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The University of Southampton

PAIR3006 Global Justice: Poverty, Inequality and the Environment

Module Overview

This module provides an introduction to recent debates within international political theory on the issue of global justice. It addresses questions such as: What obligations do individuals have to those affected by poverty or ecological degradation on the global scale? From where do these obligations derive? How should these obligations be balanced with any obligations to fellow nationals? What would global justice look like? How demanding is it, and how might we achieve it?

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Have a critical understanding of a range of theoretical positions on global justice.
  • Be in a position to evaluate differing claims about obligations to fellow nationals and towards humanity as a whole.
  • Have a good level of understanding of a series of contemporary normative debates relating to, for instance, international trade, migration and the protection of the global environment.


The module begins by examining a variety of positions on global distributive justice, and goes on to consider a series of contemporary debates on issues such as: - Global poverty. Who, in anyone, has a responsibility to attempt to alleviate it? On what basis? Global inequality. Do global inequalities matter in themselves? Should we try to reduce them? Why? - Climate change and ecological degradation. What, if anything, can contemporary theories of justice contribute towards an account of the justice of the environment? - Resource ownership. Should theorists of justice treat current patterns of ownership of the world’s resources as a given, or should they suggest alternatives? What might these be?

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods


Independent Study122
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Brooks, Thom (ed) (2008). The Global Justice Reader. 

Armstrong, Chris (2012). Global Distributive Justice. 

Bell, Duncan (2010). Ethics and World Politics. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2500 words) 60%
Essay  (1500 words) 40%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s) 100%
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