HJS 310. International Perspectives on Justice
Prof. Kyoo Lee, Suite 325-4, Dept. of Philosophy, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Office Hours: by appointment 


  • You can write on any of the questions below (1-3 in each entry) for your journals and/or paper. 
  • They are meant to help you formulate key questions and points for your own reflections. 
  • If you want to formulate your own questions, feel free to do so. In any case, make sure your questions/points are clear and relevant to the topic. 

I. In/Justice Today: Globalization

Topic 1: A Planetary Opticalization of the World: A Philosophical And Relevant Introduction
Manfred Steger, Globalization: A Very Short Introduction
William Scheuerman, Globalization: A Philosophical Overview (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) 
Kofi Annan, The Role of the State in the Age of Globalization, June 2000
Kate Ascher, excerpt re Making a Fruit Salad in NYCThe Works: Anatomy of a City 
Etienne Balibar, Europe: Vanishing Mediator
Noam Chomsky, What is Globalization? It is an International Immigration
Globalization and the Flow of Knowledge
Globalization: The Haves and Have Nots
Jeffrey Sachs, The Future of Globalization
Amartya Sen, How to Judge Globalism
Joseph Stiglitz, Sharing the Benefits of Globalization
World Economic Update: The Great Globalization Debate
Paul Virilio, ExcerptsThe Information Bomb  

1. What are some of the general characteristics of globalization? Name and describe at least five strands and discuss their significance. 
2. Today in the age of the pandemic, are we seeing the end of globalization? And how can we understand the rise of defensive nationalism?  
3. Illustrate and evaluate effects, pros and cons of globalization by analyzing examples in your own life: a theoretical translation of your own globalization.  

Topic 2: Global Justice: Free, Fun and Fair? 
Manfred Steger, Globalization: A Very Short Introduction
Arjun Appadurai, Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy
David Harvey, Neoliberalism is a Political Project
Arturo Perez Torres, Heather Haynes, Wetback: The Undocumented Documentary
Etienne Balibar, Europe: Vanishing Mediator
Ramin Bahrani, Chop Shop 
David Held, Violence, Law, and Justice in a Global Age
Immanuel Kant, Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch

1. Summarize and respond to Appadurai's analysis of landscapes of globalization by also providing your example for each concept discussed in the article. 
2. What are the structural problems in any attempts at solving global injustice? Explain this conundrum by summarizing and addressing points in Steger. 
3. If possible/you feel ambitious enough, try to combine Steger, Appadurai and Harvey's perspectives to explain how and why technocapitalism is thriving.

Topic 3: Who Are We? And Where Are We?   
Manfred Steger, Globalization: A Very Short Introduction
​Linda Alcoff, Habits of Hostility on Seeing Race
Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow ​
Paul Gilroy, The Black Atlantic 
Cedric Robinson on Racial Capitalism
Bruce Anderson, Obama's problem remains that he's not American enough.
Hannah Arendt, The Perplexities of the Rights of ManThe Origins of Totalitarianism
Etienne Balibar, Outlines of a Topography of Cruelty: Citizenship and Civility in the Era of Global Violence
Joseph Carens, Aliens and Citizens: The Case for Open Borders
Antonio Caso, The Human Person and the Totalitarian State 
NYTimes, 1619​

​1. "We are the world," says Michael Jackson, and yet increasingly the category "we" itself seems at risk. Explain this by detailing a theorist's view.  
2. What are the connections between global justice and racial justice? In what sense is BLM is already or has become a global movement? 
3. Could a totalitarian control or a share economy ever be an answer to the current, global epidemic of economic inequality? 

II. In/Justice and Out/Laws: Spirit and Embodiment 

Topic 4: The Code of Hammurabi and the Spirit of Laws
The Code of Hammurabi
Harold Medina, U.S. Court of Appeals Circuit Judge, The Bill of Rights-Our Heritage
Charles de Montesquieu, The Spirit of the Laws
Martha Roth, Reading Mesopotamian Law Cases PBS 5 100: A Question of Filiation
U.S. Constitution Bill of Rights (03/04/1789) 
Famous Trials

1. Explain both the power and the limits of Lex Talionis (the law of retaliation or retribution) and show some specific contemporary examples.  
2. Given that not all laws are just, and senses of justice vary across cultures and histories, how exactly does justice relate to laws? Explain with examples
3. Examine some "comparable" cases from both the Code of Hammurabi and any contemporary legal histories to show how laws evolve.

