Chair in Political Theory, University of Amsterdam

The Department of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam is looking to appoint a Chair in Political Theory (rank: full professor, permanent). Applications from candidates with expertise in any area of political theory, political philosophy, and/or history of political thought will be considered. The successful candidate will be an outstanding researcher with a strong international profile and an ability to attract research funding. The official advert can be found here. Feel free to contact me to discuss the position informally.

Posted in Notices | Leave a comment

Harvard University Graduate Conference in Political Theory, October 31-November 1, 2014

The Department of Government (FAS) at Harvard University will host its annual conference for graduate students in political theory and political philosophy on October 31–November 1, 2014. Papers on any theme or topic within political theory — from the history of political thought to contemporary normative theory — will be considered.  Between six and eight papers will be accepted. Submissions are due via email in PDF form by August 1, 2014. Papers will be refereed by current Harvard graduate students, and acceptance notices will be sent by early September. Please limit each submission to 7,500 words (about 20 double-spaced pages). Essays longer than 10,000 words will not be considered. Each submission should include two PDF files: one with the paper formatted for blind review (free of personal and institutional information), and the other including a cover page with the title of the paper, an abstract (250 words max.), and your name, email address, and institutional affiliation. The keynote speaker will be Danielle Allen, UPS Foundation Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study. Conference presentations should last no longer than 10 minutes. Each presentation will be accompanied by comments from a Harvard graduate student. Presenters will have a chance to answer questions during a general discussion period after the presentation. Food and housing will be provided by the Government Department and its graduate students. Unfortunately, Harvard will not be able to provide funds for transportation. Questions, comments, and submissions should be sent to < > For more information, please visit the conference website at < >.

Posted in Grad Conferences | Leave a comment

Upcoming NOMOS Conference (at APSA): Wealth

The American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy (which produces the NOMOS volumes) is announcing its annual conference, which will be held in conjunction with the upcoming APSA meeting, on August 28th and 29th. Our theme this year is wealth, and we have a terrific lineup of contributors. We hope you’ll join us!

PANEL I (Thursday, Aug. 28th, 4:15-6pm)

Principal paper (philosophy): “Do the Rich Deserve their Wealth?”
Ingrid Robeyns, Utrecht University
Commentator (law): Emma Coleman Jordan, Georgetown University
Commentator (political science): James Johnson, University of Rochester

PANEL II (Friday, Aug. 29th, 10:15am-noon)

Principal paper (law): “Wealth, Opportunity and Equal Citizenship: Reconstructing the Distributive Constitution”
William Forbath, University of Texas-Austin
Commentator (political science): Mariah Zeisberg, University of Michigan
Commentator (philosophy): Nicole Hassoun, Binghamton University

PANEL III (Friday, Aug. 29th, 2:00-3:45pm)

Principal paper (political science): “Wealth Defense”
Jeffrey Winters, Northwestern University
Commentator (philosophy): David Lyons, Boston University
Commentator (law): Jedediah Purdy, Duke University

Conference attendance is open, though the principal papers will be pre-circulated to ASPLP members only. To find out more about joining the ASPLP, visit our website at or email Alex Zakaras, our Secretary-Treasurer, at

Posted in Notices | Leave a comment

Visiting Fulbright Chair in Constitutional and Political Theory, 2015-16, McGill University

The Research Group on Constitutional Studies and Department of Political Science at McGill University host a visiting Fulbright Chair for stays of one semester, extendable to up to one year (though with no increase in stipend). The Chair receives a stipend of $25,000, and is expected to be in residence at McGill conducting research throughout the term of the award. The Chair will be a Fellow of RGCS during his or her stay, expected to take an active part in the Group’s intellectual life, including regular participation and one presentation at the RGCS faculty and fellows workshop. There is no teaching requirement. The Chair may be asked to deliver 1-2 public lectures on the topic of his or her research, to guest-lecture to an appropriate class, or to take part in appropriate workshop or seminar sessions.

The Visiting Chair in 2014-5 will be Erin Delaney (Northwestern University).

Applications are now being accepted for the 2015-16 academic year, deadline August 1.

This award is open to established or emerging scholars in political theory as well as legal theory or political philosophy, and is open with respect to methodology in those fields. The Chair will pursue research in constitutionalism and constitutional theory broadly construed. The ability to engage with scholars and students across methodologies—normative, empirical, intellectual-historical, jurisprudential, and formal, for example— is more important that particular areas of emphasis.

Sample areas of interest include: normative analyses of fundamental rights and of such basic constitutional structures as the separation of powers or federalism; democratic theory, especially as it pertains to political institutions; the history of political thought about constitutional government or constitutional forms; and questions of justice about the constitutional basic structure of a society, ranging from property and market relations to the legal organization of family life. Questions about fit of interests may be directed to .

The Chair-holder will be in residence at McGill for either the fall or winter semester of 2015-16, will deliver one public lecture, and will take an active part in the intellectual life of McGill, RGCS, and the Groupe de Recherche Interuniversitaire en Philosophie Politique.

