Category Archives: Public Philosophy

Seminar Transnational Solidarity: Setting the Boundaries

Friday, 1 April 2016
Center for Transnational Legal Studies, 37-39 High Holborn – London WC1V 6AA

Organized by Center for Transnational Legal Studies and REScEU Project

10.00 – 10.15: Introduction. Francesco Costamagna, University of Turin/CTLS

10.15 – 10.45: Europe’s Solidarity Compass in a Demoi-cratic Perspective. Kalypso Nicolaïdis, University of Oxford
10.45 – 11.15: Debate

11.15 – 11.45: The Contested Spatial Politics of Trasnational Solidarity. Maurizio Ferrera, University of Milan
11.45 – 12.15: Debate

12.15 – 13.30: Lunch break

13.30 – 14.00: The Idea of Transnational Solidarity. Andrea Sangiovanni, King’s College
14.00 – 14.30: Debate


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Workshop, David Miler, Strangers in our Midst: the political philosophy of immigration

Workshop on

David Miller, Strangers in Our Midst: the political philosophy of immigration, Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press

Institute for Philosophy, Hamburg University

March 18th, 2016, Room tbd

Organizers: Thomas Schramme, Christine Straehle


Registration: The workshop is open to everyone, but attendance is by registration and limited in number. RSVP by sending an email to

Format: Upon registration, participants will receive the manuscript. To maximize the quality of discussion, participants are expected to have read the manuscript beforehand. The workshop comprises four sessions dedicated to the manuscript. Each session will begin with brief critiques of chapters of the manuscript, followed by a brief response by the author and general discussion.


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New Book – ‘Uniting Mississippi: Democracy and Leadership in the South’

Cover of 'Uniting Mississippi,' featuring a "unity candlelight vigil" at the University of Mississippi from 2012.By Eric Thomas Weber, associate professor of Public Policy Leadership at the University of Mississippi.

Available in paperback, ~$20 (Amazon US, UK, Canada).

About the book:

Uniting Mississippi applies a new, philosophically informed theory of democratic leadership to Mississippi’s challenges. Governor William F. Winter has written a foreword for the book, supporting its proposals.

The book begins with an examination of Mississippi’s apparent Catch-22, namely the difficulty of addressing problems of poverty without fixing issues in education first, and vice versa. These difficulties can be overcome if we look at their common roots, argues Eric Thomas Weber, and if we practice virtuous democratic leadership. Since the approach to addressing poverty has for so long been unsuccessful, Weber reframes the problem. The challenges of educational failure reveal the extent to which there is a caste system of schooling. Certain groups of people are trapped in schools that are underfunded and failing. The ideals of democracy reject hierarchies of citizenship, and thus, the author contends, these ideals are truly tested in Mississippi. Weber offers theories of effective leadership in general and of democratic leadership in particular to show how Mississippi’s challenges could be addressed with the guidance of common values.


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CFA: Political Theory and the European Union, MANCEPT Workshops in Political Theory

MANCEPT Workshops in Political Theory, University of Manchester, 1st – 3rd September 2015

Giulia Bistagnino (University of Milan),
Pamela Pansardi (University of Pavia),

The workshop aims at bringing together scholars interested in the normative dimension of the European Union.
Political theory has traditionally been concerned with nation-states and their institutions, while more recently its scope has been widening by tackling questions about the global world. The EU, understood as a sort of intermediate entity of a distinctive nature, has become a prominent object of research to reflect on political problems. Today, the financial and political crises taking place in Europe have shown not only the vulnerability of EU’s institutions, but also the urgency to provide conceptual and normative tools to assess the EU and evaluate its decisions. Indeed, since the creation of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and the establishment of the Maastricht Treaty, the focus of EU integration has been set on legal and economic aspects only and academic discourses have been trapped into technical and economical debates with little attention for normative issues. A reflection on the nature and scope of the EU and an assessment of its problems and dilemmas is thus pressing and represents a fundamental task for normative political theory.


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Ethics for the down-and-out?

A couple of weeks ago, I (perhaps unwisely) posted a sarcastic and hastily written note in response to a news story about the crime-fighting adventures of ethicist Jonathan Glover [original post now removed].  It turns out that I didn’t make my intent clear enough, and that at least some people read it as an attack on Professor Glover’s conduct or personal character.  Fortunately, Glover himself seems to be an unusually forgiving and generous-spirited soul, and despite his initial displeasure at the note (which might have had others threatening legal action), an email exchange between us quickly turned into a friendly correspondence between philosophers interested in similar themes.  For the record, I really did not mean to imply anything about this philosopher’s personal qualities, about his handling of an attempt to defraud him, or about how he came by whatever wealth he may possess (by buying a house a very long time ago, as he tells me). Sure, there is a sense in which I do think that people like Jonathan Glover – and, for that matter, people like me – shouldn’t exist (and are fair game for a certain amount of satire or vitriol).  In any even minimally acceptable society, there just would not be neighbourhoods where the average house costs in the region of £3 million, sat alongside areas of crushing poverty, with tens of thousands of people who cannot afford to keep a roof over their heads at all.  Which is also to say, of course, that the homeless and destitute wouldn’t exist either (as George Bernard Shaw put it: “I hate the poor and look forward to their extermination.”) – but I’ll leave it to the right-wing press and the Bullingdon Club boys who populate our Government (speaking of categories of people that shouldn’t exist) to poke fun and sneer at the poor and the working class.  There also wouldn’t be people like me swanning around Oxbridge colleges eating pheasant and wearing gowns, while the higher education system (along with all the other major public services) crumbles around us.


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Overcoming Intolerance: Nussbaum and Her Critics conference

23-24 May 2014
St Mary’s College, Durham University

Conference speakers include: Thom Brooks (Durham), Clare Chambers (Cambridge), Maria Dimova-Cookson (Durham), Phillip Horky (Durham), Peter Jones (Newcastle), Maleiha Malik (KCL), Mozaffar Qizilbash (York), Martha Nussbaum (Chicago), Sara Protasi (Yale)


Overcoming Intolerance: Nussbaum and Her Critics
is a two-day event that brings Professor Martha C. Nussbaum to Durham University. Professor Nussbaum is the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago and one of the leading political and legal philosophers today. She is the author of nearly 20 monographs, including The Fragility of Goodness (1986), Sex and Social Justice (1999), Women and Human Development (2000), Hiding from Humanity (2004), Frontiers of Justice (2006) and Creating Capabilities (2011) among many others.


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