2nd CFP: The Buck Stops Where? Responsibility in the global economy
21st May 2014
University College London
Keynote Speaker: Elizabeth Ashford (St Andrews)
On 24 April 2013, the Rana Plaza factory complex in Savar, Bangladesh collapsed, killing 1,127 people. This is the worst incident in a long history of fires and building collapses in sweatshops. When such disasters occur, responsibility ascriptions are notoriously complex and clumsy. In this case the factory owners were held criminally responsible. But moral responsibility was ascribed to many other agents, from the Bangladeshi read more…
A workshop on ‘Hans Kelsen in America’ will be held in Chicago in June, at Valparaiso University’s Hyde Park Venue. Please see the link below for the call for papers. The organizers are especially interested in having more participants from disciplines other than law.
Call for Papers: Hans Kelsen in America read more…
My book, Toleration, is now available so I thought I would write up a post related to it. This will also be up on Polity’s blog and at bleedingheartlibertarians.com, where I may put some additional posts about toleration. For some comments about the book, see Polity’s website. You can also order the book from Wiley; if you do, you can use discount code PY532 for 20% off.
So, Toleration and Judging:
In the contemporary west (and perhaps elsewhere), many of us like to think we are open to meeting and having friendships with all sorts of people that are different from us. We might have our own religious or moral read more…
Law, Ethics and Philosophy (LEAP), vol. 1, 2013
The Editors announce the first issue of Law, Ethics and Philosophy, a peer-reviewed international journal dedicated to work in ethics, legal theory, and social and political philosophy.
The issue was published in December 2013, and is freely accessible at http://www.leap-journal.com/current-issue.html.
It contains essays by Michael Smith, Joanna Firth, and Travis Hreno, an exchange between Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen and Thomas Pogge examining the moral status of violent resistance to global injustice, and a symposium on Zoopolis: A read more…
Special issue of the Review of Philosophy and Psychology
Guest editors: Adrien Barton and Till Grüne-Yanoff
Deadline for submission of extended abstracts: May 15, 2014
Call for Papers
Originally introduced by Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler, nudges have been defined as any aspect of the choice architecture that alters people’s behavior in a predictable way, without merely informing, forbidding a course of action, or significantly changing the economic incentives. Nudges include for example default choices (e.g. people being considered as organ donors by default), physical arrangements of the environment (for instance displaying healthy food in a cafeteria line) or changing temporal perspectives read more…
Readers interested in human rights theory and practice may find my new article, “A Better, Dual Theory of Human Rights” (which just appeared in The Philosophical Forum) of interest. Here is the read more…
The Venice Academy of Human Rights will take place from 7-16 July 2014 on the topic ”Judicial Legitimacy and the Rule of Law”. The faculty includes Paul Mahoney (distinguished opening lecture), Gráinne de Búrca (general course), Philip Alston, Andreas Føllesdal, Geir Ulfstein, Jeremy Waldron and Michael Zürn.
The Venice Academy of Human Rights 2014, in co-operation with PluriCourts – Centre of Excellence for the Study of the Legitimate Roles of the Judiciary in the Global Order, will discuss questions of judicial legitimacy and challenges to the rule of law from a multi-disciplinary perspective. The course aims at read more…
I’m pleased to report that my book, Bottlenecks: A New Theory of Equal Opportunity, is out! Here is the abstract (followed by the blurbs):
Equal opportunity is a powerful idea, and one with extremely broad appeal in contemporary politics, political theory, and law. But what does it mean? On close examination, the most attractive existing conceptions of equal opportunity turn out to be impossible to achieve in practice, or even in theory. As long as families are free to raise their children differently, no two people’s opportunities will be equal; nor is it possible to disentangle someone’s abilities or talents from her background advantages and disadvantages. Moreover, given different abilities and disabilities, different people need different opportunities, confounding most ways of imagining what counts as “equal.”
This book proposes an entirely new way of thinking about the project of equal opportunity. Instead of focusing on the chimera of literal equalization, we ought to work to broaden the range of opportunities open to people at every stage in life. We can achieve this in part by loosening the bottlenecks that constrain access to opportunities-the narrow places through which people must pass in order to pursue many life paths that open out on the other side. A bottleneck might be a test like the SAT, a credential requirement like a college degree, or a skill like speaking English. It might be membership in a favored caste or racial group. Bottlenecks are part of the opportunity structure of every society. But their severity varies. By loosening them, we can build a more open and pluralistic opportunity structure in which people have more of a chance, throughout their lives, to pursue paths they choose for themselves-rather than those dictated by limited opportunities. This book develops this idea and other elements of opportunity pluralism, then applies this approach to several contemporary egalitarian policy problems: class and access to education, workplace flexibility and work/family conflict, and antidiscrimination law.
