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Winter Term 2020/21

Courses Offered in English

BA Level

VS Ethics and Politics of Global Sustainability

Dominic Lenzi

Wednesday, 4PM - 6PM

This seminar will explore ethical and political issues in global sustainability science and policy contexts, focusing especially upon climate change and biodiversity conservation. We will examine policy debates about just and feasible climate mitigation and adaptation policies, including carbon dioxide removal and geoengineering. We will also examine debates about how to value nature so as to conserve biodiversity and benefit humanity. This course will also examine the implications of global sustainability challenges for political philosophy debates about territory and resource justice.

This course is taught in English only.


MA Level

Democratic Participation, the Politics of Oppression and the Environmental Crisis

Patrizia Nanz & Azucend Moran

Thursday, 12PM - 2PM

This course seeks to understand different forms of oppression as they relate to the ecological crisis and the deficits of representative democracies, especially in regions of limited statehood.  We will further investigate how participatory democracy can transform relations of oppression. The course will be divided into three parts. The first part of the course will introduce the concept of oppression and explore how it relates to democratic and environmental crises. The second will explore how grassroots participation creates alternative spaces of innovation, adaptation and governance for the oppressed and excluded sectors of the society. The third part will delve into the possibility of transforming democracy and environmental governance by institutionalizing these alternative spaces of participation. Our aim is to think critically and normatively about citizen participation in order to strengthen and improve empirical processes in the real world, so theory will be framed against the light of empirical cases throughout the entire course. The course will be held in English.


Epistemic Injustice and Recognition

Hilkje Hänel

Tuesday, 10AM - 12PM

Is it unjust if a man enjoys more credibility than a woman? A white person more than a black person? And what happens, if we fail to understand our own experiences and moral injuries due to a lack of concepts? Miranda Fricker’s theories of epistemic injustice have closed a theoretical gap both in epistemology and moral theory and are now used widely in political theory, social philosophy, moral theory, and applied ethics. Epistemic injustices concern the (systematic) injustice that pertain to the dimension of knowledge; they are what happens to a person as a knowing subject.

In this seminar, we will discuss Fricker’s theories and other contributions to the topic and relate these to contemporary theories of recognition. We will read papers by José Medina, Matthew Congdon, Debra L. Jackson, and others. The seminar is online and in English.


Courses Offered in German