Reading: The Global Justice Network: Global Justice: Theory Practice Rhetoric: Christian Schemmel’s “On the Usefulness of Luck Egalitarian Arguments for Global Justice”

      Link: The Global Justice Network: Global Justice: Theory Practice Rhetoric: Christian Schemmel’s “On the Usefulness of Luck Egalitarian Arguments for Global Justice” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above to access the table of contents of the first issue of the Global Justice: Theory Practice Rhetoricjournal.  Scroll down to the title of the article, and click on the title to download the PDF file.  Here, Schemmel provides an analytical consideration of luck egalitarianism and the ways in which it shapes the discourse on global justice.  After reviewing the literature on global justice and luck egalitarianism, the author points out several shortcomings of this principle.  Explore if such an approach to global distributive justice nonetheless has value in considering practical political activity focused on agency and empowerment.
       
      This reading and the associated task should take approximately 2 hours to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Université Catholique de Louvain: Philippe van Parijs’s “International Distributive Justice”

      Link: Université Catholique de Louvain: Philippe van Parijs’s “International Distributive Justice” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above to access a list of publications by Dr. van Parijs.  Scroll down to ‘2007,’ and click on the first article listed (International Distributive Justice) to download the PDF version.  The author considers the central question of whether or not global justice is simply a “larger” version of social justice as we understand it in a domestic context.  As you read, think about the following questions: does global justice demand a distinct set of principles to guide the interaction between states and nations?  Ultimately, what are the implications of either conceptualization for global justice for practical matters of public policy?
       
      Studying this reading should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 4.2 When Age Matters: Marriage and Armed Conflicts  
  • 4.2.1 Child Brides  
  • 4.2.2 Child Soldiers  
  • 4.3 Distributive Justice and the Environment  
  • 4.3.1 Resource Scarcity and Competition  
    • Reading: University of Oxford, Centre for the Study of Social Justice: David Miller’s “Human Rights, Basic Needs, & Scarcity” and Political Studies Association: Tim Hayward’s “Global Justice and the Distribution of Natural Resources”

      Links: University of Oxford, Centre for the Study of Social Justice: David Miller’s “Human Rights, Basic Needs, & Scarcity” (HTML) and Political Studies Association: Tim Hayward’s “Global Justice and the Distribution of Natural Resources” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: The first link above takes you to a list of working papers of the Centre for the Study of Social Justice.  Scroll down the webpage to the title and author of the reading, select the ‘click here’ link to download the scholarly paper, and read the entire paper.  Miller explores the conundrum that emerges when resource scarcities appear to make impossible the equal protection of human rights for all.  In such circumstances, some favor the limitation of human rights, while others consider the just distribution of available resources.  Miller shows the fallacies of these approaches by employing a human needs framework.  A complicated picture of human rights protection and promotion in situations of resource scarcity emerges. 

      The second link takes you to the proceedings of a conference (be sure to change the ‘select year’ field to 2005).  Scroll down to the author’s name, and click on ‘view’ to download the paper.  Read the text in its entirety.  Hayward applies the problem of natural resource scarcity to distributive justice on a global level.
       
      Reading and note-taking should take approximately 4 hours to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above. 

  • 4.3.2 Who Gets the Left-Overs: Environmental Racism, Degradation, and Waste  
  • Unit 4 Current Events Exercise  
    • Activity: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 4 Current Events Exercise”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 4 Current Events Exercise” (PDF)

      Instructions: Please click on the link above to download the current events activity.  While this exercise is optional, you are strongly encouraged to complete it.  This activity is designed to deepen your understanding of course material by linking such material to current events.  Follow the instructions in the document.  It may be beneficial to present your findings and answers to the questions by posting to the course discussion forum and responding to other students’ posts.

      This exercise should take approximately 2 hours.  However, the length of time you spend on this, in part, depends on your awareness of current events and the time you allow yourself to scour various news sources for appropriate material.  In essence, you can dedicate as little or as much time to this activity as you wish.

