International Political Problems and Ethical Dilemmas

  • Total class time: 30 hours.
  • Unit: Centro Universitário FECAP Liberdade (Av. da Liberdade, 532).
  • Times: Wednesday and Friday from 18:00 to 18:50, starting August 16th until December 6th.
  • Value: Students and Alumni: R$800,00
  • External Public: R$1.600,00
  • Professor: Claudia Alvarenga Marconi

The value may be paid in up to 4 x without interest on the credit card (for the payment on the credit card, it is necessary to attend to the Financial Department of Fecap).

The student who is approved in the discipline and in the future will substitute some discipline in your curricular matrix, will have the amount paid for this discipline reimbursed, corrected according to the financial indexes used by FECAP.

 

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COURSE DESCRIPTION

Analysis of international political problems and ethical dilemmas through the literature of political theory/political philosophy and the specificity of its main versions: utilitarianism; liberal egalitarianism; liberal libertarianism; theory of recogntition; communitarianism; cosmopolitanism and feminist ethics.

 

COURSE OBJECTIVES

Some of the most serious political problems and ethical dilemmas historically overlap and have been more recently gaining an international dimension. Bearing this is mind, the main objective of the course is to provide an international lens to these hybrid political and ethical questions, such as social injustice, environmental degradation, corruption, human immobility, human rights violation within wars, and health problems by mobilizing the main perspectives of political theory: utilitarianism, liberal egalitarianism, liberal libertarianism, theory of recognition, communitarianism and cosmopolitanism. Consequently, the course intends to stimulate students to consider what would be the correct anwers, according to a moral standpoint, to some of the most urgent political problems ever. In order to accomplish its objective, the program is divided into two main parts: a theoretical and an empirical one. While the former is composed of a literature selection, the latter consists of newspaper articles and other selected primary sources. Both parts complement each other.

 

 

PREREQUISITES

High intermediate english.

 

CLASS SCHEDULE

PART I

 

Course presentation

PETTIT, Philip. Political Theory: an overview. In: ____. Contemporary Political Theory. NY: McMillan, 1991.

 Week 1 – Utilitarianism and the greatest happiness principle

 NAHRA, Cinara. The harm principle and the greatest happiness principle: the missing link. Kriterion,  Belo Horizonte ,  v. 55, n. 129, p. 99-110,  June  2014 .   Available from <http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-512X2014000100006&lng=en&nrm=iso>. access on  03  June  2017.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-512X2014000100006.

 Week 2 – Liberal Egalitarianism and the search for a justice principle

RAWLS, John. Uma teoria da justiça. S. Paulo: Martins Fontes, 1997. Capítulo 1, “Justiça como eqüidade”, pp. 3-56 (Ckeck the English version).

 Week 3 – Liberal Libertarianism and the entitlement principle

 NOZICK, Robert. Anarquia, Estado e utopia. Rio de Janeiro: Jorge Zahar, 1991. Capítulo 5, “O Estado”, pp. 106-138 (Ckeck the English version).

Week 4 – Theory of Recognition and the defense of the self

HONNETH, Axel. Integrity and disrespect: principles of a conception of morality based on the theory of recognition. Political Theory 20 (2):187-202, 1992.

TAYLOR, Charles. A Política do Reconhecimento. In: ______. Argumentos filosóficos. Tradução de Adail U. Sobral. São Paulo: Loyola, 2000.

Week 5 – Communitarianism and the collective moral ties

WALZER, Michael. The crime of agression: political leaders and citizens. In: ____. Just and Unjust Wars:  a moral argument with historical illustrations. NY: Basic Books, 2006.

Week 6 – Cosmopolitanism and the radicalization of our sense of belonging

DONNELLY, Jack. Human Rights. In: DRYZEK, John S.; PHILLIPS, Anne (Org). The Oxford Handbook of Political Theory. Oxford: OUP, 2008.

Week 7 – Formal Evaluation (NI2)

 Week 8 – Feminist Ethics and the concept of vulnerability

 MACKENZIE, C. et al. Vulnerability: new essays in ethics and feminist philosophy. NY: OUP, 2014.

 

PART II

 Week 9 – ETHICAL DILEMMA I – Social injustice: do we need a redistributive answer to it?

 Week 10 – ETHICAL DILEMMA II – Environmental degradation: do we need mechanisms to make private actors accountable for it?

 Week 11 – ETHICAL DILEMMA III –  The vulnerability of women’s body within war: in what it really consists?

 Week 12 – ETHICAL DILEMMA IV – Corruption indexes and perceptions: do they compromise democratic states?

 Week 13 – ETHICAL DILEMMA V-  Refugees as a threat: does morality matter?

 Week 14 – ETHICAL DILEMMA VI – Ebola at the borders: what can be a morally correct response?

 Week 15 – ETHICAL DILEMMA VII – Is torture ever justified?

 Week 16 – Overview of the course and final remarks

 

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

Students are expected to attend 75% of the classes and have an active participation. A business plan including the final “Pitch” at the end of the course will be the most important evaluation item (instead of our traditional “POs”, each small group will present their projects in pitch format). All project proposals must be approved. On-going advice and assistance will be available during the classes. There will not formal written test, as this course will be eminently practical.

 

ASSESSMENT METHODS

  1. Participation: 20% of NI2
  2. Ethical dilemmas “resolution”:  80% of NI2
  3. Official Exams:
  • a formal evaluation of NI1
  • an ending evaluation called PO

 

 

REFERENCES

BEITZ, Charles. International Distributive Justice. In: ____. Political Theory and International Relations. Princeton: PUP, 1999.

DONNELLY, Jack. Human Rights. In: DRYZEK, John S.; PHILLIPS, Anne (Org). The Oxford Handbook of Political Theory. Oxford: OUP, 2008.

HONNETH, Axel. Integrity and disrespect: principles of a conception of morality based on the theory of recognition. Political Theory 20 (2):187-202, 1992.

MACKENZIE, C. et al. Vulnerability: new essays in ethics and feminist philosophy. NY: OUP, 2014.

NAHRA, Cinara. The harm principle and the greatest happiness principle: the missing link. Kriterion,  Belo Horizonte ,  v. 55, n. 129, p. 99-110,  June  2014 .   Available from <http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-512X2014000100006&lng=en&nrm=iso>. access on  03  June  2017.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-512X2014000100006.

NOZICK, Robert. Anarquia, Estado e utopia. Rio de Janeiro: Jorge Zahar, 1991. Capítulo 5, “O Estado”, pp. 106-138 (Ckeck the English version).

PETTIT, Philip. Political Theory: an overview. In: ____. Contemporary Political Theory. NY: McMillan, 1991.

RAWLS, John. Uma teoria da justiça. S. Paulo: Martins Fontes, 1997. Capítulo 1, “Justiça como eqüidade”, pp. 3-56 (Ckeck the English version).

TAYLOR, Charles. A Política do Reconhecimento. In: ______. Argumentos filosóficos. Tradução de Adail U. Sobral. São Paulo: Loyola, 2000.

WALZER, Michael. The crime of agression: political leaders and citizens. In: ____. Just and Unjust Wars:  a moral argument with historical illustrations. NY: Basic Books, 2006.

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