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MA Social and Global Justice

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  • Objectives
    We are pleased to offer a new Masters course in association with the Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice on perhaps the most relevant political question of our times: how should we live as global citizens? Considerations of justice have historically been answered by reference to the polis, the city state and latterly the nation-state. Our era is one where global politics assumes ever greater importance. How should we respond to environmental degradation, poverty and the denial of basic liberties to our fellow global subjects? What are the prospects for the various efforts to resist globalisation – or to shape it according to different needs and interests? The MA addresses such questions in a spirit of questioning and critical engagement. You will have the opportunity to examine a wide variety of materials, different perspectives and theoretical horizons.
  • Entry requirements
    The course will appeal to UK and international students with an interest in global politics, political theory, international relations, and international justice, and provides an invaluable platform for undertaking a research degree in these areas (MPhil/PhD).
  • Academic Title
    MA Social and Global Justice
  • Course description
    Social and Global Justice (MA)
    Duration: 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

    Course Content
    Some of the issues at the core of the course include the following:

    Is globalisation new? What does it entail in terms of identity and culture? Are we becoming global citizens?
    What is ‘global civil society’ and how well equipped is it to confront global institutions with new political demands?
    What are the prospects for current attempts to resist globalisation? Are these attempts necessarily ‘anti-capitalist’? Is there a compelling case for another kind of globalisation?
    How have theorists looked at the concept of Justice over time and in different contexts?
    What are the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to ‘global justice’?
    What is the character of social movements opposed to globalisation? How successful are their attempts to engage and mobilise citizens?
    How well has the UK coped with the demands of integration into the global political economy? Has it maintained a fair deal for its own citizens?
    How well equipped are different theoretical perspectives to explore the nature of international politics – feminism, post structuralism, neo-realism, Marxism?
    Should NGOs be regarded as agents in the pursuit of equality and fairness, or as an obstacle to their realisation?
    What is the impact of ‘development’ on marginalised or oppressed groups, such as women and children?
    What is the relationship between ‘democratisation’ and self-governance? Is democratisation a cover for western imperialism?
    What are the causes and consequences of global environmental problems? Can they be addressed via a concern for environmental justice?
    Are ‘just wars’ really just? Can humanitarian intervention ever be justified?
    A feature of the teaching on the MA is the openness to different approaches and methods in the study of contested concepts such as justice and globalisation. The many module options available in the School and beyond encourage you to broaden your understanding of how theory and practice are interlinked, to see how definitions of the just are pursued by social movements and enter the field of ‘governance’.

    The availability of different perspectives to the key problems of our time will encourage you to develop a critical and engaged stance towards the positions of both those who affirm ‘globalisation’ and those who contest it.

    A feature of the MA is that it is problem-driven, contemporary and applied to the analysis of key features of politics at a variety of levels from sub national to global. This is an MA for those who want to study the world as it is – not the world as it was.

    You will also be encouraged to take options from outside the School in related areas such as Sociology (politics of migration, consumption, global citizenship), Law (human rights, international criminal law, critical legal theory) and Economics, home to the Leverhulme Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Economic Policy (GEP). The School also has close relations with the School of Critical Theory and Cultural Studies, which offers modules in all aspects of contemporary theory – in particular postmodernism, post structuralism and post-colonial theory.
    This course requires you to take core modules in:

    Globalisation and its Discontents
    Justice Beyond Borders: Theories of International and Intergenerational Justice
    In addition, you will study a further 80 credits’ worth of optional modules. As an example, these might include modules in the following areas:

    Globalisation, Citizenship and Identity
    War, Peace and Terror
    Theories and Concepts in International Relations
    Non-Governmental Organisations
    International Politics of War Crimes
    Ethnic Conflict and Conflict Resolution
    International Human Rights
    Globalisation, Governance and Public Policy
    Gender and International Development Policy
    International Political Economy
    Global Development

    Please note that modules may change in order to keep abreast of political and academic developments.

    Your studies will culminate in the research and writing of a 15,000-word dissertation. You will register your dissertation on a subject of your choice and will be allocated with an appropriate Research Supervisor to oversee your progress.

    Course Structure
    The MA in Social and Global Justice can be studied on a full-time basis over 1 year or part-time over 2 years. 

    Teaching is spread across two semesters: Autumn, which begins in September and ends in January, and Spring, which begins in January and ends in June. The summer months between June and September are spent writing a dissertation.

    The MA consists of 180 credits - 120 credits from modular taught study and 60 credits from the completion of a dissertation of around 15,000 words in length.

    Assessment is typically by a mixture of coursework and examination, both of which will usually be assessed in the Semester in which the module is taught

    Key facts

    The MA draws on the expertise of members of the Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice, the first centre of its kind in the UK with a focus on global politics and global social movements.
    The School of Politics was rated 24/24 for its teaching by the Quality Assurance Agency and ranked in the top ten of UK departments in a recent Guardian Education guide

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