Theories of Justice
General Catalog Course Title:
Theories of Justice
Terms Offered:
Spring 2016
Spring 2015
Course Thread: 
Human Rights
Course Thread: 
Law & Humanities
Instructor: 
Song, Sarah


This course examines the idea of justice as a critical standard in law and politics. The main emphasis will be on social justice and the distribution of liberty, wealth, and power in society. The course will cover four modern theories that relate distributive justice to ideas about liberty, equality, need, desert, efficiency, markets, property, and community: utilitarianism (Bentham and Mill), libertarianism (Nozick and Friedman), egalitarian liberalism (Rawls and Walzer), and Marxism (Marx and Cohen). To assess the strengths and weaknesses of these theories, we will discuss their implications for a range of issues, including legal regulation of sex and marriage, labor market regulations, affirmative action, and immigration.

For more detailed information about classes, please visit the UC Berkeley Online Schedule of Classes.