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Ethics & World Politics - POL00032M

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  • Department: Politics
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Sara Van Goozen
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Spring Term 2021-22

Module aims

What, if anything, do the global wealthy owe to the global poor? Are restrictive immigration policies unjust? How should the burden of climate change be shared? How troubled should we be by the existence of sweatshops, and the fact many of the products we purchase were produced there? Is terrorism always morally wrong? This module seeks to address these questions and provides an opportunity to critically reflect upon some of the most pressing challenges facing our globalising world today. Over the course of the term we will look at issues surrounding human rights, global poverty, immigration, climate change, global labour justice, war, and terrorism, and we will critically engage with the views of contemporary political theorists who have attempted to address questions in these areas. 

Module learning outcomes

This module aims to introduce students to key works in the contemporary literature on questions of global ethics, and to enable them to engage in sophisticated normative debates about important matters of international concern. By the end of the module students will (1) have a clear grasp of the contemporary philosophical literature on the main ethical dilemmas arising at the global level; (2) be able to construct coherent and robust arguments about the key issues covered on the course, and be able to defend them against opposing arguments and perspectives; and (3) be able to draw connections between theoretical ideas and real world cases in areas of global ethical concern.


Task Length % of module mark
Essay 4000 Words
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Essay 4000 Words
N/A 100

Module feedback

Students will receive written timely feedback on their formative assessment. They will also have the opportunity to discuss their feedback during the module tutor’s feedback and guidance hours.

Students will receive written feedback on their summative assessment no later than six weeks after submission; and the module tutor will hold a specific session to discuss feedback, which students can also opt to attend. They will also have the opportunity to discuss their feedback during the module tutor’s regular feedback and guidance hours.

Indicative reading

Bell, D. 2010. Ethics and World Politics (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

Brown, G.W. & D. Held (eds.). 2010. The Cosmopolitanism Reader (Cambridge: Polity Press).

Heywood, A. 2011. Global Politics (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan).

Hutchings, K. 2010. Global Ethics (Cambridge: Polity Press).

Mandle, J. 2006. Global Justice (Cambridge: Polity Press)

Singer, P. 2002. One World: The Ethics of Globalization (Yale University Press).

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.