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Global Justice


Admission requirements

Admission to this course is restricted to:

  • BA students in Philosophy, who have successfully completed their first year, and who have also completed at least 10 EC’s of the mandatory components of their second year, including Political Philosophy.

  • Pre-master’s students in Philosophy for whom this course has been specified on their admission statement.


The course examines key aspects of contemporary international ethics and asks students to consider the principles that should guide us in thinking about global affairs. Many classical theories of justice were developed within a nation-state framework, but our globalized world today brings new moral complications. We begin by asking whether theories of social justice developed for domestic spheres should be extended to the global level. We will then look at a variety of topics with a distinctive global dimension, such as global poverty and the responsibility for it, immigration, historical injustice, multiculturalism and gender.

Course objectives

The general aim is to develop a moral reflection on themes of global justice. In particular, the course aims to (i) familiarise students with the contemporary discussions of global justice, and (ii) enable students to engage in normative debates about important matters of international concern (poverty, migration, multiculturalism, …). By the end of the course, students should be able to construct clear normative arguments about the global issues discussed and to defend them against counter objections and opposing views.

Students who successfully complete this course will have a good understanding of:

  • debates on the scope of justice;

  • debates particular topics such as justice in immigration and responsibility for global poverty;

  • philosophical questions in global.

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  • synthesize the key argument and main disagreements as shown both in writing and oral presentations;

  • read and take position with regard to state-of the art scholarly literature in contemporary philosophical debates about the scope of justice, just border policies, responsibility for alleviating global poverty.


See: BA Filosofie

  • Filosofie, BA3 – BA Plus-traject or Standaardtraject

See: BA Philosophy: Global and Comparative Perspectives

  • Philosophy, BA3 - Global and Comparative Perspectives

Mode of instruction

  • Seminars

Class attendance is required.

Course Load

Total course load 10 x 28 hours= 280 hours

  • Attending seminars (13 × 3 hours): 39 hours

  • Preparation of classes and study of literature: 130 hours

  • Preparation of mid-term essay: 40 hours

  • Preparation of final essay: 71 hours

Assessment method


  • Mid-term essay of 1,500 words

  • Final essay of 3,000 words


The final mark for the course is established by determination of the weighted average of several subtests:

  • Mid-term essay: 40%

  • Final essay: 60%


If the final mark is unsatisfactory, there is an option for re-examination by writing a paper.
The mark for the resit will replace all previously earned marks for subtests. No separate resits will be offered for mid-term test.
Class participation is a mandatory requirement for taking the resit.
Students who have obtained a satisfactory grade for the first examination cannot take the resit.

Exam review

Exam review on the basis of individual appointments.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • posting texts and other documents (syllabus, assessment criteria, etc.);

  • announcements.

Reading list

Reading list

To be announced.
The reading list will include readings by John Rawls, Charles Beitz, Martha Nussbaum among others.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website

Students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetables for courses and exams.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


S. Harb MA MPhil


Not applicable.