Author Archives: Jonathan Quong

About Jonathan Quong

Jonathan Quong is a lecturer in political philosophy at the University of Manchester

Final CFP: Brave New World

BRAVE NEW WORLD FINAL CALL FOR PAPERS

Deadline for submission of abstract: 22nd March 2013

Brave New World 2013, the Seventeenth Annual Postgraduate Conference organised under the auspices of the Manchester Centre for Political Theory (MANCEPT), will take place on Thursday 27th and Friday 28th June 2013 at the University of Manchester.

We are pleased to announce that our guest speakers this year are:

Samuel Scheffler (NYU)
Michael Otsuka (UCL)

The Brave New World conference series is now established as a leading international forum dedicated exclusively to the discussion of postgraduate research in political theory. Participants will have the chance to meet and talk about their work with eminent academics, including members of faculty from the University of Manchester and guest speakers, who will deliver keynote addresses at the event.

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Jobs in Political Theory/Political Philosophy at Manchester

Lecturer/ Senior Lecturer in Political Theory
School of Social Sciences
The University of Manchester -Politics

Closing date: 11/03/2013
Reference: HUM-02340
Faculty / Organisational unit: Humanities
School / Directorate: School of Social Sciences
Division: Politics
Salary: £33,230 to £56,467
Employment type: Permanent
Hours per week: Full-time
Location: Oxford Road

Applications are invited for full-time, continuing Lectureships or Senior Lectureships in Political Theory, tenable from 1 April 2013. We expect to make two appointments which may be at either Lecturer or Senior Lecturer level.

The successful candidates will join the Politics discipline area and be attached to the Manchester Centre for Political Theory (MANCEPT). Lectureship applicants must have, or be about to complete, a relevant PhD and demonstrate the potential to produce high quality publications and to provide excellent teaching. Senior Lectureship applicants must have established a strong record of publication and be experienced teachers at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. For both appointments, research and teaching interests should lie in core areas of analytical political theory. Applicants must be prepared to teach across undergraduate and postgraduate modules, supervise undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations and make appropriate teaching and administrative contributions across Politics.

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CFP: Brave New World

BRAVE NEW WORLD CALL FOR PAPERS

Deadline for submission of abstract: 22nd March 2013

Brave New World 2013, the Seventeenth Annual Postgraduate Conference organised under the auspices of the Manchester Centre for Political Theory (MANCEPT), will take place on Thursday 27th and Friday 28th June 2013 at the University of Manchester. We are pleased to announce that our guest speakers this year are:

Samuel Scheffler (NYU)
Michael Otsuka (UCL)

The Brave New World conference series is now established as a leading international forum dedicated exclusively to the discussion of postgraduate research in political theory. Participants will have the chance to meet and talk about their work with eminent academics, including members of faculty from the University of Manchester and guest speakers, who will deliver keynote addresses at the event.

read more...

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Brettschneider Reading Group: Introduction and Chapter 1

I’m very pleased to begin our reading group on Corey Brettschneider’s new book: When the State Speaks, What Should it Say? How Democracies Can Protect Expression and Promote Equality. In this post I’ll offer a brief summary of the introduction and chapter 1, and I’ll raise some issues for discussion. I hope that we’ll have a lively discussion in the comments section, involving both the other contributors (see here for a list of the other contributors and the full schedule), and also others who are following along.

One caveat: I’m using an e-book version of the text, which means I lack access to the hard copy page numbers, so I can’t provide direct citations and any quotes will lack page number references.

Summary

Corey begins with a helpful proposal: we might learn more about some of our deepest political commitments and ideas if we start our philosophical reflections by identifying dystopias rather than utopias. The two dystopias that shape the direction of Corey’s project are the Invasive State and the Hateful Society. The Invasive State is one where agents of the state are constantly monitoring our conversations and behavior—even in apparently nonpublic places like the home or our places of worship—always looking to clampdown, with coercive force if needed, on racist, sexist, or other forms of hate speech. This dystopia is one where the equal moral status of citizens is vigorously protected, but at the price of some of our most cherished liberties. But the pendulum can swing too far in the other direction. In the Hateful Society, racism and sexism are rampant, despite the fact that, formally, each person’s equal rights are protected. In this dystopia, the state makes no effort to halt the growth of hateful and inegalitarian ideologies, beyond the formal protection of standard rights and liberties, and so these ideologies grow and undermine equality and social justice.

