Democracy and Intergenerational Justice - Overcoming Harmful Short-termism Through New Institutions? MANCEPT Wokshop, University of Manchester. Deadline 1st June 2020
Democracies are commonly diagnosed with a harmful short-sightedness which makes it difficult to recognise and deal with long-term risks and challenges. This bias towards the present arises out of many institutional, cultural, and anthropological factors, among them the election cycle, the influence of special interest groups and the ineptitude of humans to deal with ‘creeping problems.’ In light of this, democracies seem ill-equipped to deal with challenges such as the climate crisis, artificial intelligence or microbial resistance. Thus, the ability of the living generation to take the interests of future people into account and to fulfil its obligations to future people is hampered.
Consequently, several countries have taken measures to facilitate long-term oriented decision-making, e.g. by establishing commissioners for future generations (Hungary, since 2008; Israel, 2001-06; Wales, since 2016) or a parliamentary committee for the future (Finland, since 1993), some of them having considerable capabilities for influence. Furthermore, scholars discuss a wide range of proposals for new future-oriented institutions (F-Institutions). These include the representation of future generations in parliament, ombudspersons for the future, regulatory impact assessments, advisory councils, deliberative mini-publics as well as the enfranchisement of the young, the disenfranchisement of the elderly and many more.
Despite the growing range of proposals for F-Institutions, questions regarding their justification and legitimacy, design, and implementation deserve further discussion. Intergenerational equity, democratic legitimacy, and generational sovereignty all exert their normative pull on the democratic system and consequently on the design of F-Institutions. For example, the ability of each generation to govern itself collectively seems incompatible with the idea of institutionally binding the currently living to ensure that they meet their obligations of intergenerational justice. Further, honouring obligations of intergenerational justice may suggest installing F-Institutions with extensive influence on the political decision-making process, while a concern for democratic legitimacy might foreclose many proposals for F-Institutions.
Further questions to be addressed:
- How can F-Institutions be justified? For example, should F-Institutions be justified based on the all-affected principle or on concerns of intergenerational justice and current generations’ noncompliance? Or are they not justifiable at all? Which concepts of democratic legitimacy can be applied to which kinds of F-Institutions, and with what outcomes?
- Given the presentist bias in democracy, what kind of implementation strategies for F-Institutions should be chosen?
- How can we evaluate the effectiveness of F-Institutions? Can we avoid unintended overshooting and underperformance by institutional design?
- What can we learn from F-Institutions that have already been established and, if so, abolished?
- Should considerations of risk and uncertainty have an influence on the design of F-Institutions? How legitimate is it to discount the future, and how can this be reflected in the institutional design?
- Are there alternatives to F-Institutions to relieve tensions between intergenerational justice and democracy and to reduce democratic short-termism?
- Should F-Institutions be established at the national level, the global level, both or neither?
- How large should the policy remit be for F-Institutions? Should F-Institutions be concerned only with the most urgent global problems (e.g. pandemics, climate crisis) or also those issues which are arguably smaller and less wide in scope (e.g. flooding, debt, national pensions, domestic terrorism)?
- How can we ensure F-Institutions are sufficiently flexible to deal with unanticipated future problems? To what extent should we leave the future open with respect to what future generations will value, in case we come to learn new things about morality and politics? How well can we anticipate what future generations will actually value?
Of course, alternative suggestions for sub-topics and/or questions to be addressed by interested participants will be both highly appreciated and likely accommodated.
In sum, this workshop aims to bring together moral, political, and legal theorists and practitioners interested in democracy, intergenerational justice, long-term decision-making and short-termism to discuss the various tensions associated with these concepts on both the theoretical and empirical levels.
How to apply:
If you are interested in participating in this workshop, then please submit an abstract prepared on any topic related to this workshop's broad theme of 'Democracy and Intergenerational Justice'. Abstracts should be no longer than 500 words, and should be suitable for a presentation of 30 minutes. After each presentation, there will be a Q&A of 20-30 minutes. The deadline for abstract submissions is 1st June 2020. We apply a rolling admissions system and aim to respond to your submission within a week.
