A two-day workshop discussing direct normative responses to global realities
Kenworthy Hall, St Mary’s College, Durham University
23rd-24th June, 2016

Read the papers (participants only – password protected)

St Mary's College, Durham

St Mary’s College, Durham


Due to entrenched public opinion, vested interests among elites, global cooperation problems, and a host of other constraints existing systems impose on would-be reformers, there is currently a great distance between what should be done and what can be done. These limitations raise important questions about the role political philosophers can play in helping to guide decision-makers and the appropriate shape of short- and long-term moral and ethical thinking. To what extent should the constraints of political reality shape and/or constrain the way in which we theorise about moral problems? What kinds of normative recommendations can we offer on issues of pressing political import if we hope them to be realised in the foreseeable future? In short, what can demands of global justice require here and now?

This workshop will bring together papers that consider these questions from a variety of angles, addressing pressing global political issues and offer direct normative guidance on how they ought to be addressed, particularly those which reflect upon the constraints (or lack there of) imposed by political reality on the possible adoption of these recommendations. It also seeks to address questions regarding the extent to which real-life constraints should influence normative recommendations.

  • Immigration and refugees
  • Global poverty and inequality
  • Human rights
  • Self-determination
  • Environment
  • Global cooperation and coordination problems
  • Methodology in applied political theory
Thursday Friday
10.30-11.00 Welcome & coffee 09.30-10.30 Paper 6: Elizabeth Kahn
11.00-12.00 Paper 1: Max Cherem 10.30-11.00 Coffee
12.00-12.15 Break 11.00-12.00 Paper 7: James Hodgson
12.15-13.15 Paper 2: Ali Emre Benli 12.00-13.00 Lunch
13.15-14.15 Lunch 13.00-14.00 Paper 8: Katarina Fragoso
14.15-15.15 Paper: Megan Blomfield 14.00-14.30 Coffee
15.15-15.45 Coffee 14.30-15.30 Paper 9: Noa Nogradi
15.45-16.45 Paper 4: Hwa Young Kim
16.45-17.00 Break
17.00-18.00 Paper 5: Emanuela Koskimies
  • Max Cherem (Kalamazoo and Duke) – The normative importance of location in refugee policy debates
  • Ali Emre Benli (Rijeka) – Theorizing Justice in Asylum in the Here and Now: A Social Choice Approach
  • Megan Blomfield (Bristol) – Resource rights now
  • Hwa Young Kim (Warwick) – Epistemic Difficulties: Realities that even ideal theorists need to acknowledge
  • Emanuela Koskimies (Helsinki) – Between ‘norms’ and ‘facts’: International human rights institutions, power and sovereignty
  • Elizabeth Kahn (Durham) – Workers’ Rights and the Self-Employed
  • James Hodgson (York) – Patriotism as Global Partisanship: A Realist Approach to Global Justice
  • Katarina Fragoso (UC Louvain) – Injustices from a plural approach: the key role of the participation of the poor
  • Noa Nogradi (Leeds) – Worldwide violence against women as a matter of global justice theory: patriarchical structures and the duty not to harm

The conference will take place in Kenworthy Hall, St Mary’s College, Durham University, Durham DH1 3LR.

St Mary's College, Durham University, Durham DH1 3LR

St Mary’s is a pleasant 20-minute walk from the city centre. A taxi from the train station or the city centre will cost between £5 and £7.

Other things to see and do

Durham is a beautiful place, and it’s well worth it spending some time after the conference exploring the city and the surrounding area.

For more information on what to do and where to stay, visit This Is Durham.