Sociology 259
The Sociology of International Justice
Professor Thomas Cushman
PNE 334
Office hours: Monday, 10-12, Thursday, 3-5

This course is an overview of some key historical, philosophical, and sociological dimensions of international justice. We examine the idea of justice in human societies in different times and places , the origins of international justice in the Enlightenment, and contemporary utopian discourses on justice in the twentieth century. We then focus on the structure of international justice in the twentieth century, with particular emphasis on war crimes trials, truth and reconciliation commissions, and reparations in post-conflict societies.

Required Books and Readings

Immanuel Kant, Perpetual Peace and Other Essays. Hackett Publishing
John Rawls, The Law of Peoples. Harvard University Press
Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Note on the Banality of Evil, Penguin
Richard Wilson, The Politics of Truth and Reconciliation in South Africa, Cambridge University Press
Council on Foreign Relations, Toward an International Criminal Court, Council on Foreign Relations Press

There are also a number of articles on electronic reserve which you can access throughout the semester. Some reserve reading can be found on the Internet and I have indicated where this is the case.

Class Policies:

Attendance and class participation is required. Each week, there will be a short assignment based on the readings which will be collected and used as the basis for class discussions. These will count in the final grade. In addition, each student will write three 5-7 page papers and a take home final exam.

Class Schedule and Topics

Monday, January 27 – Thursday, February 6
What is Justice?
Thucydides, " Melian dialogue, "
Plato – In The Republic, Book I and Book II up to the line "I had always admired the genius of Glaucon and Adeimantus,"
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Chapter 5
Ralf Dahrendorf, "In Praise of Thrasymachus" (e-reserve )
Hannah Arendt, excerpt from Lectures on Kant’s Political Philosophy (e-reserve)

Monday , February 10 – Thursday, February 17
The Birth of the Idea of International Justice
Immanuel Kant, Perpetual Peace - in entirety, with the following exceptions: in the chapter, "Theory and Practice", read only section III and skip the chapter, "The End of All Things"

Monday, February 10: Guest Speaker, Professor Nicholas de Warren

Thursday, February 20 – Monday, March 3
Modern Liberal Internationalism: John Rawls’ Utopian Project
Read: John Rawls, The Law of Peoples, in entirety
John Kekes, "Dangerous Egalitarian Dreams," at:
Ralf Dahrendorf, "On the Origins of Inequality Among Men" (e-reserve)
J.L. Talmon, Utopianism and Politics (e-reserve)

Paper 1 due: March 6

Beginning Thursday, March 6 , through end of class
Modes of International Justice

Thursday, March 6: Professor Richard Wilson will be a guest speaker in our class (he is the author of one of our course books)

March 10- March 31 (Spring Break is March 14-23 )
War Crimes Trials

March 13 we will have an open class at the Davis Museum and Cultural Center centering around the work of Fazil Shiek, a photographer and writer whose work is relevant to our class. The class should meet in the gallery.

Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on The Banality of Evil, , in entirety. A nice synopsis of Arendt’s work, as well as some good discussion questions which we will use in class can be found at:
Gershom Sholem and Hannah Arendt correspondence (e-reserve)
Films: "Judgement at Nuremberg"
Films from Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Times and places to be announced. Attendance is mandatory. 

Paper 2 due: April 3

Monday, March 31: Professor John Torpey will be a guest speaker in our class

Thursday, April 3 – Tuesday, April 15
Case Studies of Justice: The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa
Richard Wilson, The Politics of Truth and Reconciliation in South Africa, in entirety

Tuesday, April 8, Mr. David Rieff, author of A Bed for the Night: Humanitarianism in Crisis, will our guest speaker in our class

Thursday, April 17 – Thursday, April 24 (Note – there is no class on Monday April 21 )
The Debate on Reparations
John Torpey, "’Making Whole What Has Been Smashed’: Reflections on Reparations" (e-reserve)!xrn_1_0_A75891267?sw_aep=mlin_m_wellcol

Paper 3 due: Thursday, May 1 (since there is no class, please drop papers off at the Sociology office)

Thursday, May 1: No Class – please attend the George Orwell Centenary Conference at Wellesley College from May 1- May 3 . Information to be provided.

Monday, May 5 ( we will schedule one extra make-up class so we can cover this topic adequately)
The Debate over the International Criminal Court
Read: Toward an International Criminal Court, in entirety