Topic Name Description
Course Introduction Page Course Syllabus
Page Course Terms of Use
1.1: The Development of Human Rights: A Brief History URL U.S. Department of State: "Centuries of Progress"

Read this article from the Department of State publication Human Rights in Brief. It succinctly reviews the historical development of human rights in the context of contemporary global politics.

URL U.S. Department of State: "Human Rights as an International Issue"

Read this article from the Department of State publication Human Rights in Brief. It succinctly reviews the historical development of human rights in the context of contemporary global politics.

URL United Nations Documents on Human Rights

Read these documents for an overview of the core human rights treaties. These three documents are collectively referred to as the "Bill of Human Rights" and form the cornerstone of human rights law.

1.2.1: Human Rights Overview URL The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: James Nickels' "Human Rights"

Read this article on human rights for an in-depth consideration of the human rights concept and its application.

1.2.2: Universal vs. Relative Rights URL Diana Ayton-Shenker's "The Challenge of Human Rights and Cultural Diversity"

The first of the human rights dichotomies, and perhaps the most contentious, encompasses two apparent competing notions of human rights: universality and relativism. Do rights apply to all humans all of the time without any conditions? Or are human rights, and by extension justice, to be understood as conditional? Are rights to be understood as deriving from a particular set of circumstances such as nationality/citizenship, age, sex/gender, or cultural norms?

URL Macalester Journal of Philosophy: Colleen Good's "Human Rights and Relativism"

Read this article, which continues this discussion.

URL World Policy Journal: Shashi Tharoor's "Are Human Rights Universal?"

Read this article, which continues this discussion.

URL Onora O'Neill's "Towards Justice and Virtue"

Read this introduction. O'Neill sees the Rawlsian constructivist approach to justice as too "closed" or circumscribed by a particular intellectual and empirical history, and its scope as too limited in being from and for people of a certain disposition. She advocates for a more universal theory of justice, which at the same time is not so abstract as to lose the capacity for meaning to people of a variety of particular cultural backgrounds and places.

URL The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Pauline Kleingeld and Eric Brown's "Cosmopolitanism"

Read Section 2 of this article on cosmopolitanism, paying particular attention to where O'Neill is referenced. 

1.2.3: Individual vs. Collective Rights URL Peter Zwiebach's "Whose Right Is It Anyway? Rethinking a Group Rights Approach to International Human Rights"

Read this article. The author reviews two recent books on the topic of human rights and group rights. However, before discussing the particularities of the scholarly books, Zwiebach presents his argument in favor of individual rights. He contends that a group rights approach to human rights is counterproductive to the protection and promotion of human rights and does nothing to advance human rights. In fact, Zwiebach suggests that the conceptualization of group rights lends ambiguity to the human rights discourse and thereby a lack of application.

URL Nicola Wenzel's "The Protection of Groups in International Law in Tension with the Protection of the Individual"

Read this article, which explores the tension between individual and collective rights and argues that a practical coexistence and promotion of both is quite possible.

Page Harvard University: Michael Sandel's "Justice"

Watch these two lectures on justice. Sandel attacks the abstract approach of Rawlsian constructivism. He emphasizes the undesirability, if not the impossibility, of arriving at principles of justice from an unencumbered self-devoid of attachments to community and a comprehensive doctrine encompassing what it means to live a good life. Sandel does not see humans as individuals that choose a particular form of life or that can abstract themselves from a particular form of life or comprehensive doctrine. Rather, communities and comprehensive doctrines are constitutive of individuals.

1.2.4: Civil/Political – Economic/Social/Cultural Rights URL Maryland Journal of International Law: Stephen P. Marks' "The Past and Future of the Separation of Human Rights into Categories"

Read this article. 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.

URL Maryland Journal of International Law: Marley S. Weiss' "Human Rights and the Global Economy: The Centrality of Economic and Social Rights"

Read this article. 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. 

URL Human Rights Brief: Aryeh Neier's "Social and Economic Rights: A Critique"

Read this article. 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.

URL International Social Science Journal: Janusz Symonides' "Cultural Rights: A Neglected Category of Human Rights"

Read this 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.

URL Elsa Stamatopoulou and Joanne Bauer's "Why Cultural Rights Now?"

Read this article. 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.

