Anno immatricolazione
Anno offerta
Corso di studio
Anno di corso
Periodo didattico
Primo Semestre (28/09/2015 - 12/12/2015)
40 ore di attività frontale
Lingua insegnamento
Tipo esame
CARTER IAN FRANK (titolare) - 6 CFU
Students with no experience of political philosophy should consult an introductory text such as Jonathan Wolff, An Introduction to Political Philosophy (Oxford University Press), Will Kymlicka, Contemporary Political Philosophy. An Introduction (Oxford University Press) chs 1-4, or Colin Bird, An Introduction to Political Philosophy (Cambridge University Press).
More specific preparatory reading can include some or all of the following:
P. Pettit, “Consequentialism” and N.A. Davis, “Contemporary Deontology”, in The Blackwell Companion to Ethics;
J. Waldron, “Rights” and C. Brown, “International Affairs”, in The Blackwell Companion to Political Philosophy;
M. Black, “Immigration” and C.A.J. Coady, “War and Terrorism”, in The Blackwell Companion to Applied Ethics.
Obiettivi formativi
The course aims to provide students with:
- knowledge of the main dilemmas and arguments that have featured in contemporary ethical debates around human rights, territorial rights, migration rights, war, terrorism and humanitarian intervention;
- understanding of the philosophical theories behind those dilemmas and arguments;
- an improved ability to make clear and informed ethical assessments of the political and legal scenarios and decisions studied in other, more empirically oriented courses in world politics and international relations;
- an improved ability to engage in debates with efficacy and argumentative rigor.
Programma e contenuti
This is a course in applied philosophy: we shall be investigating philosophical problems that arise in the specific context of international relations. In particular, we shall be investigating problems of an ethical nature, problems that involve deciding what, in a moral sense, is the right thing to do.

In discussing these problems, we shall take for granted certain facts about the international world: that states exist, lay claim to territories, and exercise coercive power; that states protect, but also violate, human rights; that conflicts, including armed conflicts, arise between states, and between groups within and across states. We shall be trying to explain, not these facts themselves, but our moral reactions to them, and the moral duties and claims that we think states, groups, and individuals have with respect to one another in the various contexts that these facts create. Such moral duties and claims might or might not turn out to coincide with the dictates of international law.

Many of the moral dilemmas to be discussed in this course can be understood as conflicts between different kinds of moral right. We shall therefore begin by discussing the concept of a right and, more generally, the contrast between deontological and consequentialist forms of moral reasoning. We shall then move on to discuss four interrelated topics:
1. Human rights and international distributive justice. What kind of a right is a human right? Are duties of global justice best understood as deriving from human rights? Are basic rights best understood as rights against being harmed?
2. Territorial rights. How, if at all, can a state come to have a moral right to govern and control a particular territory? Are territorial rights like property rights? What are the ethical grounds of national self-determination? Is there a right of secession?
3. The right of free movement, and the rights and duties of states with respect to migrants. Is there a human right to freedom of movement? Do territorial rights include the right to exclude migrants?
4. The ethics of security and war. May liberty be sacrificed for security? When is a state morally justified in going to war? When is humanitarian intervention justified? What is terrorism? Do civilians, soldiers, and terrorists differ in their degrees of moral immunity to attack, imprisonment or torture?
Metodi didattici
The course is divided more or less equally into lectures and seminars. The seminars consist in discussions and applications of set texts. Students are expected to engage actively in debates, both formally and informally, and to write an essay.
Testi di riferimento
A reading list is supplied during the course. Readings discussed in class include the following:
Peter Singer, “Famine, Affluence, and Morality”, Philosophy and Public Affairs, 1 (1972), pp. 229-43.
Thomas Pogge, “How Should Human Rights be Conceived?”, in T. Pogge, World Poverty and Human Rights (Cambridge: Polity, 2008).
Anna Stilz, “Why Do States Have Territorial Rights?”, International Theory, 1 (2009), pp. 185-213.
Christopher H. Wellman, “A Defense of Secession and Political Self-Determination”, Philosophy and Public Affairs, 24 (1995), pp. 142-71.
Arash Abizadeh, “Democratic Theory and Border Coercion. No Right to Unilaterally Control Your Own Borders”, Political Theory, 36 (2008), pp. 37-65.
Michael Walzer, Just and Unjust Wars (New York: Basic Books, 1977).
Jeff McMahan, “The Ethics of Killing in War”, Ethics, 114 (2004), Sections I – III, pp. 693-702; Sections VI – IX, pp. 718-33.
Igor Primoratz, “What is Terrorism?”, Journal of Applied Philosophy, 7 (1990), pp. 129-38.
Modalità verifica apprendimento
The final mark depends on (1) participation in class; (2) and assessed essay; (3) and oral exam.
Altre informazioni
The final mark depends on (1) participation in class; (2) and assessed essay; (3) and oral exam.
Obiettivi Agenda 2030 per lo sviluppo sostenibile