Module Details

PY904-7-AP-CO: Ethics, Politics And Public Policy: Ma Seminar

Note: This module is inactive. Visit the Module Directory to view modules and variants offered during the current academic year.

Year: 2016/17
Department: Philosophy
Essex credit: 30
ECTS credit: 15
Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students: Yes
Full Year Module Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students for a Single Term: No
Outside Option: No
Comments: This is an MA level module, compulsory for students on the MA Ethics, Politics and Public Policy and an option for students on the MA Theory and Practice of Human Rights. MA students from other courses may take this module as an option, provided they have the prior approval of their MA Course Director and the Module Supervisor.

Staff
Supervisor: Timo Jütten (autumn), Joerg Schaub (spring)
Teaching Staff: Timo Jütten (autumn), Joerg Schaub (spring)
Contact details: Initial contact is Wendy Williams, Graduate Administrator (Philosophy), email wgill@essex.ac.uk, tel 01206 872705

Module is taught during the following terms
Autumn Spring Summer

Module Description

(Still to be updated for 2013/14)

This is an MA level module, compulsory for students on the MA Ethics, Politics and Public Policy and an option for students on the MA Theory and Practice of Human Rights. MA students from other courses may take this module as an option, provided they have the prior approval of their MA Course Director and the Module Supervisor.

Module Outline (updated March 2013)

Autonomy, Authority and Care Settings / Individual Responsibility and Social Welfare

Introduction

The fundamental issues that confront us in public policy and politics raise ethical issues. In this Seminar, we will analyze a range of policy documents, using normative political theory and moral philosophy. We will consider fundamental questions about social welfare provision: what is the relationship between individual responsibility and social welfare? What are the basic goods and services that the state should provide? How should they be provided? We will also look at specific policy proposals (for example, on welfare reform, education or healthcare) and examine their underlying moral and political assumptions.

Learning Outcomes

The aims of the module are:
to introduce some of the main normative approaches in Anglo-American political theory;
to examine the way in which considerations of rights, responsibility, solidarity, welfare and other values play a role in public policy;
to apply normative theory to questions arising from cases of public policy debate, with particular reference to questions about autonomy, responsibility and welfare;
to provide an opportunity to study the way in which ideas and principles play a role in public deliberation on questions of ethical importance;
to provide an understanding of practical public reasoning.

By the end of the module, students should be:
familiar with the arguments of selected policy documents, and understand the logic of their recommendations;
able to evaluate the cogency and validity of the arguments contained in these documents and be able to offer a critique of their principal shortcomings;
familiar with some widely employed principles of public policy, understanding their logic and their scope of application;
able to present orally and in writing a brief analysis of normative issues in relation to a particular topic;
able to present in writing theoretically informed expositions and evaluations of selected public policy areas;
able to conduct research independently on selected issues of public policy.


Learning and Teaching Methods

1 x two-hour seminar each week.

Assessment

100 per cent Coursework Mark

Coursework

2 x 4,000 word essays (50% each)

Other information

MA students from other courses may take this seminar as an option, provided they have the prior approval of their PGT Director and the Module Supervisor.

Compulsory for:
Students on the MA in Ethics, Politics and Public Policy

Bibliography

  • Bibliography (updated March 2013)
  • There is no single textbook that covers all the topics examined in the module. The following books are texts in moral and political theory that deal with public policy topics covered in the module:
  • E. Anderson, Value in Ethics and Economics (Cambridge MA: Harvard UP, 1993).
  • T.L. Beauchamp & J.F. Childress, Principles of Biomedical Ethics, 6th ed. (Oxford: OUP, 2008).
  • A.E. Buchanan & D.W. Brock, Deciding for Others: The Ethics of Surrogate Decision Making (Cambridge: CUP, 1989).
  • J. Christman, The Politics of Persons: Individual Autonomy and Socio-historical Selves (Cambridge: CUP, 2009).
  • J. Christman (ed.), The Inner Citadel: Essays on Individual Autonomy (Oxford: OUP, 1989).
  • R.E. Goodin, Reasons for Welfare (Princeton NJ: Princeton UP, 1988).
  • O. O`Neill, Autonomy and Trust in Bioethics (Cambridge: CUP, 2002).
  • O. O`Neill & N. Manson, Rethinking Informed Consent in Bioethics (Cambridge: CUP, 2007).
  • M.J. Radin, Contested Commodities (Cambridge MA: Harvard UP, 1996).
  • D. Satz, Why Some Things Should Not Be for Sale (Oxford: OUP, 2010).
  • D. Schmidtz & R.E. Goodin, Social Welfare and Individual Responsibility (Oxford: OUP, 1998).
  • A. Weale, Political Theory and Social Policy (London: Macmillan, 1983).
  • J. Wolff, Ethics and Public Policy. A Philosophical Inquiry (London: Routledge, 2011).

Further information