1.3: Western and Non-Western Perspectives on Human Rights URL The Open University: "Rights and Justice in International Relations: The Influence of the Western Perspective"

Read this article on the problematique associated with the western influence on the human rights concept.

URL Conor Gearty's "Are Human Rights Truly Universal?"

Read this article. Here, the author considers the universality of human rights within the Western/nonwestern debate. 

URL Human Rights and Human Welfare: Paul Magnarella's "Questioning the Universality of Human Rights"

Read this article, which reviews three books on the topic of the universality of human rights. This review demonstrates the breadth and vitality of the issue and allows you to familiarize yourself with a large variety of perspectives.

URL Joanne Bauer's "The Challenge to International Human Rights"

Read this article. The author contends that different conceptualizations of human rights do not simply occur across regions but also within regions. Hence, it might be ill-advised to speak of western and non-western orientations to human rights. Rather, the underlying political agendas of those challenging universal human rights need to be considered to fully understand their objections.

1.4: Justice and Human Rights URL University of Oxford, Centre for the Study of Social Justice: David Miller's "The Responsibility to Protect Human Rights"

Read this article. 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.

URL Temple University: Carol C. Gould's "Approaching Global Justice through Human Rights: Elements of Theory and Practice"

Read this article. 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.

2.1.1: Grotius and Natural Right URL Hugo Grotius' "On the Law of War and Peace, Chapter 1: On War and Right"

Read this chapter.

URL The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Jon Miller's "Hugo Grotius"

Read section 3, on natural law. Grotius has come to be considered the "father of natural law". Take note of how Grotius gives primacy to natural law over other conceptions of law as well as how he aligns natural law with public reason (and agreement) between nation-states. 

2.1.2: Hume and Utility URL David Hume's "An Inquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals, Section III: Of Justice"

Read 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.

2.1.3: Kantian Idealism URL Immanuel Kant's "Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch"

Read this article, tracing how Kant outlines what would be required to establish the conditions for a worldwide perpetual peace to exist and sustain. For Kant, the establishment of something akin to a world government presumes an idea of history and the notion of humanity as a work in progress. 

URL Immanuel Kant's "Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Purpose"

Read this article.

URL The New York Review of Books: Isaiah Berlin's "On the Pursuit of the Ideal"

Read this article, which is meant to serve as a cautionary tale about the relationship between idealized pursuits and the protection of civil liberties. 

2.2.1: The Legitimacy and Authority of International Law URL The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Leslie Green's "Legal Positivism"

Read this article, which 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. 

URL Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law: Luis Moreno-Ocampo's "The International Criminal Court: Seeking Global Justice"

Read this article. 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? 

URL Sydney Law Review: Samantha Besson's "The Authority of International Law: Lifting the State Veil"

Read this 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.

2.2.2: The State of Nature among Sovereigns URL Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Joshua Cohen's "Class on Hedley Bull"

Read these lecture notes on Hedley Bull. These notes provide a general overview of Hedley Bull's main arguments.

URL Ritsumeikan Annual Review of International Studies: Andrew Linklater's "The English School Conception of International Society: Reflections on Western and non-Western Perspectives"

Read this article, which explores the 'English School' conceptualization of international society and world order and discusses both western and non-western orientations towards the expansion of the international nation-state system and its ramifications. The author frequently refers to Hedley Bull (author of the seminal "The Anarchical Society").

URL E.H. Carr's "The Twenty Years Crisis, Chapters 4 and 5"

Read these chapters. Carr attacks the international idealist position, which he describes as "utopianism", challenging its claim to moral universalism and its idea of a harmony of interests. He characterizes this position as encompassing faith in reason, confidence in progress, and a sense of moral rectitude. According to the idealists, war is an aberration in the course of normal life and the way to prevent it is to educate people for peace and to build systems of collective security, such as the League of Nations or today's United Nations. 

3.1.1: Nationalism URL Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Joshua Cohen's "Comments on National Self-Determination"

Read these lecture notes.

URL Ethics & Global Politics: Nils Holtug's "The Cosmopolitan Strikes Back: a Critical Discussion of Miller on Nationality and Global Equality"

Read this article. Holtug is critical of Miller's approach to global justice and offers a stance grounded in global egalitarianism. Thus, nationality becomes less of a defining factor for the pursuit of global justice.

