In support of the open society principles of Central European University and its key role in “building open and democratic societies that respect human rights and human dignity,” this course convenes students from different disciplines in a learning forum in which the contested and complex notion of justice is explored in the context of democratic principles and social movements. For example, how do different disciplines theorize the relationship between justice and democratic participation, particularly in the context of social movements? Is there hope for democratic justice, particularly as articulated and promoted by social movements? We will engage these issues and explore these questions as we work through and critically analyze the notion of democratic justice by questioning its tenets and manifestations, particularly in the context of social movements. In this process, we will investigate real case studies in a team problem-solving exercise in the Social Justice Lab.
This course convenes diverse analytical frameworks from philosophy, rational choice political science, legal studies, sociology and environmental studies that explore justice, democracy and social movements from the perspectives of philosophical questions, voting and rational choice political models, formal legal processes and structures, and environmental justice. Faculty from these disciplinary perspectives engage democracy critically to explore its relationship to justice, supported with readings, class exercises, and team problem solving in the Social Justice Lab.