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Justice and Politics

Page history last edited by John McMahon 2 years, 5 months ago

Welcome to the Justice and Politics Wiki


Welcome to the the Justice and Politics wiki, a creation of the upper-level political science course Justice and Politics at SUNY Plattsburgh, originally created in the Fall 2019 semester and then expanded by the Fall 2021 cohort of students. 


Throughout the semesters, students in the course have studied the history and the present of political theoretical and political philosophical approaches to questions of justice (the Fall 2021 course syllabus is available here). As written in the course description:


What is justice? Should the objective of politics and government be to establish a just society? If so, how does a government realize political justice? To explore these and related questions, this course examines political theories of justice dating back to ancient Greece and continuing through contemporary accounts of gender and racial justice. 


This course in political theory is designed to examine contending theories of justice from different time periods, geographic locations, political contexts, and social positions. This will involve the study of canonical Western political philosophy, feminist and anti-racist critiques of Western political philosophy, non-Western political thought, critics of the pursuit of justice, and contemporary black feminist approaches to justice. The course of study throughout the semester will provide a wide-ranging but deep grounding in theories of and approaches to justice, while the final project will involve you analyzing political debates about a particular “issue area” of justice (disability justice, climate justice, food justice, etc.). 


This wiki constitutes the final project for the course. 



Why Justice?


The students in the course have emphasized the importance of educating one's self about justice in its various and contending facets, theories, approaches, locations, histories, and more. Indeed, the differences between concepts and approaches of justice is characteristic of theorizing justice, as will become clear when engaging with the wiki. The students hope that this wiki enables individuals to learn about justice as a provocation to furthering their own thinking, and to hopefully pursuing a more just world.  



About the Wiki and the Assignment


These topics were selected by the students in the course; a list of possible areas was provided, with students retaining the possibility of developing a different idea. The Fall 2019 cohort focused on a specific realm of justice, while the Fall 2021 cohort chose between a realm of justice and a specific thinker. After choosing a topic, students researched their specific realm or thinker, theorized connections between their area and the course as a whole, identified important scholarly debates, and analyzed concrete applications, a social movement, international organization, or historical moment that crystallizes their topic. 


This is, inevitably, a partial, ongoing project work-in-progress. Students were limited to approximately 3,000 words as a maximum, and were thus compelled to make difficult decisions regarding what to include and exclude in their pages. Future iterations of this course will return to this wiki, writing new pages and further developing existing pages. 


In the meantime, the course hopes that this can be a useful, accessible, and legitimate online resource for people interested in matters of justice and politics. 


--Prof. John McMahon, SUNY Plattsburgh, December 2021



Topic List (current as of Fall 2021)


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