  • Unit 5: Resolving Conflictive Claims For Justice: Revisiting The Individual –Collective Debate  

    Among the myriad of issues of applied global justice are questions that pertain to conflicting claims of fairness.  Having explored empowerment, agency, and distributive justice in the previous unit, this unit turns to an analysis of global justice and resolving conflictive claims.  Specifically, how might you apply the theoretical material to situations that arise when various individuals, groups, or communities make apparently competing claims for justice?  While particular societies may have conflict resolution mechanisms to mete out justice, are there parallel effective mechanisms when the discussion shifts to global justice?  Of singular significance are two scenarios: conflicts between individuals’ claims of justice vs. those claims of a community and conflictive claims made by different communities.  Such questions are examined in two specific contexts: gender/sexuality and race/ethnicity. For the former context, this unit will focus on female genital cutting (FGC) and sexual orientation; for the latter context, this unit will discuss self-determination and genocide.

    Unit 5 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 5 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 5.1 Individuals, Communities, and the Pursuit of Justice  
  • 5.2 Individuals and Justice  
  • 5.2.1 Gender and Sexuality: Female Genital Cutting  
  • 5.2.2 Gender and Sexuality: Sexual Orientation  
  • 5.2.3 Race, Ethnicity, and Indigeneity: The Identity Bridge between Individuals and Communities  
  • 5.3 Communities and Justice  
  • 5.3.1 Self-determination and Sovereignty  
    • Reading: United Nations’ “Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples” and European Journal of International Law: Karen Engle’s “On Fragile Architecture: The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the Context of Human Rights”

      Links: United Nations’ “Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples” (PDF) and European Journal of International Law: Karen Engle’s “On Fragile Architecture: The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the Context of Human Rights” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: The first link takes you to the UN’s Permanent Forum on Indigenous
      Issues, which is a subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council.  Please read the introductory text, and then click on the preferred language you wish to read.  The article is available in the UN’s six official languages (Arabic, English, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, and French) as well as several other languages.  Clicking on the link to the language will download the PDF file.  Please read the entire document (18 pages).  The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2007, is a non-binding legal document that took over two decades to draft.  The declaration is a human rights document addressing the rights of indigenous individuals and peoples.  It is important to note that this document, while concerned with indigenous peoples, is a legal agreement created by states.  The lengthy process of drafting and adopting the declaration stems from the states’ concerns over the right to self-determination and control over natural resources on indigenous lands.  Carefully read the provisions contained in this declaration.  Do you discern any obvious tensions between individual and collective rights contained therein?  In what ways does this declaration contribute to global justice, if at all? 
       
      The second link above takes you to the table of contents of an issue of the European Journal of International Law.  Scroll down to the author’s name and title of the article, and click on the ‘free fulltext’ link to download the PDF file. Read Engle’s analysis of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  She acknowledges the overall progress made in including collective rights in the international human rights discourse but laments the declaration’s continued penchant for individual rights.  Why do states seem to be so uneasy with the notion of collective human rights in general and collective human rights as applied to indigenous peoples?
       
      These readings should take approximately 4 hours to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above. 

  • 5.3.2 GENOCIDE  
    • Reading: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights’ “Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide” and Adam Jones’s Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction: “Chapter 1: The Origins of Genocide”

      Links: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights’ “Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide” (HTML) and Adam Jones’s Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction: “Chapter 1: The Origins of Genocide” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the first link above to read the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Genocide Convention).  This legally binding document is the first human rights instrument to be passed within the United Nations framework in the post-WWII era (December 9, 1948).  Pay very close attention to Article 2 of the convention; it addresses the actual crime of genocide.  There are several dilemmas in terms of defining genocide in general and with Article 2 in particular.  For instance, what constitutes a ‘group?’  How do we measure ‘in whole or in part?’  How is ‘intent’ determined?

