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Global Justice


PLEASE NOTE that this course has replaced the originally announced course on “Filosofisch kosmopolitanisme: theorieën van wereldburgerschap”.

Admission requirements


Ranging from discussions about the effects of (economic) globalization, over military interventions in foreign countries to debates about the responsibility of developing’ anddeveloped’ countries in matters of global climate change, issues of Global Justice are omnipresent nowadays.

In this course we are going to engage with the main debates in contemporary Western philosophy on issues of Global Justice and explore in how far these can shed new light on global challenges of our age. Do we have the same duties to distant others’ as we have to ourcompatriots’? If we have any at all, what are such duties grounded in? The existence of human suffering, shared (global) economic structures and interdependencies or a commitment to human rights? What is the `currency’ of global justice and which principles of justice should reign in the global sphere? Basic (human) rights, a fair distribution of resources or, as recently advocated by Sen and Nussbaum, equal freedom for all? Which institutions are necessary in order to make the realization of such ideals possible?

These are but some (theoretical) questions we are going to discuss in a series of lectures in the first part of the course. In the second part, consisting of a series of seminars, we are going to have a look at concrete problems, such as global poverty, the economic crisis, the war on terrorism or global climate change, and inquire whether theoretical analysis can provide a new perspective upon these and perhaps even some guidance in addressing them.

Course objectives

Course objectives will be posted on Blackboard by the start of the course.


See Rooster BA Wijsbegeerte 2010-2011
See Rooster minoren en keuzepakketten 2010-2011
See Timetable Undergraduate Courses in English 2010-2011

Mode of instruction

Lecures and seminars

Assessment method

  • Written exam (40%)

  • Essay of 3000 words (60 %)

  • The `reading questions’ and the presentation are a necessary requirement to complete the course.


Blackboard will be used for announcements, course documents, and course information (programme).

Reading list

To be announced in the first meeting and via Blackboard.


Inschrijving via uSis, zie aanmeldingsprocedure
Please register for this course on uSis. See registration procedure

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply

Aanmelden voor Contractonderwijs via:
Aanmelden voor Toehoorderschap via:

Contact information

Drs. C.B. Binder
Office hours after class, by prior email-appointment.


Although the language of instruction is English, the essay can be written in Dutch.

Specialisation: Ethics and Political philosophy
Deze cursus is tevens een verplicht onderdeel van de minor ‘Ethiek, politiek en cultuur: Filosofie van het menselijk handelen’.