URL Ethics & Global Politics: David Miller's "On Nationality and Global Equality: a Reply to Holtug"

Read this article. Like Walzer and Sandel, Miller emphasizes the importance of nationality as central to the identity of the individual and makes the case for giving priority to nationalist sentiments over sentiments spanning larger scopes when considering principles of justice.

3.1.2: Patriotism URL Social Theory and Practice: Eamonn Callan's "Love, Idolatry, and Patriotism"

Read this article, which makes the case that patriotism not only is constitutive of our identity, but patriotism is, or at least can be, virtuous. 

URL The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Igor Primoratz's "Patriotism"

Read this article. 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?

URL Martha C. Nussbaum's "Patriotism and Cosmopolitanism"

Read 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?

3.2.1: Obligation and the Relevance of Global Distributive Justice URL University of Groningen: Menno Kamminga's "On Global Justice"

Read this article. 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.

URL Martha C. Nussbaum's "Beyond National Boundaries: Capabilities and Global Justice"

Go to page 45 of the document, and read the second lecture in the series. 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.

3.2.2: Ethics and the Economic Aspects of Global Distributive Justice URL Martha C. Nussbaum's "Duties of Justice, Duties of Material Aid: Cicero's Problematic Legacy"

Read this condensed version of Nussbaum's lecture. Here, Nussbaum offers an account of the history of the problem of material aid through the work of Cicero. She comes to the conclusion that we cannot be satisfied "with his evasions" and must continue to work towards a more economically just international order. 

URL London School of Economics: Polly Vizard's "The Contributions of Professor Amartya Sen in the Field of Human Rights"

Read this scholarly review and assessment of Amartya Sen's work. Amartya Sen, a renowned economist and Nobel Prize recipient, has made significant contributions to the field of economics and political philosophy/philosophical political science. Please read the entire paper to gain an appreciation for the nexus between various academic inquiries and the ways in which Sen advanced an ethical universalist approach to economics.

4.1: Empowerment, Agency, and Distributive Justice URL Global Justice: Theory Practice Rhetoric: Christian Schemmel's "On the Usefulness of Luck Egalitarian Arguments for Global Justice"

Read this article. 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.

URL Philippe van Parijs' "International Distributive Justice"

Read this article. 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?

4.2.1: Child Brides URL UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti: "Early Marriage – Child Spouses"

Read this report for an overview of the connection between child marriage and human rights.

URL Boston College Third World Law Journal: Jacqueline Mercier's "Eliminating Child Marriage in India: A Backdoor Approach to Alleviating Human Rights Violations"

Read this article, which addresses child marriage in a particular cultural setting (India) and explores its human rights dimensions. The author also offers potential solutions to undermine the practice.

4.2.2: Child Soldiers URL Tone Sommerfelt and Mark B. Taylor's "The Big Dilemma of Small Soldiers"

Read this article to learn about the age dilemma with respect to child soldiers as it relates to the civil war in Syria.

URL The Journal of Humanitarian Assistance: Lysanne Rivard's "Child Soldiers and Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Programs: The Universalism of Children's Rights vs. Cultural Relativism Debate"

Read this article for an in-depth discussion of the challenges associated with disarming, demobilizing, and reintegrating child soldiers into society. The author explores these issues in the context of the universal versus relative human rights context, thereby providing valuable insights into how human rights from a universal or relative vantage point bear consequences for the application of human rights' norms and standards.

4.3.1: Resource Scarcity and Competition URL University of Oxford, Centre for the Study of Social Justice: David Miller's "Human Rights, Basic Needs, & Scarcity"

Read this article. 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. 

URL Political Studies: Tim Hayward's "Global Justice and the Distribution of Natural Resources"

Read this article. Hayward applies the problem of natural resource scarcity to distributive justice on a global level.

4.3.2: Who Gets the Left-Overs: Environmental Racism, Degradation, and Waste URL JoAnn Carmin and Julian Agyeman's "Introduction: Environmental Inequalities beyond Borders"

Read this introductory chapter of a book on environmental inequalities, which provides an overview of the globalization of such inequalities and the ways in which they play out in local contexts. Specifically, the authors explore the practices of corporate and state actors in the globalized economy and the impact of such practices on local communities' human rights. 

