Dr. Jason Toby Reiner, Political Science

Sustainability and Distributive Justice (Global and Local)

Course Syllabus: POSC 208

I used my participation in Valley and Ridge to revise the course Justice in World Politics, a survey class of ethical political issues at the global and local levels. When I had taught the class before, issues of sustainability were implicit in much of our discussion, but Valley and Ridge helped me think of ways to bring them to the fore and, in the process, to make the class into a more coherent whole. Valley and Ridge also helped me to emphasize the local aspect. I revised the syllabus to include a visit to fracking sites near Centralia, PA, so as to discuss the relationship between resource extraction and resource depletion, and encouraged students to work with partners in the Carlisle community when writing their research papers. Through Valley and Ridge, I also revised my syllabus for Multiculturalism to incorporate a community-based research component.

In the revised course, we focus on four aspects of global justice: subsistence (the distribution of resources across the globe) sustainability (the limitations on human activity that damage to the natural environment demands), status (the legitimacy of immigration restrictions), and security (the ethics of war and its aftermath). Students will produce a research paper, en route to which they will turn in a project summary, an annotated bibliography, and a paper outline. They will also give a class presentation in which they tie class reading together with a news topic on the subject. These projects aim to encourage students to relate class material to broader political currents at the local, national, and global levels.