Conference Announcement: Liberalism and Republicanism: Public Policy Implications

School of Public Policy, Department of Political Science,
University College London
13 February, 2013

Keynote speaker
Dr Stuart White (Oxford)
‘The Liberal Contribution to Republican Political Theory’

In recent years there has been a growing interest among political theorists and philosophers in republican political thought. Influenced by the works of Quentin Skinner and Philip Pettit, proponents of this tradition typically claim it as a critical and superior alternative to mainstream liberal political theory. Yet it still remains unclear whether these two traditions are genuinely antagonistic. Historically, there is a considerable overlap in the canon of republicanism and liberalism. Theoretically, while past debates focused on different conceptions of liberty, contemporary work reveals some common ground between the two traditions.

This one-day conference aims to explore the relationship between liberal and republican political theory with regard to their public policy implications. In particular, the extent to which liberal and republican theory generate genuinely different public policy; whether or not it is possible to synthesise liberal and republican accounts; or rather, should clear
demarcation be made between the two traditions?

The conference programme and papers will be available on

Attendance is free, but registration is required. Please register at the following link:

For any questions please contact Lior Erez (lior.erez.10 at and Nick Martin (nick.martin.09 at


8.30-9.00 – Registration and welcome coffee
9.00-9.15 – Opening remarks

9.15-10.45 – Panel 1: Rights, Law and Punishment
Chair: Prof. Richard Bellamy

Christopher Hamel (Université Libre de Bruxelles)
Reworking Pettit’s republicanism on individual rights

Nikolas Kirby (Oxford)
The disappearance of republican liberty: what is the difference between a disinterested gentle giant and a deterred criminal?

Andrei Poama (Science Po/Yale)
Not just republicans: two problems for a republican theory of punishment

10.45-11.15 Coffee break

11.15-12.45 – Panel 2: Social Values, Neutrality and Perfectionism
Chair: Prof. Cecile Laborde

Gregory Whitfield (Washington University in St. Louis)
Perfectionism, liberal neutrality and republicanism

Tom Hannant (Queen Mary, London)
In defence of distinction: a case for maintaining a division between liberalism and republicanism in theory and practice

Gregory Walker (Cardiff)
Liberalism, republicanism and same-sex marriage

12.45-13.45 Lunch

13.45-15.15 – Panel 3: Non-Arbitrary Power and Social Protection
Chair: Prof. Albert Weale

Alan Coffee (King’s College, London)
Freedom, coercion and defining arbitrariness: examining the central tensions within republican and liberal theory

Sara Jordan (Hong Kong University)
Liberal equality versus republican equity: why a republican foundation for human research protection policy is incompatible with liberal foundations for the same

Matthew Hall (Royal Holloway, London)
In what ways, and how, does the arbitrary collection and use of personal date by the state make us unfree, and how can this be encountered?

15.15-15.30 Coffee break

15.30-17.00 – Panel 4: Justice in the Economic Sphere
Chair: Dr. Robert Jubb

Maria Dimova-Cookson (Durham)
Liberty, welfare and social justice in the context of Pettit’s republicanism and Hobhouse’s new liberalism

Adam Fusco (York)

Simon Cotton (Princeton)

17.00-17.30 Coffee break

17.30-19.00 Keynote speech
Dr. Stuart White (Oxford)
The liberal contribution to republican political theory

Closing Remarks

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One Response to Conference Announcement: Liberalism and Republicanism: Public Policy Implications

  1. I was, unfortunately, unable to attend the conference. However, I have recently posted some poetry regarding the subject matter.

    Titles include: “Ode to Ostriches”, “Political Science’s 2nd Law?”,
    “Roosting Justice, Roasting Conservatives”, and “A Republican Swipe at Blight.”

    At your leisure, see:

    All the best,

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