The course will provide an introduction to current philosophical debates about human rights, global justice and the legitimacy of international institutions. It aims at providing knowledge and understanding of different philosophical theories on these subjects and of their implications as regards specific issues. At the end of the course students should be able to apply the acquired knowledge and understanding in order to take actively part in discussions concerning normative aspects of global politics and policies and to form individual judgements. During the course students will be required to read texts, to discuss them and to elaborate personal opinions in order to exercise their learning, critical and communication skills.
Expected learning outcomes
Lesson period: Second trimester
(In case of multiple editions, please check the period, as it may vary)
The course will be divided in two parts that will address the following topics:
- A philosophical analysis of the concept of right - The idea of fundamental rights - The justification of fundamental rights - Fundamental rights and democracy - Dignity and fundamental rights - Freedom and fundamental rights - Equality and fundamental rights - Solidarity and fundamental rights - The implementation of fundamental rights - Conflicts of fundamental rights
- The idea of human rights - The challenges to human rights' universalism - Minimalism about human rights - Is there a human right to democracy? - Social rights as human rights - The debate on global justice - Is there a human right to secession? - Is there a human right to immigrate? - The legitimacy of the international organizations - The justification of humanitarian interventions
Prerequisites for admission
No preliminary knowledge is required.
The teaching activities will include lectures and class discussion of assigned texts. For the final exam, non-attending students should study the texts listed in the Bibliography.
The reading list will be provided before the beginning of the course.
Assessment methods and Criteria
For attending students, the final evaluation will be based on a paper of about 4000 words on one of the topics addressed during the course and on the final exam. The final mark will be established by weighting equally (50% each) the written paper and the final exam. In or-der to be considered attending student, attendance of 4/5 of the lectures (16 lectures on 20) is required. For non-attending students, the final evaluation will be based only on the final exam.
The final exam will consist in a mandatory written test and in an optional oral test. The written test will be structured in six open-ended questions on the lectures (for attending students) and the assigned texts (for both attending and non-attending students; see Bibliography). Each answer will be given a mark from 6 to 30 (missing and completely wrong answers will get a 6) and the final mark will result from the arithmetic average of all marks. Students will have two hours to complete the written test. The oral test, that the students could choose either to take or not after receiving the result of the written test, will start from a discussion of the written test and could change its result of a maximum of two marks, for better or for worse. For students who will choose not to take the oral test, the final mark for the exam (that, for attending students, will be weighted with the mark of the paper) will be the mark of the written test.