Open to US citizens who do not reside in Canada who will have received the Ph.D. or equivalent terminal degree by December 31 2014. Application deadline is August 1, 2013; application information is here: ; use award number 5489. Those interested in applying are invited to contact Jacob Levy and Brad Hector well in advance of the deadline.

Posted in Fellowships, Notices | Leave a comment

Conference: New Directions in Public Reason (Birmingham)

Dates: 16th – 17th June

Contact: Jeremy Williams (

Location: Edgbaston Room, Lucas House, University of Birmingham (G16 on this campus map)



Recent years have seen a flourishing of the philosophical literature on public reason, with a number of new models of public reason being developed, novel arguments in favour of existing models being advanced, and exploration taking place into the implications of the use of public reason for a range of pressing political controversies. At the same time, critics of public reason liberalism have been deploying new objections, and refining familiar ones.

This two-day conference, hosted by Birmingham’s Department of Philosophy, aims to address new and emerging themes in the political philosophy of public reason, and features contributions from proponents of a range of key perspectives from the contemporary debate.


Monday 16 June:

10.30 – 12.00: Macedo (‘The Practical Uses of Public Reason in a Diverse Democracy’)
12.00 – 13.00: Lunch
13.00 – 14.30: Vallier (‘Public Reason and Public Choice: A Synthesis’)
14.30 – 14.45: Coffee
14.45 – 16.15: Peter (‘From Objective Reason to Public Reason’)
16.15 – 16.30: Coffee
16.30 – 18.00: Wall (‘Razian Authority and Public Reason’)
18.00: Drinks
19.30: Conference dinner

Tuesday 17 June:

10.30 – 12.00: Lister (‘Toleration, Public Reason, and Community’)
12.00 – 13.00: Lunch
13.00 – 14.30: Sinclair (‘International Public Reason’)
14.30 – 14.45: Coffee
14.45 – 16.15: Chambers (‘Political Liberal Neutrality, Public Reason, and State-Recognised Marriage’)
16.15 – 16.30: Coffee
16.30 – 18.00: Gaus (‘Is Public Reason a Normalization Project?: Deep Diversity and the Open Society’)
18.00 End of conference

This event is generously supported by the Leverhulme Trust, the Mind Association, the College of Arts and Law at Birmingham, and the Birmingham University Academic Collaboration Fund (North America).

All are welcome, but space is limited, and registration is required. Registration fees have been kept to a minimum, and are £10 for a single day, or £20 for the whole event, including lunch and coffee. To register, please email by 9am on 9th June. Please also mention in your email if you would like to attend the conference dinner (at an additional cost), or if you would like advice about overnight accommodation options.

Posted in Conferences, Notices, Politics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Mancept Workshop CFA, Extended Deadline: June 15, 2014 — Should Intuitions Matter? Exploring the Role of Intuitions in the Justification of State Punishment

Workshop Convenors: Andrei Poama (Sciences Po) & Ambrose Lee (Oxford)

Moral intuitions seem to hold a paradoxical role in the justification of state punishment. On the one hand, normative theorists repeatedly, if diffusely, rely on intuitions in their attempts to justify state punishment. They do so by insisting on the intuitively compelling nature of certain moral principles, by criticizing particular conceptions of criminal justice for their counterintuitive implications, or by questioning whether intuitions about just punishment need to be shared or not. On the other hand, normative theories of criminal justice resist a full-fledged acceptance of intuition-based arguments about criminal justice. Claims to an explicitly intuitionistic account of punishment are rare. Moreover, moral and political philosophers tend to outrightly overlook the existence of a growing body of empirical findings concerning lay or professional intuitions about the justice of punishment. Thus, intuitions appear to be used, yet undervalued when it comes to justifying the practice of state punishment.

The workshop is designed to take issue with the role of intuitions in the justification of punishment. We aim to investigate this by raising such questions as the following:

(1) What counts as an intuition, and should intuitions have any bearing on the moral justification of state punishment? What is the relation between intuition based arguments about criminal justice and other strategies for justifying punishment, which have a deontological or consequentialist orientation? What sort of justificatory methods might adequately assess the moral import of intuitions in the justification of punishment? What is the relationship between intuitive beliefs and other forms of normative reasoning, such as judgment or deliberation? Would a completely intuitionist account of punishment be normatively arbitrary?

(2) What is a morally relevant intuition in matters of punishment? Whose intuitions should we care about when assessing the justice of penal practice? Should normative theorists check their intuitions about just punishment by investigating what other people – say, lay citizens, judges or jurors – intuitively think about just and unjust forms of punishment?

(3) Should the state be responsive to our intuitions about penal justice and should our criminal justice policies be designed in such a way as to show more sensitivity toward those intuitions? How does being involved in the penal practice affect our intuitions about just punishment? Are intuitions about just punishment context-dependent, and what are the implications of context dependency for the justification of punishment?

(4) Should moral and political philosophy care about intuitions at all? More particularly, what are the philosophically interesting ways in which the metaethical debates surrounding ethical intuitionism could impact on the role of intuitions in theorizing about justice and punishment?

If you are interested in presenting a paper at this workshop, please send a 500-word abstract to and by June 15, 2014. We welcome contributions from the fields of political theory, legal philosophy, and ethics.

Posted in Notices | Leave a comment