A two-day workshop discussing direct normative responses to global realities

Durham University, 23rd-24th June 2016

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. It welcomes papers that address 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 welcomes contributions more directly concerned with questions regarding the extent to which real-life constraints should influence normative recommendations. Thus, we encourage the submission of abstracts for papers dealing with the intersection of global justice with the facts of political life, including, but not limited to areas such as:

  • Immigration and refugees
  • Global Poverty and Inequality
  • Human Rights
  • Self-determination
  • Environment
  • Global cooperation and coordination problems
  • Methodology in Applied Political Theory

Abstracts of up to 500 words – formatted for blind review – accompanied by details of institutional affiliation and brief statement of research interests, should be sent to j.l.pedersen@durham.ac.uk by 5pm Friday 15th April. Please use the subject line “Global Justice and Political Reality”. We will notify all accepted proposals by Monday 25th April.

If you have any further questions, please email Beth Kahn at elizabeth.kahn@durham.ac.uk, or Andrew Walton at andrew.walton@newcastle.ac.uk.

Jesper Lærke Pedersen

Jesper recently completed his PhD in Political Theory at the School of Government & International Affairs, Durham University. He works on global justice, specifically responsibilities of the developed world towards developing countries. He’s also the webmaster for this blog.

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