PO3JAI-Justice and Injustice

Module Provider: School of Politics, Economics and International Relations
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Rob Jubb

Email: r.s.d.jubb@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
Advanced course in political and moral theory, focusing on questions of responsibility for and appropriate responses to injustice.

The module aims to provide students with the tools and material to think critically about their responsibilities, as citizens of an unjust country in an unjust world, to resist, redress, and end injustice, as well as the victims of those injustices' entitlements to struggle against them. In doing so, it should, through their application to the material the module covers, familiarise students with a range of philosophical techniques that can be used to deal with a range of normative political questions.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of this module, a student should be able to
a) describe the difficulties different moral and political theories encounter in trying to assign responsibility for injustice;
b) critically assess the success of different moral and political theories in meeting these challenges;
c) discuss the moral and political problems raised by struggling to end or mitigate injustice, and critically assess how successfully different political theories deal with those difficulties;
d) demonstrate awareness of how interpret and critically assess claims and theories in political philosophy and theory more generally.

Additional outcomes:
The module aims to develop the capacity for independent study, both individually and as part of a team; the ability to think critically about political problems and theories and to be sensitive to the complexities and ambiguities of difficult texts; the skill of presenting the findings of such study and critical thought in group and individual presentations; and to contribute to oral discussions.

Outline content:
The course is split into three parts. The first deals with problems associated with working out who has wronged whom in situations where it may be difficult to avoid harming someone. The second moves on to assesses attempts to assign responsibility for wrongs on the basis of criteria like benefit, contribution and participation, while the third discusses issues about the appropriateness of various different methods of opposing injustice, like for example boycotts, civil disobedience and revolutionary violence.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Ten 3 hour seminars requiring preparatory research and reading; individual and group presentations; précis exercise; group scrutiny and discussion of set texts.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 15 15
Guided independent study 85 85
Total hours by term 100.00 100.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Other information on summative assessment:
This module is assessed by means of coursework only.

You must write two 3,500 word essays, each of which will be worth 50% of the final mark.

Visiting students will follow the same assessments for full credits. Visiting students who are only studying for half credits in Autumn and/or Spring terms will submit one assignment in total.

Formative assessment methods:
Presentations in seminars.

Penalties for late submission:

The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.
  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    No examination.

    Requirements for a pass:
    40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Candidates who fail their final year normally have the right to be re-examined on one further occasion at the next opportunity. These candidates will not normally be eligible for Honours (ie., only a ‘Pass’ classification would be attainable). Students who are eligible for re-assessment have the right to re-assessment in all elements even if they have previously passed one of those elements. It is expected, however, that the majority of students would probably elect not to repeat an element in which they had already passed, in which case the confirmed marks would be carried forward.

    Coursework: Failed or missing coursework should be re-submitted by 1st August, emailed directly to politics@reading.ac.uk, AND submitted on Blackboard.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books: There is no textbook for this course. The three texts we will use the most are Christopher Kutz, Complicity (Cambridge, 2008), ISBN: 9780521039703, £44.99

    David Miller, National Responsibility and Global Justice
    ISBN.9780199650712 Paperback (2012) RRP.£21.99

    Iris Marion Young, Martha Nussbaum, Responsibility for Justice, ISBN.9780199970957 Paperback (2013). RRP.£12.99

    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding: There may be optional costs associated with photocopying or printing sources listed on the reading list relating to this module. Please note that the Library charges approximately 5p per photocopy.
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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