Please ensure that all identifying information is removed from your abstract, as abstracts will be subject to a process of blind review. To submit your abstract, please send (i) the anonymised abstract in .doc or .pdf format, and (ii) a separate document containing author information (name, paper title, institutional affiliation, and email address), also in .doc or .pdf format, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a current graduate student or an early-career scholar (someone who has submitted his/her PhD within the last 2 years), then please indicate so in your author information document as well.
Registration for the conference opens in May. This year’s fees are £240.00 for academics and £130.00 for graduate students and retirees. The MANCEPT Organisers - Giacomo, Jeannine, Molly and Vittorio - will announce further details regarding registration nearer to the time.
The deadline for bursary applications (available to current graduate students/early-career researchers* and retirees only) will be the 15th June, and successful applicants will be informed by the 22nd June. Only people accepted to present on a panel should apply for bursaries.
*Please note that the MANCEPT organisers might have a different understanding of "early-career research" than our "early-career scholar" above. For any further questions about this and other more general conference/practical matters, please get in touch with the MANCEPT 2020 organisers at email@example.com.
-CFP, Special issue of Christian Bioethics "Christian Perspectives on Emerging Reproductive Technologies & Research" (Deadline: June 15, 2020)
Issue Editor: Nicholas Colgrove, PhD (Colgron@wfu.edu)
Christian Bioethics, a double-blind peer reviewed journal published by Oxford University Press, invites scholarly contributions to a special issue addressing emerging reproductive technologies and research.
It is already possible to perform surgery on fetuses by temporarily removing them from the womb, operating upon them, and placing them back into the womb. Additionally, artificial womb technology (AWT) and gene-editing technologies may become generally available to human subjects in the near future. Much has been written about these emerging reproductive technologies in recent years.
This issue of Christian Bioethics aims to:
1. Interact with recent discussions of emerging reproductive technologies (AWT, fetal surgery, gene-editing, etc.), and
2. Explore answers to the following types of questions (listed below), from various perspectives within the Christian tradition.
Questions to be explored may include (but are not limited to):
· From a Christian perspective, how do emerging reproductive technologies—including developments in fetal surgery and artificial womb technology—affect our understanding of birth or the significance of birth?
· From a Christian perspective, how might developments in reproductive technologies shape our understanding of parenthood?
· From a Christian perspective, how should we understand human subjects in artificial wombs? How should they be regarded? In what ways, if any, should we regard them differently from how we regard fetuses in utero, and why?
· From a Christian perspective, how should artificial womb technology (AWT) be used (if atall)?
· From a Christian perspective, what are moral issues are associated with complete ectogenesis and partial ectogenesis?
· From a Christian perspective, how does AWT inform our understanding of (current) life-sustaining technologies used in the neonatal intensive care unit setting?
· From a Christian perspective, how should research aimed at miscarriage prevention be viewed?
· Should Christians be encouraging/funding/promoting the development (and use) of reproductive technologies? If so, which ones and why? If not, why not? Do Christians have any special obligations regarding encouraging/funding/promoting such development and use?
· From a Christian perspective, how should gene-editing technology (on embryos) be applied (if at all)? Are there permissible ways to use gene-editing technology (even in cases where the subject’s life is not at stake)?
The issue editor welcomes early discussions of brief proposals and/or abstracts by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submissions should be e-mailed to the Managing Editor at email@example.com. Please include a statement that your submission be considered for inclusion in Christian Bioethics’ “Special Issue on Christian Perspectives on Emerging Reproductive Technologies and Research.”
Each manuscript must be accompanied by a statement that it has not been published elsewhere and that it has not been submitted simultaneously for publication elsewhere. Authors are responsible for obtaining permission to reproduce copyrighted material from other sources and are required to sign an agreement for the transfer of copyright to the publisher. All accepted manuscripts, artwork, and photographs become the property of the publisher. Please provide files in MS Word Format.
