AZA3869 - Political philosophy and justice - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

South Africa School of Social Science

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Reza Hosseini


Dr James Furner

Unit guides


South Africa

  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)


AZA2869, ATS2869, ATS3869


The unit introduces some central debates in contemporary political theory. The unit adopts a global perspective but looks at issues through a South African and African lens. The first third of the unit examines some essential recent work on the liberal conception of justice and equality. The second part of the unit looks at socialist, feminist and communitarian critiques of liberalism. The final third of the unit is concerned with the foundations and limits of religious toleration and individual freedom in a multicultural society. These topics are linked to society in South Africa and Africa in general, with particular reference to some of the political problems and dilemmas encountered within this context.


Students successfully completing the unit will have an understanding of current debates over the core political concepts of justice, freedom and equality. Students will be able to formulate and analyse these issues in relation to the problem of inter-cultural tolerance in a pluralistic society.Students at third year level will also have developed skills in independent research in political philosophy; a deeper and more thorough understanding of the issues covered in the unit; and a familiarity with a wider range of literature in political philosophy. Students will also be able to critically assess South African society and its accompanying political problems from the point of view of the unit.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study