URL Environmental Affairs Law Review: Louis G. Leonard's "Sovereignty, Self-Determination, and Environmental Justice in the Mescalero Apache's Decision to Store Nuclear Waste"

Read this case study about an indigenous community's decision to store nuclear waste on its territory. Is such agency on the part of the indigenous community driven by development concerns? In what ways does such agency undermine global environmental justice, if at all?

URL Monti Aguirre's "The Chixoy Dam Destroyed Our Lives"

Read this article and the following ones for an overview of the relationship between environmental rights and environmental justice. Are human rights and development goals intrinsically at odds with each other? Is it possible to pursue development and simultaneously respect the human rights of individuals and communities?

URL Abigail Abrash Walton's "Mining a Sacred Land"

Read this article with the two others for an overview of the relationship between environmental rights and environmental justice.

URL Jeffery Atik's "Commentary on 'the Relationship between Environmental Rights and Environmental Injustice'"

Read this article with the two others for an overview of the relationship between environmental rights and environmental justice.

Unit 4 Current Events Exercise URL Unit 4 Current Events Exercise

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.

5.1: Individuals, Communities, and the Pursuit of Justice URL Review of Constitutional Studies: Will Kymlicka's "Human Rights and Ethnocultural Justice"

Read this article. The renowned scholar Will Kymlicka exposes the shortcomings of a human rights approach grounded exclusively in individualism. He argues that group rights are instrumental for ethnocultural justice; without them, minorities lack protection as minorities. 

URL Health and Human Rights: Andrea Boggio et al.'s "Limitations on Human Rights: Are They Justifiable to Reduce the Burden of TB in the Era of MDR- and XDR-TB?"

Read this article, which explores the tensions between individual and collective human rights through an examination of public health policies surrounding drug resistant forms of tuberculosis. Public health is one functional policy area where it is virtually impossible to equally protect the human rights of individuals and groups.

5.2.1: Gender and Sexuality: Female Genital Mutilation URL International Family Planning Perspectives: Frances A. Althaus' "Female Circumcision: Rite of Passage Or Violation of Rights?"

Read this article. As you read this article and the following one, pay particular attention to the underlying rationales for the existence and perpetuation of this practice. Also, in what ways do the authors frame their debate into a human rights context? Are there any inherent tensions in applying a human rights approach to this practice?

URL Human Rights Journal: Chi Mgbako et. al.'s "Penetrating the Silence in Sierra Leone: A Blueprint for the Eradication of Female Genital Mutilation"

Read this article, thinking about the questions from the previous article.

5.2.2: Gender and Sexuality: Sexual Orientation URL Human Rights Education Associates: "Study Guide: Sexual Orientation and Human Rights"

Read this article, which explores the linkages between sexual orientation and human rights. In what ways does the individual-collective tension creep into the discourse here?

URL Third World Law Journal: Michael Thomas' "Teetering on the Brink of Equality: Sexual Orientation and International Constitutional Protection"

Read this article, which explores the linkages between sexual orientation and human rights. In what ways does the individual-collective tension creep into the discourse here?

URL United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights: "A Stain on Our Collective Conscience"

Read this article, which explores the linkages between sexual orientation and human rights. In what ways does the individual-collective tension creep into the discourse here?

5.2.3: Race, Ethnicity, and Indigeneity: The Identity Bridge between Individuals and Communities URL George Mason University: Marlies Galenkam's "Group Identity and Individual Autonomy within Liberal Democracies: In Search of Guidelines"

Read this article, which tackles the complex relationships between individuals and groups as well as between minority groups and the dominant society. Succinctly put, she asks and attempts to answer questions pertaining to the acceptable limitations of tolerance for the norms and practices of minority societies when they are in conflict with those of the dominant society. An underlying theme is the apparent tension between individual and collective human rights: when may the free will of an individual or group be curtailed for purposes of protecting and promoting human rights?

5.3.1: Self-determination and Sovereignty URL United Nations: "Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples"

Read this document. 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? 

URL 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"

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?

5.3.2: Genocide URL Office of the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights: "Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide"

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?

URL Adam Jones's "Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction, Chapter 1: The Origins of Genocide"

Read this 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?

Unit 5 Current Events Exercise URL Unit 5 Current Events Exercise

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.

