Course module - Ethical Issues in World Politics (Not running 2013-14)
Code : POLI30321 Credit rating: 20 Semester : 1
The course involves studying the moral aspects of a variety of principle issues in contemporary world politics. Its main aim is to introduce students to a number of ethical difficulties surrounding universal claims in relation to "just" wars and human rights. We will begin by asking the question if, and to what extent, moral action is possible in international political practice. As such the course starts by analysing theoretical approaches to the place of ethics in world politics, and then moves on to consider specific issues such as war, peace, human rights, torture and humanitarian intervention. Enquiry-based learning workshops are an integral part of the programme focusing on specific case studies.
Objectives (Learning Outcomes)
By the end of this course you will be able to
• describe and analyse the conflicts of value and priority in the ethical issues covered by the course
• identify and assess assumptions that underpin specific ethical positions and arguments
• understand and relate universality to ethics in world politics
• outline , compare and evaluate competing understandings of a specific ethical issue
• develop your own ethical position as a critical evaluation of both theories and practices of ethics in world politics
• orally present your analysis and conclusions on the content of the entire module
• independently research and evaluate a specific ethical issue
Book Review 20%
This course is available to all students.
Length of course: 10 weeks
Part I: Theories of ethics in world politics
Moral scepticism, Realism, Communitarianism and Walzer, Cosmopolitanism (Charles Beitz and Andrew Linklater), Cosmopolitanism without foundations (poststructuralism).
Part II: Ethical Issues in World Politics
Pacifism, Just Wars, Universal human rights, Humanitarian Intervention and R2P, Liberal Wars.
Course Materials and Handouts (current students only)
For lecture timetable see www.socialsciences.manchester.ac.uk/intranet/ug/useful/
Workshops (enquiry-based learning)
Pin-Fat, Véronique (2010) Universality, Ethics and International Relations: A grammatical reading. London: Routledge.
Duncan Bell (2010) Ethics and World Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.