CFP: What is welfare and can we measure it?

Submission deadline: Wednesday, July 31 2013

Conference date(s):
Thursday, November 28 2013 - Friday, November 29 2013

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

Institute of Applied Ethics, University of Hull
Hull, United Kingdom

Topic areas


In recent years, the enhancement of human welfare, well-being or happiness
have become focal concern in public discourse, among professional bodies and
government think tanks, policy makers and philosophers, at national,
European and global levels. The question of how to conceptualise, assess and
measure welfare is crucial to ethical debates over social justice. Welfare
is also a key concept in many academic disciplines, including philosophy,
psychology, economics and highly relevant for the law as well.

Emergent issues about welfare that need further discussion include:

  • How is welfare related to wealth, interests, capabilities or happiness?
  • Welfare as source of moral rights and duties
  • Welfare in relation to distributive justice
  • Welfare as a fundamental concept in economics
  • How can theoretical debates about welfare impact on policy and practice?
  • Is there any way of measuring or estimating welfare that is both theoretically sound and practically useful?

The Institute of Applied Ethics at the University of Hull, UK is organising an interdisciplinary workshop on these questions on 28 and 29 November, 2013 and is now calling for paper proposals. This workshop will be an occasion for in-depth discussion of a relatively small numbers of papers (about ten) which will be circulated to participants in advance.

Abstracts would be especially welcome on the themes above, although submissions on any aspect of the nature and measurability of welfare will be considered. We are planning to publish selected papers from the workshop in a journal special issue.

Please send abstracts (approx. 300 words) for consideration to Peter Cserne ( and Tony Ward ( by 31 July. Decisions will be communicated early August. If your abstract is selected you will be asked to provide a short paper (3,000-5,000 words) by 31 October to be circulated among participants.

For any question about the workshop, please contact Peter Cserne (

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