Category Archives: Posts

The ethical implications of populism in political practice

Author: Olivera Z. Mijuskovicphilosopher

A brief review

In political discourse in recent times we hear too many times the word – populist or populism. Does an average citizen who is not from the profession of political or philosophical sciences properly consider the meaning of this terms and what are the ethical implications of manipulating with it?

Let’s start from the beginning.

Populist is usually related to the concept of a demagogue and it has roots from the Greek term dimagogós which has the meaning of a charismatic leader. This phenomenon dates back to Ancient Athens democracy which is at the same time a weakness of democracy. Demagogue does not address to the elites but to the ordinary people and thanks to them and in their name he carries out his decisions into practice. Often, decisions of such type of leaders are not in the interest of large masses, but their popularity and charm convince people otherwise. Demagogues support their own decisions often with the story about the national crisis and interests, and often used the force.

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Anarchism/Minarchism Anthology Now in Paperback

Anarchism/Minarchism:  Is a Government Part of a Free Country?

I’m pleased to announce that the 2008 anthology Anarchism/Minarchism: Is a Government Part of a Free Country?, edited by the late Tibor Machan and myself, is about to be released in paperback from Routledge (formerly Ashgate). It’s scheduled for the end of November, but can be pre-ordered now at Amazon (US here, Canada here, UK here).

At $55 it’s still a hefty pricetag, but it beats the hardback cost, which varies between $100 and $150.

The contents:

  • Lester Hunt: “Why the State Needs a Justification”

    Roger Lee: “Libertarianism, Limited Government, and Anarchy”

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CfP: New Springer Book Series: “Philosophy and Poverty”

“Philosophy and Poverty”, a new fully peer-reviewed book series published by Springer. The first volume is scheduled to be published in 2018. The book series is edited by Henning Hahn, Gottfried Schweiger and Clemens Sedmak, whose work is supported by an international Advisory Board. It is the first book series to focus exclusively on philosophical research on poverty, which is an area of increasing interest and high social and political importance. The book series is not restricted to issues of ethics and justice which dominate the philosophical research on poverty, but is also open to questions related to the philosophy of science, epistemology or history of philosophy insofar as they relate to poverty.

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The Oxford Handbook of Well-Being and Public Policy has just been published. The Handbook provides a comprehensive, interdisciplinary treatment of its topic.

The Handbook includes thirty chapters divided into four Parts. Part I covers the full range of methodologies for evaluating governmental policy and assessing societal condition — including both the leading approaches in current use by policymakers and academics (such as GDP, cost-benefit analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, inequality and poverty metrics, and the concept of the “social welfare function”), and emerging techniques (such as “social ordering functions,” multidimensional indices grounded in the notion of “capabilities,” and happiness-based policy analysis). Part II focuses on the nature of well-being. What, most fundamentally, determines whether an individual life is better or worse for the person living it? Her happiness? Her preference-satisfaction? Her attainment of various “objective goods”? Part III addresses the measurement of well-being and the thorny topic of interpersonal comparisons. How can we construct a meaningful scale of individual welfare, which allows for comparisons of well-being levels and differences, both within one individual’s life, and across lives? Should we even attempt to do so, or is it better to evaluate policy with respect to each “capability” taken separately? Finally, Part IV reviews the major challenges to designing governmental policy around individual well-being: social evaluation under risk and uncertainty, the role of individual responsibility, badly behaved preferences, measuring well-being on a lifetime basis, measurement challenges posed by price heterogeneity and household-level data, and policy effects on future generations.

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Lauener symposium on T.M. Scanlon – Bern – September 2

T.M. Scanlon receives the 2016 Lauener prize for analytical philosophy in Bern, September 1, 2016

A public symposium on themes of Scanlon’s scholarship takes place September 2. Speakers include  Thomas Nagel, Derek Parfit, Rainer Forst, Susanne Mantel, Serena Olsaretti, Zofia Stemplowska and Andrew Williams.

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Chair in Social and Political Theory EUI

Chair in Social and Political Theory (SPS10)

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