Topic 5: Confucianism and the Spirit of Laws
Confucius, Analects (excerpts) Or Use this One (Book/Chapter Break-down)
Zhao Dunhua, Axiological Rules and Chinese Political Philosophy
A Useful Thematic Summary Of Analects
Albert Chen, Is Confucianism Compatible with Liberal Constitutional Democracy? 
Baogan He, Confucianism Versus Liberalism Over Minority Right
Charles de Montesquieu, The Spirit of the Laws

1. Confucian philosophy of law is premised on Ren 仁 (benevolent humanity) and Li 禮 (rituals and propriety). Explain, illustrate and evaluate this. 
2. How do Confucius' notions of law and order compare to Montesquieu's ideas on that as shown in The Spirit of the Laws
3. What insights and or issues can you see in Confucius' aspiration towards social harmony, especially seen from some contemporary viewpoints? 

Topic 6: Criminology as Lovemaking: An African Perspective
Criminology as Lovemaking: An Africa Centered Theory of Justice
Ylva Rodny-Gumede & Colin Chasi, Ubuntu values individual

​1. What has "love" got to do with criminology? Summarize the article above, explain some of the key notions or moves, and evaluate its perspective. 
2. How does Plato's theory of justice compare to the Afro-centric counterpart dramatized in this paper, and what "difference" does it really make? 
3. As one is not born but rather becomes a criminal, the importance of communities and social environments is self-evident. Explain this link further. 

III. In/Justice and Non/Violence: Conquest, Resistance and Ecological Vision

Topic 7: Sun Tzu's Art of War And Its Contemporaneity
Sun Tzu, The Art of War | Audio Version (in English)
Charles de Montesquieu, Book IX. Of Laws in the Relation They Bear to a Defensive ForceThe Spirit of Laws
Charles de Montesquieu, Book X. Of Laws in the Relation They Bear to Offensive ForceThe Spirit of Laws
John Armitage, On Ernst Jünger’s ‘Total Mobilization’: A Re-evaluation in the Era of War on Terrorism

1. Is war justifiable or necessary? The Art of War is both a military strategy book and a piece of political philosophy pertaining to the ethics of war. Explain.
2. Start with one concept you find most interesting and show at least four different, relevant concepts, while show this connection through a real life story. 
3. (How) is this book helpful today? In your own and or broader social/everyday/political/community context. Try and draw some practical insights. 

Topic 8: Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King on Non-Violence 
Ghandi and Dr. King 
Mary King, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr: the Power of Nonviolent Action
Dr. King, Letter from Birmingham Jail 
King on Ghandi
NYTimes, 1619​

1. Summarize and compare Ghandi's and Dr. King's philosophy of non-violence, and show specifically how and where they remain instructive today. 
2. Is non-violence or could it be a politically efficacious way of counteracting violence? What lessons or insights can you draw from Ghandi/King's cases? 
3. Violence is both here and everywhere, to paraphrase Dr. King. Articulate this connection by discussing some specific, relatively unexplored examples. 

Topic 9: Colonial-Imperial Legacies, Capitalist Productions and Climate Justice
Simon Caney, Climate Justice 
NCA/Bennett et al., Indigenous Peoples,Lands, and Resources (Scroll down to look for the section, "Indigenous Peoples")
American Studies Association Panel, Climate Justice and Decolonial Perspectives
NYTimes, 1619​

1. Why does climate justice matter so urgently today and in what sense is this movement a "decolonial" social political project on a global scale? Explain.
2. Is the new term, "BIPOC," more helpful than POC in some ways? Explain and argue your position also with a global perspective in mind. 
3. How is the ongoing pandemic crisis impacting your thinking on global justice? Try to tie together your own experiences with some theoretical thoughts.