      The second link above takes you to a website accompanying Dr. Jones’s influential book on genocide.  Click on “text excerpts” in the menu on the left, and then click on “Chapter 1: The Origins of Genocide” to download the PDF file.  Read the entire chapter for an in-depth exploration of the concept and practice of genocide. In addition to providing an historical overview of genocide, Jones analyzes the definitional dilemmas associated with the concept and the Genocide Convention.  After carefully reading this material, consider the relationship between genocide and justice.  What are the various dimensions of this relationship?
       
      Studying these readings and considering the question above should take approximately 5 hours to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above. 

  • 5.4 Unit 5 Current Events Exercise  
    • Activity: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 5 Current Events Exercise”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 5 Current Events Exercise” (PDF)

      Instructions: Please click on the link above to download the current events activity.  While this exercise is optional, you are strongly encouraged to complete it.  This activity is designed to deepen your understanding of course material by linking such material to current events.  Follow the instructions in the document.  It may be beneficial to present your findings and answers to the questions by posting to the course discussion forum and responding to other students’ posts.

      This exercise should take approximately 2 hours.  However, the length of time you spend on this, in part, depends on your awareness of current events and the time you allow yourself to scour various news sources for appropriate material.  In essence, you can dedicate as little or as much time to this activity as you wish.

  • Unit 6: Participation, ‘Rights,’ ‘Needs’ And Global Justice: Revisiting Civil/Political And Economic/Social/Cultural Rights Debate  

    As individuals, groups, and communities become empowered and engage in political agency (see Unit 4), perhaps it is inevitable that conflictive claims for justice will emerge (see Unit 5).  The discourse about rights and needs is central to resolving such conflicts.  Thus, the rights-needs discourse logically emerges from the previous two units and is the focal point of this unit.  Participatory rights can be understood as a vehicle for both empowerment and conflict resolution.  However, how do participatory rights manifest themselves in a global setting (social and other media phenomena such as the ‘Arab Spring’ or Wikileaks)?  More importantly, in a globalizing world, do institutions such as the International Criminal Court (ICC) bring new meaning to claims for justice in global affairs?  The ICC and similar institutions (European and Interamerican Courts on Human Rights) raise questions about civil/political rights of individuals as justice for victims of human rights violations is pursued in a global setting.  Similarly, the rights–needs debate underscores the significance of socio-economic class and contemporary slavery when we attempt to apply theories of global justice to the realities of our world.  This unit ultimately centers on global justice as it applies, or does not apply, to civil/political and economic/social/cultural rights and needs.  Simply stated, does the recognition of needs supersede claims for rights even if the cost is justice?

    Unit 6 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 6 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 6.1 Participatory Rights and Global Justice: Global Citizens?  
  • 6.1.1 What Does “Think Globally and Act Locally” Mean for Global Justice?  
    • Reading: German Law Journal: Regina Kreide’s “The Range of Social Human Rights” and Globality Studies Journal: Geoffrey Pleyers’ “The Global Justice Movement”

      Links: German Law Journal: Regina Kreide’s “The Range of Social Human Rights” (HTML) and Globality Studies Journal: Geoffrey Pleyers’ “The Global Justice Movement” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the first link above, and read Kreide’s article for a discussion on whether or not people in the developed world have an obligation to act towards the mitigation of poverty in the developing world. 
       
      Then, click on the second link above, and read Pleyers’ article on the global justice movement.  Pay particular attention to the intersection between local and global motivations and objectives and the ways these relationships shape participation.
       
      Studying these readings should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Web Media: Dissent Magazine: Michael Walzer’s “Global and Local Justice”

      Link: Dissent Magazine: Michael Walzer’s “Global and Local Justice” (YouTube)
        
      Instructions: Please click on the link above, and watch the video lecture delivered by Walzer on Global and Local Justice.  Building on his earlier work concerning distributive justice within a society, Walzer offers a commentary on the pursuit of distributive justice in a global context.  He recognizes the desirability of basing global justice on a universal normative framework for justice.  He simultaneously acknowledges the inherent problems of a universalist approach, such as the lack of an overarching global authority and the lack of a common philosophical set of underpinnings.
       
