Summer 2018 - PHIL 121 E100

Global Justice (3)

Class Number: 4638

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 4:30 PM – 7:20 PM
    HCC 1425, Vancouver

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Aug 8, 2018
    7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
    Location: TBA



An introduction to the ethical issues arising from interactions of states, NGOs and other international agents. Topics may include international human rights, terrorism, war, gender justice, climate justice, fairness in international trade, cultural diversity and conflict, the rights of indigenous peoples, collective responsibility and restitution for historical wrongdoing, among others. Students who have received credit for PHIL 220 cannot receive credit for this course. Breadth-Humanities/Social Sciences.



This course will introduce students to contemporary debates in global justice. It will also introduce students the concept of race as a structuring feature of global phenomena. This class is motivated by two projects. First, we commonly agree that justice matters for citizens of a nation state. But how should we understand justice as a global norm and what does it require once we look beyond our borders and allegiances? And of what importance should such concepts as state sovereignty and citizenship play in ameliorating global patterns of injustice? Second, critics claim that we do not properly understand or appreciate the various patterns of inequality between the global north and south without the concept of race because we likely ignore the effects of past practices. Or, we misrecognize ongoing practices of imperialism and colonialism. These projects are related: understanding how past colonial and imperial practices influence ongoing patterns of inequalities facilitate determining the adequacy of applications of principles of global justice. Paying particular attention to US and Canadian polices and practices we will focus on several issues. We will focus on global poverty; exploitation of third world resources including the “brain drain” and organ selling; and legal and illegal migration. These problems bring to light the vexing issues around the causal role and responsibility of first world states; the justification and application of admissions policies of first world states; the nature and limits of state sovereignty; and the meaning of membership in a political and ultimately a global community.


PHIL 121 may be applied towards the Breadth-Humanities Requirement  OR the Breadth-Social Sciences Requirement  (but not both; student can choose which Breadth requirement to satisfy and plan enrollment in other courses accordingly).


  • Final Exam 30%
  • Midterm 20%
  • Essays (2) 40%
  • Attendance and participation 10%



John Rawls, The Law of Peoples with "The Idea of Public Reason Revisited."
ISBN: 978067400542

Various articles available via library reserve system

Department Undergraduate Notes:

Thinking of a Philosophy Major or Minor? The Concentration in Law and Philosophy? The Certificate in Ethics? The Philosophy and Methodology of Science Certificate?
Contact the PHIL Advisor at   More details on our website: SFU Philosophy

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University.