Department of Political Science


Contemporary Political Philosophy II: Social Justice and Equality

Course Code


Course Tutors

Dr John Wilesmith (Department of Political Science)

Assessment Term 2

One 3,000 word essay

Credit Value


About this course

What is social justice? What obligations do we each have to achieve social justice? Why, if at all, should we redistribute wealth in society? Is equality something we ought to aim for? If so, what kind of equality? 

This module explores these and other questions through the lens of analytical political philosophy. We will critically examine a range of debates on social justice, such as: the value of equality, the role of individual responsibility, moral justifications for the ownership of natural resources, and the structural effects of inequality.

In doing so, we will evaluate the political and moral theories of some of the most influential authors in contemporary political philosophy, such as: Elizabeth Anderson, G. A. Cohen, Ronald Dworkin, Robert Nozick, John Rawls, and Iris Marion Young.