Global Minds. Debating global justice in a critical and interdisciplinary way.

This course offers a critical introduction to global challenges and debates on global justice from a wide range of scientific perspectives. It focuses on the interaction between science and society and allows students with different scientific backgrounds to reflect critically and ethically on the international and global dimensions of their own discipline and work field.

The course promotes critical reflection on and critical engagement with global challenges and an ethical relationship to difference, complexity and power asymmetries. It does so by addressing unequal power relations in historical and contemporary processes of globalization, highlighting multiple scientific and societal perspectives, with special attention to perspectives from the global South.

Global justice is debated in four selected themes or modules. The themes are covered by lecturers from different faculties and disciplines. Thematic modules start with an introductory lecture, followed by group work. The aim is to set-up group discussions and portfolio-assignments around each of the respective modules.

Students are expected to participate in an active way. Individually as well as in group, they will be encouraged to reflect on their discipline and their personal position towards the themes discussed. This includes a preliminary task before each response class (e.g. watch a documentary, listen to a podcast, read a text) and post a topic on the discussion forum. After the response class, students work in groups on a specific case. The final outputs vary (e.g. blogpost, interview, video, …)

Read more in the course specifications (ECTS)

Themes and lecturers

Themes and lectures in the academic year 2023-2024 are:

  • Global health & reproductive justice – Ines Keygnaert (FGE), Bruno Levecke (FDI)
  • Climate change & environmental justice – Pascal Boeckx (FBW), Amaury Frankl (FWE)
  • Markets, commons & economic justice – Bart Defloor (FEB), Eric Vanhaute (FLW)
  • Migration & mobility justice – Ine Lietaert (FPPW), Ellen Desmet (FRE)

For whom?

This course is a Ghent University Elective Course and can be taken by any student at Ghent University from the third bachelor onwards. The course can be taken as an elective in your study program or with a separate credit contract. This course is taught in English, which makes it possible for exchange students to it take up.

This course explicitly aims to bring together insights from diverse disciplines and to profit from these insights as learning opportunities. Consequently, we take into account background and previous studies when dividing the students into groups.


The course's strength therefore lies in its interdisciplinary nature, bringing together students and professors from various academic disciplines. By integrating insights from the biosciences, health sciences, international law, and economics, the course fosters a holistic understanding of the intricate dynamics underlying global issues. (S.V., Belgium)

The intercultural and interdisciplinary classroom, and in particular the makeup of our group, greatly aided my learning experience throughout the course and provided me with multi-faceted and differing viewpoints on the course content. Our group included three members from Belgium and four international students, with an array of disciplines including science, history, politics, and translation. (E.N., Australia)

In the connection between modules on Climate Change & Environmental Justice and Global Health & Reproductive Justice, my main takeaway is getting to know about One Health: the interconnectedness of human health, animal health, and the environment. Here, a crucial role played multidisciplinary collaboration with group members and module lectures given by specialists. (M. A., Lithuania)

The course has deepened my understanding and broadened my interest of the interconnections between health, environment, and climate change. Overall, every module of the course grounds me and further reinforces the realization that the current world economy and way of life must undergo drastic changes. (V.E., Belgium)

The takeaway from this course for me is that, while I still respect and prefer my own discipline’s values and mindset, I will not forget the wide diversity of other perspectives that are out there. In an academic debate, while discussing such vast, serious and multifaceted topics like climate change and migration justice, only one discipline’s perspective will never be enough. (L.F., Belgium)

Programme 2023-24

Classes take place in the second semester, on Tuesdays from 17h to 20h.

You can enrol for this course until Sunday 18 February 2024. Please note that class attendance is mandatory.

  • 13/02/2024: Introduction, lecture
  • 20/02/2024: Global health & reproductive justice, lecture
  • 27/02/2024: Guided group work
  • 05/03/2024: Climate change & environmental justice, lecture
  • 12/03/2024: Guided group work
  • Week 18/03/2024: Independent group and individual work

  • 26/03/2024: Markets, commons & economic justice, lecture

  • Week 01/04/2024 & 08/04/2024: Eastern holidays

  • 16/04/2024: Migration & mobility justice, lecture

  • 23/04/2024: Guided group work

  • Week 29/04/2024: Independent group and individual work

  • 07/05/2024: Guided group work

  • 14/05/2024: Closing lecture, including student's presentations


Eric Vanhaute, lecturer-in-charge

Leen Van Gijsel, tutor

Please send all questions to