55 Max Weber Post doctoral Fellowships Available at the EUI

Applications are now open for the Max Weber Programme at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, Italy. Amongst the largest, most prestigious and successful post doctoral programmes in the historical and social sciences, and located in one of the most beautiful settings, with truly outstanding research facilities, we offer from 50-55 fully funded 1 and 2 year post doctoral fellowships to applicants from anywhere in the world in the fields of economics, history, social and political sciences and law. All areas and types of research within these fields are considered, including all forms of legal, social, economic, historical  and political thought  - both past and present. Last year 98% of Fellows found an academic position on completing the Fellowship. To find out more about the programme and how to apply, go to:
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FINAL CALL (Deadline August 1): Harvard Graduate Conference in Political Theory

The Department of Government (FAS) at Harvard University will host its annual conference for graduate students in political theory and political philosophy on October 31–November 1, 2014. Papers on any theme or topic within political theory — from the history of political thought to contemporary normative theory — will be considered.  Between six and eight papers will be accepted.

Submissions are due via email in PDF form by August 1, 2014. Papers will be refereed by current Harvard graduate students, and acceptance notices will be sent by early September. Please limit each submission to 7,500 words (about 20 double-spaced pages). Essays longer than 10,000 words will not be considered. Each submission should include two PDF files: one with the paper formatted for blind review (free of personal and institutional information), and the other including a cover page with the title of the paper, an abstract (250 words max.), and your name, email address, and institutional affiliation.

The keynote speaker will be Danielle Allen, UPS Foundation Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study.

Conference presentations should last no longer than 10 minutes. Each presentation will be accompanied by comments from a Harvard graduate student. Presenters will have a chance to answer questions during a general discussion period after the presentation.

Food and housing will be provided by the Government Department and its graduate students. Unfortunately, Harvard will not be able to provide funds for transportation.

Questions, comments, and submissions should be sent to

< politicaltheory.harvard@gmail.com >

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Call for papers Las Torres de Lucca, International Journal of Political Philosophy

Las Torres de Lucca. International Journal of Political Philosophy is an international peer-reviewed biannual publication featuring articles and book reviews of Political Philosophy in both English and Spanish.
We welcome submissions for the 2014-2015 issues.
Articles must be original and unedited. We ask authors to refrain from submitting their paper to other publications while it is being considered by Las Torres de Lucca.
Files must be presented as OpenOffice, Microsoft Word format or any other software fulfilling the features of the Open Document Format for Office Applications.
Maximum lenght of the articles is 15000 words and book reviews 2500 words (aprox. 4 pages).
An abstract should be included in articles (200 word max.) and keywords both in Spanish and English. Citation should be done as follows: (Gauthier 1986, 12).

Contributors are asked to email their papers to editorial@lastorresdelucca.org, as an anonymous attachment and with personal identifying information in the body of the message.


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Call for proposals: ‘Ethical Underpinnings of Climate Economics’

The debates around climate change have renewed the interest in the relation between ethics and economics. The most recent indication of this is the Working Group III report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which takes the ethical foundations of climate mitigation policies explicitly into consideration. While recognising the role of economics in climate policy choices, the IPCC report stresses the limits of economics in addressing some ethical values and considerations of justice that cannot be easily monetized. The report also emphasises how economic methods – even when monetizing is possible – implicitly involve significant ethical assumptions.

This workshop, to be hosted by the Centre of Excellence in the Philosophy of the Social Sciences at the University of Helsinki (www.helsinki.fi/tint) from 11-13 November, will bring together economists, philosophers and political theorists to discuss the interrelation between climate ethics and economics. Proposals for papers dealing with any aspect of this relation are welcome.  In particular, the workshop aims to focus on (1) ethical assumptions underpinning the methodological choices of economics and (2) the ways that economics might accommodate those ethical considerations that seem to challenge the standard way of doing economics.

Confirmed speakers:

John Broome (University of Oxford)

John O’Neill (University of Manchester)


To have a paper considered for presentation, please submit a 500-1000 word abstract, along with your name, institutional affiliation and email address to ethicalunderpinnings(at)gmail.com

Deadline 17 August 2014.