“This breakthrough book rethinks equality from the ground up, turning the spotlight on unexplored bottlenecks in the pursuit of a more just society. A fundamental contribution.” –Bruce Ackerman, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science, Yale University
University College London
CFP: The Buck Stops Where? Responsibility in the global economy
Keynote Speaker: Elizabeth Ashford (St Andrews)
On 24 April 2013, the Rana Plaza factory complex in Savar, Bangladesh collapsed, killing 1,127 people. This is the worst incident in a long history of fires and building collapses in sweatshops. When such disasters occur, responsibility ascriptions are notoriously complex and clumsy. In this case the factory owners were held criminally responsible. But moral responsibility was ascribed to many other agents, from the Bangladeshi government for failing to implement proper labour standards, to multinational clothing companies who bought clothes made in the factory, to individual consumers of the products.
Although the study of religion and politics has blossomed over the past decade, the normative debates over the appropriate place of religion in modern democracies often remain divorced from the study of the actual practices and meanings of religion in these democracies. Rethinking Political Catholicism aims to bridge this divide by focusing on the fertile case of political Catholicism in Italy. Empirically, the conference aims to take stock of political Catholicism in Italy today, compare it with Catholic and Muslim politics elsewhere, and use contemporary theoretical and normative insights to better understand its post-secular dynamics. Normatively, the conference aims to read more…
I am happy to announce that my article “First Steps Toward a Nonideal Theory of Justice” has been accepted for publication at Ethics & Global Politics. Here is the abstract:
Theorists have long debated whether John Rawls’ conception of justice as fairness can be extended to nonideal (i.e. unjust) social and political conditions, and if so, what the proper way of extending it is. This paper argues that in order to properly extend justice as fairness to nonideal conditions, Rawls’ most famous innovation – the original position – must be reconceived in the form of a “nonideal original position.” I then systematically construct a nonideal original position, showing that although its parties must have Rawls’ principles of ideal justice and priority relations as background aims, the parties should be otherwise entirely free to weigh those aims against whatever burdens and benefits they might face under nonideal conditions. Next, I show that the parties ought to aim to secure for themselves a special class of “nonideal primary goods”: all-purpose goods similar to Rawls’ original primary goods, but which in this case are all-purpose goods individuals might use to (A) promote Rawlsian ideals under nonideal conditions, (B) weigh Rawls’ principles of ideal justice and priority relations against whatever burdens and benefits they might face under nonideal conditions, and (C) effectively pursue their most favored weighting thereof. Finally, I defend a provisional list of nonideal primary goods, and briefly speculate on how the parties to the nonideal original position might deliberate to principles of nonideal justice for distributing them.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who, in ways large or small, contributed in some way to the development of my ideas on the subject, and to the development of the paper. I am truly thankful.
Finally, because the paper has been in development for so long, if I have neglected to thank you in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript, please let me know. I have not submitted the final proofs to the journal yet, and I want to read more…
The Groupe de recherche en philosophie politique de Montréal (GRIPP) is pleased to announce the 2014 winner of the Annual Montreal Political Theory Manuscript Workshop Award: “A Commitment to Equality: The Rule of Law in the Real World,” by Paul Gowder of the College of Law, University of Iowa. A workshop on the manuscript will be held in Montreal on May 19, 2014.
Le Groupe de recherche en philosophie politique de Montréal (GRIPP) a le plaisir d’annoncer le gagnant du Prix annuel de l’atelier de manuscrit de philosophie politique de Montréal (2014): « A Commitment to Equality: The Rule read more…
“Hospitaliy Now (!)” has two significations: one, what is the current state of scholarship regarding the thematisation of hospitality in political theory/science/philosophy? While work continues apace on hospitality all around the world, some of the key texts—one might think of Of Hospitality by Jacques Derrida, or the work of Seyla Benhabib—are now some years old, and it seems useful to assess where the current thinking is at, both taking into account and moving beyond these canonical texts on the subject.
