Connecting Sexual Ethics and Politics
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Sexual ethics and politics lie at the core of how we understand and practice our sexual lives. They form the basis from which we understand and engage with diverse and different sexualities. Both, however, are currently open to question. On the one hand, sexual ethics seems to be caught up in an abstract intellectual discourse, effectively separating it from practice. Sexual politics, on the other hand, has seen progressive advances through world-wide activism by grass-roots movements, NGO’s and national and international agents, but is often lacking a more self-critical and reflective stance. INSEP wants to activate a critical dialogue between sexual ethics and politics by connecting them and exploring the ways they can contribute to each other. The sexual is political and just as sexual politics could be enriched by emancipatory ethical thinking, sexual ethics should connect with contemporary sexual activism, politics and practices aiming at the realisation of sexual equality and justice.
General Conference Theme
In this conference we would like to focus on the construction, regulation and experience of contemporary sexual norms. By this we wish to ‘trouble’ current assumptions, dispositions and claims from different regulatory regimes for sexual identities, practices and differences in national and international contexts. Put simply, are today’s ‘progressive norms’ in contemporary Western societies really progressive? For example, are civil partnerships, equality before the law and hate-crime legislation the end to gay and lesbian politics? What is the role of law and citizenship in promoting respect for difference? And what discourses or developments beyond the law are necessary for promoting respect for sexual difference. Can we make claims for respecting diverse sexualities and at the same time have constructive dialogues with countries and cultures that do not? Is it oppressive to insist on universal principles for respecting sexual identities and difference? Where do we draw lines of legitimacy and illegitimacy? Or, on an even more fundamental level: is sexual difference as such valuable?
After a successful launch conference last year, INSEP – the International Network of Sexual Ethics and Politics - announces their Second Annual Conference, to be held at the University of Ghent, Belgium, from Wednesday 29 to Friday 31 August, 2012.
Tom Claes Associate Professor of Ethics Ghent University, Belgium Tom.Claes@UGent.be
Paul Reynolds Reader in Sociology and Social Philosophy Edge Hill University, UK email@example.com
Journal: Sexual Ethics & Politics - http://www.insep.ugent.be/journal/jinsep/
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