6.1.1: What Does "Think Globally and Act Locally" Mean for Global Justice? URL German Law Journal: Regina Kreide's "The Range of Social Human Rights"

Read this 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. 

Page New York University: Michael Walzer's "Global and Local Justice"

Watch this 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.

6.1.2: Redress of Grievance in a Global Context: The Case of the International Criminal Court  URL Benedict Kingsbury's "Representation in Human Rights Litigation"

Read this article. Kingsbury examines the extent to which litigation in institutions such as the ICC or other judicial bodies may or may not actually achieve justice. He discusses the problems arising from litigators being physically removed from the remote areas in which many human rights violations occur. Additionally, while lawyers are well versed in the legal issues and processes, they tend to lack adequate knowledge of local dynamics and customs. Thus, communication between litigators and their clients often hampers the overall pursuit of justice. To mitigate this, the author argues that clients must play an active role in the litigation process. 

URL Courting Conflict? Justice, Peace and the ICC in Africa: Mariana Goetz's "The International Criminal Court and its Relevance to Affected Communities"

Read this article, which starts on page 65. Goetz pushes Kingsbury's argument further by explicitly analyzing the degree to which victims can 'tell their stories' in international tribunal judicial processes beyond merely providing witness testimony.

6.2.1: Socioeconomic Class URL Butler University: Harry van der Linden's "Is Global Poverty a Moral Problem for Citizens of Affluent Societies?"

Read this article, which discusses the apparent lack of concern of affluent societies for world poverty.

URL Thomas Pogge's "World Poverty and Human Rights"

Read this article. Pogge challenges us by asserting that severe poverty worldwide could have been easily eradicated decades ago. Offering an initial set of global poverty statistics for understanding his claim, he argues that the essence of the problem is a failure to understand severe poverty as a function of global dynamics and the lack of political will to take up the challenge.

URL Leif Wenar's "Review of 'One World: The Ethics of Globalization' 'World Poverty and Human Rights'"

Read this review of two books that explore global poverty and responsibility. Wenar's review of Singer's and Pogge's books provides a succinct encapsulation of the complexities surrounding globalization, poverty, and moral and ethical responsibility. He argues that Pogge's assertions concerning the severity of global poverty and where the responsibilities lie for its redress augment Singer's focus on humanitarian intervention and the responsibility to protect.

URL Julio Montero's "Do Affluent Countries Violate the Human Rights of the Global Poor?"

Read this article and compare and contrast this argument with Pogge's stance.

6.2.2: Contemporary Slavery and Consumerism URL Free the Slaves: "Slavery: A Global Investigation"

Watch this documentary on contemporary slavery. This 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.

URL Free the Slaves: "Ending Slavery: The Plan"

Read this non-governmental organization's (NGO) approach to ending 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?

Unit 6 Current Events Exercise URL Unit 6 Current Events Exercise

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.

7.1: Revisiting the Western/Non-Western Discourse URL Göran Collste's "Restoring the Dignity of the Victims. Is Global Rectificatory Justice Feasible?"

Read this article for a discussion on rectificatory justice. What are the author's arguments in favor of such a justice scheme? Is it more than 'righting the wrongs of the past?' Does it contribute to our current understanding of global justice?

URL University of Oxford Centre for the Study of Social Justice: David Miller's "Fair Trade: What Does It Mean and Why Does It Matter?"

Read this article. Miller explores the topic of fair trade, which is intricately tied to issues of global justice and western/non-western dichotomies. His analysis illuminates the conceptual difficulties that arise when justice is pursued in practical terms.

URL Richard Falk's "The Power of Rights and the Rights of Power: What Future for Human Rights?"

Read this article for a discussion on the future of human rights in the context of state power. What are Falk's central arguments with respect to the protection and promotion of human rights and their intersection with sovereignty? What are the potential consequences for global justice?

7.2: The Compatibility of 'Global' and 'Justice' URL Yale University: Thomas Pogge's "What Is Global Justice?"

Read this article. Dr. Pogge explicates the philosophical framework of global justice through the application of poverty.

URL Philosophy and Public Affairs: Thomas Nagel's "The Problem of Global Justice"

Read this article. 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. 

Study Guide Book Study Guide for POLSC402: Global Justice

Course Feedback Survey URL Course Feedback Survey