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The Idea of Social Equality

Wednesday 17 September 2014, 9.00AM

Workshop on “The Idea of Social Equality”, King’s Manor, University of York, 17-18 September 2014

The first of four workshops on Social Equality, sponsored by the British Academy and Leverhulme Trust, in association with the Department of Politics at the University of York
Convened by Martin O’Neill (York), Emily McTernan (UCL), Christian Schemmel (Manchester) and Fabian Schuppert (QUB)
Sara Amighetti (University College London)
Christopher Brooke (University of Cambridge)
Carina Fourie (University of Zürich)
Cillian McBride (Queen’s University Belfast)
Frederick Neuhouser (Barnard College, Columbia University)
Fabian Schuppert (Queen’s University Belfast)
Growing inequality threatens social cohesion, increases social risks, and undermines people’s self-respect. While it is clear that we live in deeply inegalitarian societies, there exists wide disagreement over how best to understand the ideal of equality, and over which norms and policies should be pursued in efforts to improve the status quo. One promising answer, distinct from more familiar ‘distributive’ views, is the idea of relational or social egalitarianism, which postulates that all citizens should relate to one another as equals. But what exactly does that idea entail, and how can this normative ideal inform public policy and practical politics?
In this first workshop, we will investigate the idea of social equality, looking at both its historical development in thinkers such as Rousseau and Montesquieu, and at elements of the contemporary debate, including the connections between social equality, recognition, and republican political thought, and the implications of social egalitarianism for debates over social, global and intergenerational justice.
The registration fee (£60 standard fee; £40 for postgraduate students) includes lunch and refreshments on both days of the workshop.
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Location: King's Manor, University of York