The second signification is the ever-present urgency around questions of hospitality. read more…
On the 18th and 19th of September 2014, the Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Pavia (Italy), under the joint patronage of the Italian Society for Political Philosophy and the Italian Society for Analytic Philosophy, will host the twelfth edition of the Pavia Graduate Conference in Political Philosophy. This two-day conference is meant to offer graduate students an opportunity to present papers, get helpful feedback in a friendly atmosphere, and exchange ideas both with peers and with leading academics in the field of political philosophy. In addition to parallel read more…
European Consortium for Political Research
8th General Conference
University of Glasgow
3th – 6th September 2014
CALL FOR ABSTRACTS
Global Food, Global Justice
Panel Chair: Mary C. Rawlinson (Stony Brook University)
Section: The Political Theory of Food& Drink Policies
Section Chairs: Emanuela Ceva (University of Pavia), Matteo Bonotti (Queen’s University Belfast)
Obesity is a well-recognized public health problem in High Income Countries. Health care interventions frequently focus on personal responsibility, while discounting the way individual agency is shaped by a culture of possibilities. Health strategies and policies addressing obesity rarely focus on the complicity of the state and agribusiness in read more…
CALL FOR PAPERS
Social Contract Theory: Past, Present, and Future
University of Lisbon, 15th-16th May 2014
Social contract theories are typically philosophical attempts to explain the origins of society and the legitimacy of political institutions over individuals. They are based upon the presupposition that society and its connecting political structures are formed by an agreement (or a set of agreements) whose contracting parties are individuals.
The last few decades, however, have witnessed the appearance of serious challenges to the idea of the social contract. International organizations, transnational corporations, lobbyists, investment funds, and read more…
In this intensive summer Ph.D. course at the University of Oslo an international team of experts explores the philosophical foundation of human rights and the legitimacy of the institutions that establish them in practice. Topics include the nature of human rights, the legitimacy of international courts and political institutions, intervention and the limits of sovereignty, cosmopolitanism, and the prospects for democracy in an international order.
The course is co-organized by the Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas (UiO), MultiRights: The Legitimacy of read more…
Sangerhall – Håndverkeren Kurs- og Konferansesenter – Rosenkrantzgate 7, 0159, Oslo
Norwegian Centre for Human Rights- University of Oslo (NCHR-TAG- Human Rights and Conflict)
Norwegian Resource Bank for Democracy and Human Rights – NORDEM
Democracy as Idea and Practice Programme – University of Oslo
MultiRights Project, European Research Council Advanced Grant #269841 at the University of Oslo
During the last decades, cosmopolitan justice has become one of the major fields of multidisciplinary research. Mostly starting from various reinterpretations of Kant’s Perpetual Peace, theories about cosmopolitan justice have emphasized either the relevance of centralized agencies, or have combined – alternatively – nation-state approaches showing a ‘universalist’ scope. Issues concerning the advancement of a cosmopolitan condition have also involved the role of the global civil society, civil disobedience and social activists and so on. Yet, little weight has been given to the assessment of the role of courts, either at the local or at the international level in the promotion of a “cosmopolitan law”. This flaw may reflect a deep scholarly divergence in understanding the multi-faced aspects of post-national law, either regional (i.e. EU), international or – still in progress – cosmopolitan. Particularly in this latter case, the ever growing influence of international courts in adjudicating individual and state behaviors (as in the case of the ICJ and the ICC) requires the clarification of what is the philosophical and legal significance, if any, of cosmopolitan law.
One approach could be that of actualizing the Kantian idea of cosmopolitan law as the “right to hospitality” and to evaluate how this claim has been incorporated, for instance, in the Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees as a principle of non-refoulement (United Nations, 1951). What is implied by the principle is that refugees and asylum seekers should not be repatriated when there is a danger to their lives and freedom. On this reading it can appear as if a definition of transitional cosmopolitan law must be capable of intersecting transitionality and cosmopolitanism along formal and substantive lines. Moreover, it must show the “transformative” function of transitional justice law as oriented towards the construction of a unified world legal community. In this regard, regional and international courts seem to play a central role. One very effective example of this transformative/progressive action towards a (regional) legal community is the function played by ECtHR judgments in transitional post-communist states.
In view of the above considerations, the primary goal of the conference will be not only to present a general framework, but rather to analyze the role of Courts in the advancement they bring forth to (state and regional) cosmopolitan progression.
Some of the key questions that the conference will address are:
Resulting from the involvement of academics and judges, the foreseen outcome will be of a truly interdisciplinary discussion targeting philosophical, legal and applied/case studies.
Read the full program here read more…
“Thinking outside the Cage: Towards a Nonspeciesist Paradigm for Scientific Research”
A Conference to be held at Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada, March 27-28, 2014
Scientific research is currently governed on the premise that humans have a right to use sentient animals as subjects of harmful research for our benefit. What would a non-speciesist alternative look like? We have invited leading scientists, public policy experts, humane educators, legal scholars and political theorists to help us identify the opportunities and challenges involved in pursuing a new ethical, legal and political read more…