GV250-5-AU-CO:
Principles of Social Justice

The details
2020/21
Government
Colchester Campus
Autumn
Undergraduate: Level 5
Current
Thursday 08 October 2020
Friday 18 December 2020
15
29 May 2020

 

Requisites for this module
(none)
(none)
(none)
(none)

 

(none)

Key module for

BA LV25 Philosophy and Politics,
BA LV26 Philosophy and Politics (Including Placement Year),
BA LV2H Philosophy and Politics (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA LV2M Philosophy and Politics (Including Year Abroad),
BA LV8M Philosophy and Politics (Including Foundation Year),
BA 0A56 Political Theory and Public Policy (Including Year Abroad),
BA 7L29 Political Theory and Public Policy,
BA 7L30 Political Theory and Public Policy (Including Placement Year),
BA L219 Politics with Human Rights (Including Placement Year),
BA L2M8 Politics with Human Rights (Including Foundation Year),
BA L2M9 Politics with Human Rights,
BA LFM9 Politics with Human Rights (Including Year Abroad),
BA LL23 Sociology and Politics (Including Year Abroad),
BA LL24 Sociology and Politics (Including Placement Year),
BA LL32 Sociology and Politics,
BA P580 Journalism and Politics,
BA P581 Journalism and Politics (Including Placement Year),
BA P582 Journalism and Politics (Including Year Abroad),
BSC L222 Politics and International Relations,
BSC L223 Politics and International Relations (Including Year Abroad),
BSC L224 Politics and International Relations (Including Placement Year),
BA L400 Social Change,
BA L401 Social Change (including Foundation Year,
BA L402 Social Change (including Placement Year),
BA L403 Social Change (including Year Abroad)

Module description

This module will introduce you to "principles of social justice". These principles tell us how a political community should distribute resources and opportunities between individuals and groups. The module examines competing principles of social justice by examining the work of the most important political philosophers to have defended them and also applies these principles to concrete social and political issues.

Module aims

To introduce you to, and to stimulate your interest in, the study of social justice from the perspective of normative political theory.

To familiarise you with key concepts in normative political theory, such as “equality”, “liberty”, and “desert”, as well as with the debates that use these concepts.

To equip you with an understanding of the relevance of theoretical debates about social justice to public policy controversies that involve social justice.

To encourage you to question your own beliefs about what a socially just political community looks like and to enable you to begin to formulate a vision of such a community for yourself.

Module learning outcomes

Module outcomes

To demonstrate familiarity with and fluency in using key concepts in social justice. You will be able to understand and explain the differences between concepts that are importantly different from each other but often confused in non-academic thinking about social justice.

To understand the nature of normative argumentation and its value to the study of politics. You will be able to formulate arguments about how our political community ought to distribute particular resources and opportunities.

To engage in clear verbal and written normative argumentation. You will acquire a greater confidence and ability to express what you believe is socially just and to express your scepticism about proposals about social justice.

To scrutinise arguments made by politicians and other prominent figures in the media about social justice.



Skills

To enhance your ability for logical argumentation and critical thinking. You will learn how to spot mistakes in arguments and how to build strong arguments.

To develop your academic writing skills. You will learn how to write effectively in communicating complex arguments about social justice.

To develop your articulation and deliberation skills. You will learn how to be able to convince others about social justice through good argument, rather than rhetoric.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered with (i) a weekly pre-recorded lecture and (ii) a weekly interactive lecture. The interactive lecture will consist of one 50-minute lecture in which students can ask questions about, and discuss various aspects of, the pre-recorded lecture and the assigned readings with the module supervisor.

Bibliography*

  • Peter Singer. (1995) Animal liberation, London: Pimlico.
  • Rawls, John. (1999) A theory of justice, Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
  • Clayton, Matthew; Williams, Andrew. (2004) Social justice, Malden, MA: Blackwell. vol. Blackwell readings in philosophy
  • Mill, John Stuart. (2015) On liberty, utilitarianism, and other essays, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Nozick, Robert. (1974) Anarchy, state, and Utopia, Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Mill, John Stuart; Bentham, Jeremy; Austin, John; Warnock, Mary. (c2003) Utilitarianism: and, On liberty : including Mill's Essay on Bentham' and selections from the writings of Jeremy Bentham and John Austin, Malden, MA: Blackwell.
  • Berlin, Isiah. (2006) 'Two Concepts of Liberty', in The liberty reader, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
  • Jeffrey H. Reiman. (1985) 'Justice, Civilization, and the Death Penalty', in Philosophy & Public Affairs. vol. 14, pp.115-148
  • Kymlicka, Will. (2001) 'Chapter 3 "Liberal Equality"', in Contemporary political philosophy: an introduction, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Cohen, G. A. (c2009) Why not socialism?, Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Anderson, Elizabeth. (2006) 'The Epistemology of Democracy', in Episteme: A Journal of Social Epistemology. vol. 3 (1) , pp.8-22
  • Kymlicka, Will. (1995) 'Freedom and Culture', in Multicultural citizenship: a liberal theory of minority rights, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Online Quiz    35% 
Coursework   Essay    65% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%

Reassessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr James Christensen, email: james.christensen@essex.ac.uk.
Dr James Christensen
Module Supervisor: Dr James Christensen - jwchri@essex.ac.uk / Module Administrator: Lewis Olley - govquery@essex.ac.uk

 

Availability
Yes
Yes
No

External examiner

Dr Arzu Kibris
University of Warwick
Associate Professor
Resources
Available via Moodle
Of 60 hours, 40 (66.7%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
20 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).

 

Further information
Government

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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