Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

POLS312 Ethics and International Relations

The impact of moral concerns on the norms, institutions, and practices of international relations; and normative theory as it is being applied to the interaction of states and other actors across national boundaries.

This paper asks why ethical considerations are crucial in the conduct of international affairs. It teaches students how to engage in ethical arguments related to global justice and international norms.

Paper title Ethics and International Relations
Paper code POLS312
Subject Politics
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $955.05
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

^ Top of page

18 200-level POLS points or one of CHTH 231, GEND 201, GEND 208, PHIL 221, PHIL 227, PHIL 228, PHIL 234, PSYC 204
Schedule C
Arts and Music
May not be credited together with POLS331 passed before 2005.
An interest in national and international affairs is an advantage.
Teaching staff
Professor Philip Nel
Paper Structure
Class test, group participation in formal debate, and a substantial essay.
Selected readings are made available online.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this paper will have the ability to:

  • Identify and systematically explain the role and function of moral concerns in that part of public life that we call "international relations"
  • Explicate and evaluate the reasons and justifications for specific moral judgments and proposals that are made with respect to international public affairs today
  • Refine their opinion on ethical questions of the day, and enable them to defend these in public debate

^ Top of page


Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 14:00-15:50 28-34, 36-41
Thursday 13:00-13:50 28-34, 36-41