This course is discontinued

STV9150 – Democracy and Justice

Course description

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course gives an advanced introduction to the political theory literatures on democracy and justice with particular attention to their implications for one another. The course is intended to promote critical understanding of the often unexamined assumptions about justice in the democracy literature, and the relative dearth attention, in the justice literature, to how justice can be advanced in democratic politics.

Lecturer: Professor Ian Shapiro, Yale University
Time: 24 - 28 November 2014
Place: Room 830, Eilert Sundts hus, University of Oslo


The course is open for PhD students. Applicants should include details about their university affiliation and a paragraph on their doctoral research. PhD students at the Department of Political Science (ISV) just register in StudentWeb.

There is no participation fee, but the cost of travel and accommodation, if needed, must be covered by the participants. Applicants will be notified about the outcome of their application as quickly as possible after the deadline.

PhD candidates at ISV: Apply for the course in StudentWeb
Other candidates: Application form

Application deadline: 1 November 2014

There are still places available, please contact Guro Schmidt Øvregard


Each student will be expected to attend all classes, do the required reading, and circulate response questions to two sets of the readings no later than 9:00 pm on the day before the relevant class.

Each student will be expected to write a paper of 7000 - 10000 Words, due by 1 April 2015, topic to be approved by the instructor. Suggested readings on the syllabus should also be read on the paper topic.


We will meet for four hours each day.
Session I will run from 10 to 12 and session II from 2 pm to 4 pm.


Monday, November 24 – Democracy vs. Justice

Session I: Democracy

  • Schumpeter, Joseph A. Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy. Chapters 21 and 22.

Session II: Justice

  • Rawls, John. Collected Papers. Chapter 3, “Justice as Fairness.”

Suggested Reading:

  • Shapiro, Ian. Democracy’s Place. Chapter 5, “Three Ways to be a Democrat.”
  • Shapiro, Ian. The Moral Foundations of Politics. Chapter 5, “The Social Contract.”


Tuesday, November 25 – Integrating Democracy and Justice?

Session I: From Justice to Democracy

  • Walzer, Michael. Spheres of Justice: A Defense of Pluralism and Equality. Chapter 1, “Complex Equality” and Chapter 4, “Money and Commodities.”

Session II: From Democracy to Justice

  • Shapiro, Ian. Democracy’s Place. Chapter 8, “Elements of Democratic Justice.”

Suggested Reading:

  • Shapiro, Ian. Political Criticism. Chapter 3, “Political Theory and Connected Social Criticism.”
  • Shapiro, Ian. Democratic Justice. Chapter 4, “Governing Children” and Chapter 6, “Controlling Work.”


Wednesday, November 26 – Democracy and Tyranny

Session I: Democracy vs. Republicanism

  • Madison, James. The Federalist, No. 10
  • Madison, James. The Federalist, No. 14
  • Dahl, Robert A. A Preface to Democratic Theory. Chapter 1, “Madisonian Democracy”

Session II: Theories of Non-Domination

  • Shapiro, Ian. “On Non-Domination.” University of Toronto Law Journal, 62 (2012): 293-335.

Suggested Reading:

  • Dahl, Robert A. How Democratic is the American Constitution? Chapter 2, “What the Framers Couldn’t Know” and Chapter 5, “How Well Does the Constitutional System Perform?”


Thursday, November 27 – Democracy, Economy, & Courts

Session I: Democracy & Distribution

  • Shapiro, Ian. The State of Democratic Theory. Chapter 5, “Democracy and Distribution.”

Session II: Democracy and Constitutionalism

  • Shapiro, Ian. The Real World of Democratic Theory. Chapter 7, “The Constitutional Politics of Abortion in the United States.”


Friday, November 28 – Democracy in a Nondemocratic World

Session I: Transitions to Democracy

  • Jung, Courtney, Ellen Lust-Okar, and Ian Shapiro. The Real World of Democratic Theory. Chapter 3, “Problems and Prospects for Democratic Settlements.”

Session II: Democracy and Foreign Relations

  • Shapiro, Ian. The Real World of Democratic Theory. Chapter 5, “Containment and Democratic Cosmopolitanism.”

Suggested Reading:

  • Shapiro, Ian. The State of Democratic Theory. Chapter 4, “Getting and Keeping Democracy.”



Facts about this course






24 - 28 November 2014


Essay (7500 - 10000 words)

Teaching language