How can liberal democratic theory be designed to avoid these two dystopias? Some, whom Corey calls the prohibitionists, argue the state must do more than merely protect the basic rights and liberties of citizens: the state can and should use its coercive power to ban hate speech when necessary. This is the approach followed by many contemporary democratic societies, with the United States being a notable exception. Others, whom Corey calls neutralists, insist the state must never interfere with political speech and must remain resolutely neutral toward different moral and political viewpoints: all it can permissibly do is protect our liberal rights and freedoms to the best of its ability.

But both the prohibitionists and the neutralists, Corey suggests, lack the theoretical resources necessary to assure us that their views can successfully deal with the problem of hate speech. Corey argues that we ought to reject both of these approaches in favour of a third approach: one that does more to combat hateful ideologies than the neutralists would allow, but not as much as the prohibitionists would like. Corey agrees with the neutralists that the state must not use its coercive power to prohibit speech: even people with the most hateful ideological views have the right to express those views. Corey thus endorses what’s sometimes called the ‘viewpoint neutrality’ interpretation to the right to free speech, an interpretation that’s embodied in American legal doctrine. But that doesn’t mean the state is toothless to prevent the spread of radically inegalitarian and hateful ideas. The state need not remain silent in the face of such ideas. The state can and should speak out against such ideologies, indeed Corey argues that there’s an obligation for the state to articulate the reasons that justify citizens’ basic rights and liberties, and these reasons will be grounded in the fundamental political values of a democratic society, in particular, the idea of citizens as free and equal members of a political community. The state can speak in a number of ways: members of the executive and judicial branches can explain the underlying rationales for laws, and the state can promote political values like equality via public education, public monuments, national holidays, and other expressive acts. The state can also promote the values of equality and liberal toleration via tax subsidies and other incentive schemes. Corey’s approach to dealing with the potential problem of hate speech is thus democratic persuasion: even if the state must maintain viewpoint neutrality when exercising its coercive power, it can and should speak out in favor of equality and against intolerance in its expressive capacities. And this view about the importance of democratic persuasion is grounded in Corey’s broader theory of democracy—what he calls value democracy—whereby democracy, although neutral between competing reasonable conceptions of the good and conceptions of justice, is nevertheless grounded in substantive moral ideas, ideas that ought to be articulated and defended by liberal democratic citizens and public officials.

Posted in Books, Discussion, Posts, Reading Group | 6 Comments

The idea of evil: secular approaches

MANCEPT/MANCEV conference

Thursday 22 November – Friday 23 November 2012
Arthur Lewis Building, University of Manchester

Conference organisers

Speakers

  • Adam Morton, (University of British Columbia)
  • Luke Russell, (University of  Sydney)
  • Paul Formosa, (Macquarie University)
  • Matthew Kramer, (University of Cambridge)
  • Shlomit Harrosh, (Shalom Hartman Institute)
  • Gideon Calder, (University of Wales, Newport)
  • Eve Garrard, (University of Manchester)
  • Stephen de Wijze, (University of Manchester)

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CFP: ‘Exploring the Green Framework’

Ninth Annual MANCEPT Political Theory Workshops

(5th -7th September 2012)

http://manceptworkshops2012.wordpress.com/

University of Manchester

Call for Papers: Exploring the ‘Green Framework’

Environmental issues are fast becoming a central and pressing concern of the political landscape. The ‘Green Framework’, is comprised of an emphasis on both Green ‘issues’ and the development of the Green ‘approach’. It is being invoked and provoking questions across an array of academic fields and traditions of scholarship. This workshop hopes to explore the possibilities of how Green issues and Green thinking are deployed in current efforts of political scholarship.

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