The authors selected for presentation will be notified by 5 September.

Topics could include, among others:

Issues of justice

The IPCC report distinguishes between two main ethical considerations: value and justice. Although economics is acknowledged not to be well suited to account for many aspects of justice (e.g. historical responsibility, compensatory justice), the IPCC report argues that at least distributive justice may be understood as a value of equality and be measured in terms of people’s wellbeing (e.g., through the Gini coefficient). Also when aggregating people’s wellbeing across time, economists standardly use specific parameters that should reflect people’s collective aversion to inequality (e.g., the parameter eta in the Ramsey formula employed in the choice of the social discount rate). We welcome papers that address the extent to which these methods are able to accommodate issues of justice (both intra- and intergenerational) within economics. One particular area of examination could also be the incorporation of rights-based or threshold-based theories of (intergenerational) justice into economics.

Non-substitutability in cost-benefit analyses

In the economic evaluation of climate policies, people’s wellbeing is calculated in terms of consumption equivalents, so as to make them comparable to each other. The calculation of consumption equivalents enables the comparison of different kinds of costs and benefits, and it thus constitutes the very basis for the cost-benefit analysis. However, this assumption also implies that all kinds of costs and benefits are substitutable (natural resources can be substituted with other goods and/or services that have a comparable consumption-equivalent value). Some have even argued that perfect substitutability is implicitly assumed also in the choice of the discount rate for climate mitigation policies. Papers are invited to address whether and to what extent the assumption of perfect substitutability limits the incorporation of many theories of justice as well as accounts of strong sustainability that regard some values, fundamental interests or forms of natural capital as non-substitutable.

Questions concerning cultural/ecological values

 Economics is claimed to be particularly suitable when we concentrate on promoting values related directly to people’s wellbeing. However, difficulties arise when the attempt is made to accommodate other relevant cultural, social and non-human values within economics. Papers could therefore examine how far these other values can or cannot be incorporated into wellbeing calculations.

Workshop organisers:

Joanna Burch-Brown (University of Bristol)

Säde Hormio (‘Climate Ethics and Economics’, University of Helsinki)

Simo Kyllönen (‘Climate Ethics and Economics’, University of Helsinki)

Aaron Maltais (Uppsala University)

Matthew Rendall (University of Nottingham)


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“In the Unjust Meantime: A Conference in Honor of Alison M. Jaggar”

The 2014 Morris Colloquium at the University of Colorado Boulder will celebrate the work of Alison Jaggar, CU-Boulder College Professor of Distinction in Philosophy and Women and Gender Studies. The conference will feature keynote speakers Vicky (Elizabeth) Spelman, Susan Brison, and Alison Jaggar.  In addition to the keynotes, there will be panel presentations by professional philosophers who studied with Jaggar at CU-Boulder and who currently work in “non-ideal theory.”

The Morris Colloquium immediately precedes the Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress (RoME): http://www.colorado.edu/philosophy/center/rome.shtml.

All are welcome to attend both events. There is no registration fee for the Jaggar conference.

For more information, please visit the conference website:



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New book: Human Rights


With apologies for shameless self-promotion, colleagues (and their students) interested in human rights theory may be interested in my new book:

Human Rights

Kerri Woods

Palgrave Macmillan  ISBN: 9780230302754

What are human rights? Why do we have them? How do we know for sure which rights are specific to humans? And how should we respond when we disagree on them and on the obligations we owe to others who claim human rights? These are just a few of the questions taken up in this broad-ranging and systematic introduction to the theory of human rights.

The author draws on both traditional perspectives and current debates in the field to address key contemporary issues and conceptual questions. She asks whether or not human rights can be said to be universal, and whether human rights can encompass global justice, environmental rights and global security for future generations. In addition she explores the particular effects of differences of gender, sexuality, culture and religion on the nature of human rights in contemporary society, and the implications these might have for international legal and political regimes.

Providing a comprehensive and accessible account of the key theoretical ideas in the field, this text is essential for those seeking to understand the importance of human rights in shaping the moral and political claims of individuals, cultures and societies across the world.


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