Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

PAIR6017 International Political Theory

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, if anything, does justice demand on the global scale? Is a global system of distributive justice a moral requirement? What form might such a system take? Do we have obligations to the poor of the world? From where do these obligations derive, and how do they interact with obligations to fellow nationals? Can we formulate global principles of justice to respond to ecological challenges, or the migration of people across borders? What might they be?

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To explore competing accounts of morality and justice at the international level. To enhance understanding of difficult ethical issues such as the demands of global distributive justice; the nature of and relationship between our obligations to fellow nationals and to outsiders; moral constraints on warfare; the ethics of international trade or climate change.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Explore competing perspectives on global justice
  • Understand the contribution these perspectives can make to thinking through political questions including poverty and so on
  • Apply oral communication skills
  • Apply Information Technology skills
  • Apply interpersonal skills
  • Apply written communication skills
  • Apply independent working skills


1. The challenge of global poverty and inequality 2. Global egalitarianism: Charles Beitz and Simon Caney 3. Minimalist views on global justice: John Rawls, David Miller, Thomas Pogge 4. Global Justice and Natural resources 5. Justice and international trade 6. Justice and climate change 7. Global justice and migration 8. Summary / conclusions

Special Features


Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Weekly two-hour seminars structured around specific topics / readings.

Independent Study176
Total study time200

Resources & Reading list

Simon Caney (2005). Justice Beyond Borders [JX1395CAN]. 

Charles Beitz (1979/1999). Political Theory and International Relations [JX1395BEI]. 

Chris Armstrong (2012). Global Distributive Justice: An Introduction. 

Thomas Pogge (2002). World Poverty and Human Rights [JC571POG]. 

John Rawls (1999). The Law of Peoples [B65RAW]. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (3500 words) 50%
Essay  (3500 words) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay 50%
Essay 50%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Google+ Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.