Concentration in Ethics and Global Justice

Why ethics?

We are all global citizens with global responsibilities. Issues such as refugee movement, human rights, climate justice and international trade are no longer things that we can ignore simply because they do not happen in the country where we live. 

This stream is intended primarily for students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, or the Faculty of Health Sciences who wish to focus their studies around issues of justice in an international and multicultural context.

Ethics and global justice in the news

  • Do we have a moral duty to take in refugees? It's a little more difficult for refugees to arrive in Canada; however, Europe is facing an ethical dilemma over the waves of refugees that arrive on its shores, by boat or by walking overland.
  • Is it ethical to allow young girls or women to travel out of Canada knowing that they are leaving unwillingly, being forced into marriage? Do we honour cultural practices that include honour killings for failure to comply?
  • Should under-developed countries allow medical researchers access for large-scale sample collection that will only benefit population studies in the developed world? Countries in Africa are now developing their own biobanking standards to prevent 'helicopter science' and require researchers to 'give back' to the point of origin.

Elective Courses

In addition to three core courses in ethical theory (9-10 units), students complete three elective courses drawn from a stream in their subject interest (9-12 units). Elective courses often include courses already in their subject major.

Note: courses may change - for a complete list of the certificate requirements and the approved courses, please consult the calendar entry.

Students complete three of (click + to show courses):

CRIM 315 - Restorative Justice (4)
FNST 327 – Aboriginal Women in Canada (3)
FNST 353W – First Nations Heritage Stewardship (3)
FNST 401 - Aboriginal Peoples and Public Policy (3)
FNST 419 - Aboriginal/Indigenous Justice (3)
FNST 429 - Indigenous Peoples and International Law (3) 
FNST 433 – Indigenous Environmental Justice and Activism (4) 
FNST 443W - Aboriginal Peoples, History and the Law (4)
GSWS 308 - Women in the Economy: Paid and Unpaid Labour (4) 
GSWS 309 – Gender and International Development (3)
GSWS 312 – Immigrants, Women and Transnational Migration (3)
GSWS 314 - Race, Class and Gender (4)
GSWS 327 - Aboriginal Women in Canada (4)
HSCI 308 - Sickness and Wealth: Health in Global Perspective (3)
HSCI 319W - Applied Health Ethics (3) 
HSCI 406 - Global Perspectives in Indigenous Health (3)
IS 200 – Historical Perspectives on Diplomacy, International Security and Law (3)
IS 220 – Wealth and Poverty of Nations (3)
IS 302 - Introduction to Humanitarian Intervention (4)
IS 303 – Ethnic Minorities, Identity Politics, and Conflict in Southeast Asia (3)
IS 305 – Challenging Power Around the Globe: Political Resistance and Protest (3)
IS 307 – International Ethics: Poverty, Environmental Change, and War (3)
IS 355 – Refugees and Forced Migration (3)
IS 358 – Development, Aid, and Difference in Historical Perspective (3)
IS 410 - Politics, Institutions and Development (4)
IS 423 – International Development Practice and Ethics (4)
IS 427 - Globalization, Poverty and Inequality (4)
POL 312 - Modern Political Thought (4)
POL 327 – Globalization and the Canadian State (3)
POL 330 – Protecting Human Rights: Courts, Constitutions and Legislatures (3) 
POL 332 – Separatist Movements: Conflict and Accommodation (3)
POL 343 – Global Political Economy (3)
POL 344 - International Law (4) 
POL 346 - International Organization (4)
POL 347 – Canadian Foreign Policy (3)
POL 348 – Theories of War, Peace and Conflict Resolution (3) 
POL 350 – Public Policy for Women (3)
POL 351 – Immigratino, Integration and Public Policy in Canada (3) 
POL 411 - Normative Political Theory (4)
POL 415 – The Liberal Tradition and Its Critics (4)
POL 416 - Feminist Social and Political Thought (4)
POL 417 - Human Rights Theories (4) 
POL 421 – Rights, Equality and the Charter (4) 
POL 422 – Canadian International Security Relations (4) 
POL 430 – Democracy in a Global World (4)
POL 447 – Theories of Global Political Economy (4) 
POL 451 – Public Policy Analysis (4)
SA 302W – Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism (3)
SA 325 – Political Sociology (3)
SA 331 – Politics of the Family (3)
SA 335 – Gender Relations and Social Issues (3)
SA 345 – Race, Immigration and the Canadian State (3)
SA 362 – Society and the Changing Global Division of Labour (3)
SA 363 - Process of Development and Underdevelopment (SA) (4)
SA 388 - Comparative Studies of Minority Indigenous Peoples (A) (4)
SA 418 - International Health: Global Policies and Local Realities (A) (4)
SA 429 – Sex, Work, and International Capital (4)
SA 430 - States, Cultures and Global Transitions (SA) (4)

Read more?

Europe’s Ethical Dilemma over Migrants

“Migrants walking across Hungary, facing disdain and abuse even from journalists reporting on their fate. Refugees amassed on makeshift boats desperately seeking—and failing—to reach the shores of Europe in search of a better life. Dozens of people asphyxiated in trucks and on ships. Unaccompanied minors traversing Mexico at great risk to cross the US-Mexico border in droves. These forms of mass exodus have been a constant source of tension, with peaks and valleys for years, indeed, decades. But over the past few weeks, the immigration and refugee flows have burst upon the world stage as never before in recent history.”

“Imagine you are a homeowner in a quiet suburban neighborhood, living with your family in a nice, large house. You make plenty of money, have plenty of food, and have extra bedrooms; you never really have to worry about anyone being uncomfortable in the house. One night, you wake up to the sound of your doorbell and open the door – standing there is a homeless man. This man does not hold out a tin can or ask you for a donation. Instead, he asks you to let him into your home, feed him, and provide him with a bed in one of your many empty bedrooms.”

“Ethical guidelines are crucial when carrying out research on violence against children (VAC). Such guidelines help to minimize the risk of potential harm resulting from the data collection process to participants, researchers and others, and ensure that any remaining risks are outweighed by the potential benefits. Research ethics and methodologies are closely linked, with ethically sound research protocols and tools adding to the value of the research.” UNICEF Ethical dilemmas and risks in collecting data on violence against children.

African scientists call for more control of their continent’s genomic data
Voluntary guidelines aim to combat ‘helicopter’ science and ensure that studies benefit African citizens and scientists.

Gold and precious gems mining “My partner and I are engaged but deferred buying her ring until we find something that fits with her ethical values. She won't wear diamonds and is also worried about gold”

More curated content in Ethical Dilemmas on Flipboard

Image attributions:
i. icon created by Martin Markstein for The Noun Project CC-BY
ii. By Ggia - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,