Christian Bioethics is a double-blinded, peer reviewed, journal that appears through Oxford University Press. Papers will be submitted to the journal’s usual blinded peer reviewed process prior to acceptance for publication. The Editors and Editorial Board reserve the right to reject the issue in whole or in part, as well as to require significant revisions to particular papers prior to acceptance for publication.
Manuscript preparation instructions are available here:
Submission Deadline: June 15, 2020
-Conference: Childhood and Migration, University of Salzburg, Austria 1-2 October 2020
The conference language is German but talks in English are in principle possible.
The Network Philosophy of Childhood (http://philosophie-der-kindheit.de) meets every year within the framework of the Conference for Practical Philosophy for an exchange of content. In 2020 this workshop will deal with the topic "Migration and Childhood". All colleagues are cordially invited to submit proposals for individual lectures, thematic panels and round tables. The topic is ready to be understood - possible questions are among others:
* Justice, migration and childhood
* Vulnerability and migration during childhood
* Rights (and duties) of migrating children, their parents and families
* Minor refugees
* The special ethical status of children migrating alone
* Childhood and the challenges of integration and repatriation
* Ethical aspects of asylum procedures (age determination, accommodation, etc.) for children and adolescents
The workshop offers space for various formats of philosophical reflection, including: individual talks, the compilation of three coordinated talks on a topic, or round tables with three or four participants. Suggestions for other formats are welcome. Talks based on empirical research are welcome as long as their contribution to the philosophical discussion is clearly defined.
For each lecture 30 minutes incl. discussion are reserved, for panels and round tables 90 minutes. The network covers the conference fee (30 €) for the VIII Conference on Practical Philosophy.
Proposals for talks, panels and round tables should be submitted via the conference website by April 1, 2020, with a note in the abstract ("for the workshop Migration and Childhood") that the submission is intended for this workshop: https://www.tagung-praktische-philosophie.org/einreichung.html
Selected contributions of this workshop will be published in a volume in the book series Kindheit - Bildung - Erziehung: Philosophische Perspektiven (J.B. Metzler). It is expected that the speakers will in principle be prepared to publish their contributions.
- Diverse families, one law? Institute of Philosophy, University of Bern Switzerland 13-15 November 2020
Keynote: Elizabeth Brake
Today’s families differ widely in their form, internal organisation, lifestyle and values. At the same time, liberal states are in need of binding rules that serve to protect individuals’ and particularly children’s rights. Challenges arise when liberal values or socially recognized norms conflict with particular ways of organising family life, for instance, when some religious groups adhere to hierarchical gender roles in families that seem to thwart women’s equality. Furthermore, fast-paced changes in family structures as well as the expansion of reproductive technologies require answers from political philosophers and legal theorists on the question of how family diversity should be legally regulated.
This conference will focus both on foundational questions regarding the concept and value of the family and on applied issues such as parents' rights in the context of religious education and the legal recognition of alternative family forms.
Questions to be explored include, but are not limited to, the following:
- In the face of increasing family diversity, does it make sense to retain the concept of the family? If so, what defines the family?
- On what basis should parental rights be granted, and what do they include? Should a number of parents greater than two and/or parents with differential sets of rights and duties become a possibility?
- What rights do parents have to influence their children to adopt particular religious views or other conceptions of the good?
- Should co-parenthood be legally divorced from marriage?
- Should alternative relationship and family forms, such as polyamorous marriages, receive legal recognition?
Speakers’ travel costs within Europe and their accommodation will be covered. Due to budgetary constraints, we can cover intercontinental flights only to a limited extent.
Organisers: Anna Goppel and Sabine Hohl, Institute of Philosophy & Interfacultary Cooperation “Religious Conflicts and Coping Strategies”, University of Bern