POLS 3614



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If you have previously registered in this online course and wish to register again, please contact us at 453-4646 to complete the registration process.

Course No. and Title:

POLS 3614: Ethics & International Politics

Credit Value:

Three (3) credit hours

Course Description:

The course explores the importance of moral values and ethical reasoning and reflection in international relations.  It presents the concepts, theories, methods, and traditions of ethical analysis, and applies them to a wide range of transnational and global issues such as political reconciliation, human rights, war, foreign intervention, and economic sanction.  It also examines the justice of international structures, institutions, and rules, as well as their impact on issues such as the moral obligation on the part of wealthy states to provide economic assistance to poor nations or to admit a large number of refugees, the challenge of climate change and energy conservation, and the prosecution of crimes against humanity.



Course Author:

Ahmad Rahmanian, PhD
Department of Philosophy
University of New Brunswick - Fredericton
Office Location: Carleton Hall 232
Phone: (506) 458-7503
E-mail: arahmani@unb.ca

Course Features:

The course materials include a textbook and the instructor’s notes on each topic. The approach taken to the evaluation of the students’ work is designed to facilitate one-on-one student-instructor dialogue and to enrich the students’ learning experience. To enhance the interactive process, there is also a forum for the exchange of ideas.

Course Format:

The course is organized so as to meet the following objectives:

  1. Identify the challenges to the place of ethics in politics and respond to those challenges.
  2. Appreciate the sources and approaches to political morality. 
  3. Identify the strengths and limitations of different models of ethical strategies and traditions in politics. 
  4. Distinguish restorative and retributive justice in international relations. 
  5. Appreciate the tension between human rights and state sovereignty. 
  6. Identify the norms that govern the use of force in international politics. 
  7. Identify various types of intervention and justifications for it. 
  8. Understand issues surrounding the motives, success, and justification of economic sanction. 
  9. Compare and contrast two forms of liberal internationalism and their perspectives on international justice and order.
  10. Recognize the problem of global governance and protection of global public goods, and explore the challenges that need to be met and ways of meeting those challenges.

Course Texts:

Mark R. Amstutz, International Ethics: Concepts, Theories, and Cases in Global Politics, 3rd edition (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2008).
The 4th edition (2013) is also acceptable, though the 3rd edition matches the course content more closely.

Textbooks can be ordered from the UNB Fredericton Bookstore:

Assignments & Examinations:

The assessment is based on 12 short assignments (each to be answered in a paragraph or two), a midterm exam, and a final exam.  On the midterm, there will be 6 questions from the study questions in Chapters 1 – 3 out of which you will be asked to answer 4 questions.  On the final, there will be 9 questions from the study questions in Chapters 4 – 11 out of which you will be asked to answer 6 questions.  The midterm will be two hours and the final three hours in duration.  The exams are supervised; they will be scheduled by each student separately online.  The three components of the assessment are weighted as follows:

Assignments 50%
Midterm 20%
Final Exam 30%
Total Marks 100%

All mid-term exams and final exams for online courses will be invigilated at an approved time and location. Please refer to the Online Exam Request Form to book.

Time Limit: 6 months from registration date. All course exams and/or assignments must be completed by the designated end date of your course.

Online courses are subject to an additional $100 non-refundable online fee per course. Fees are subject to change by the Board of Governors.
More information on fees for this course.

Methods of Payment:

Once you complete the Apply Now form below, please send payment. Methods of payment accepted:
Cash (Do not send in the mail. Please deliver to the College of Extended Learning, 2nd Level, Wu Centre, UNB Fredericton Campus)
Cheque or money order (Mail to UNB College of Extended Learning, PO Box 4400, Fredericton, New Brunswick, E3B 5A3)
MasterCard / VISA / American Express (Please call the College of Extended Learning at 1-866-599-4646  or 506 453-4646 with your credit card number, expiry date, and the name as it appears on the card. Please do not send credit card information via email).

Apply Now!
If you have previously registered in this online course and wish to register again, please contact us at 453-4646 to complete the registration process.