      This video takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 6.1.2 Redress of Grievance in a Global Context: The Case of the International Criminal Court  
  • 6.2 Revisiting the Rights-Needs Debate  
  • 6.2.1 Socio-economic Class  
  • 6.2.2 Contemporary Slavery and Consumerism  
    • Web Media: Free the Slaves: “Slavery: A Global Investigation”

      Link: Free the Slaves: “Slavery: A Global Investigation” (FLASH)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above to watch the 80-minute documentary film on contemporary slavery.  This award-winning film exposes the realities of contemporary slavery and demonstrates the ways in which a broad range of human rights violations accompany slavery.  Additionally, the documentary portrays the connections between modern consumerism and slavery.
       
      Viewing this video and pausing to take notes should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Free the Slaves’ “About Slavery: Ending Slavery – the Plan”

      Links: Free the Slaves’ “About Slavery: Ending Slavery – the Plan” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read the non-governmental organization (NGO) Free the Slaves’ multifaceted approach to ending slavery. Recognizing the wide range of stakeholders in slavery, Free the Slaves puts forward a plan that involves action on international, national, local, and individual levels.  Pay attention to the particular ways that each level can contribute to the fight against slavery.  To what degree does this plan allow for participatory global citizenship?
       
      Reading, note-taking, and answering the question above should take approximately 1 hour to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Unit 6 Current Events Exercise  
    • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 6 Current Events Exercise”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 6 Current Events Exercise” (PDF)

      Instructions: Please click on the link above to download the current events activity.  While this exercise is optional, you are strongly encouraged to complete it.  This activity is designed to deepen your understanding of course material by linking such material to current events.  Follow the instructions in the document.  It may be beneficial to present your findings and answers to the questions by posting to the course discussion forum and responding to other students’ posts.

      This exercise should take approximately 2 hours.  However, the length of time you spend on this, in part, depends on your awareness of current events and the time you allow yourself to scour various news sources for appropriate material.  In essence, you can dedicate as little or as much time to this activity as you wish.

  • Unit 7: Final Considerations: Are ‘Global’ And ‘Justice’ Compatible In Theory And Practice?  

    Having thoroughly examined a wide range of issues pertaining to global justice, you will now return to one of the most contentious debates regarding applied global justice.  Often referred to as the western–non-western debate, these two apparently competing sets of perspectives emphasize both the theoretical and practical questions of global justice. Therefore, this final unit reconsiders this discourse with a particular emphasis on the question posed at the outset of the course.  To what degree, if at all, should individuals or states desire convergence upon a set of abstract principles, consequent norms, and their application?  Further, should such a convergence (whether required, coerced, or encouraged) occur at the expense of particular cultures, traditions, or identities? 

    Unit 7 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 7 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 7.1 Revisiting the Western–Non-western Discourse  
  • 7.2 The Compatibility of ‘Global’ and ‘Justice’  
    • Reading: Yale University: Thomas Pogge’s “What Is Global Justice?”

      Link: Yale University: Thomas Pogge’s “What Is Global Justice?” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above, and then select ‘gjlecture.pdf’ to access the PDF version of Dr. Pogge’s chapter on global justice.  Read the entire article (20 pages).  Dr. Pogge explicates the philosophical framework of global justice through the application of poverty.
       
      This reading should take you approximately 2 hours to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: New York University: Thomas Nagel’s “The Problem of Global Justice”

      Link: New York University: Thomas Nagel’s “The Problem of Global Justice” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: The link above takes you to Dr. Nagel’s faculty page at New York University.  Click on the title of the paper under "online papers" to download a PDF version of the paper.  Nagel does not espouse the virtues of patriotism and what global theories of justice miss in their construction.  Instead, Nagel questions whether it makes sense to speak of justice in a global context—at least at this point in time—whatsoever.  In short, although variants of global justice might seem attractive, they are nonsensical and take us away from the meaningful work both theoretical and applied left to be done with regard to domestic justice. 
       
      Studying this article should take you approximately 3 hours to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Final Exam  

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