CFP: MANCEPT Workshop 2023-Justice and Collective Responsibility in a Public Health Crisis

Submission deadline: June 23, 2023

Conference date(s):
September 13, 2023 - September 14, 2023

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Call for Papers

Title: In the Shadow of Authoritarianism: Justice and Collective Responsibility in a Public Health Crisis


Contact: [email protected]

Deadline: 23rd June

The workshop will invite political theorists to discuss justice and collective responsibility in authoritarian regimes during the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic has significant impacts on different aspects of our life, promoting reflection on how states respond to the public health crisis, how societies protect vulnerable groups, how families distribute care burdens, and how individual citizens balance their personal liberty and political responsibility. While most philosophical discussions on this topic focus on liberal democracies, we believe it is important to also consider justice and collective responsibility in the shadow of authoritarianism.

This workshop aims to deepen our understanding of how states, especially those authoritarian ones, respond to a public health crisis. For example, it might be much easier for an authoritarian state to declare a state of emergency, so that the state can act more efficiently (for example, implementing extremely strict lockdown rules). However, what is the price and who pays for it? We also aim to explore how citizens conceive, fulfil, or fail their civic responsibility when their political liberties are seriously constrained, and their actions are monitored. How do they resist policies they think unjust and illegitimate? Is it justified to expect citizens to resist under such political pressure (do they have a responsibility to resist or resistance is a heroic action)? And is it meaningful to talk about justice in such an environment? 

Also, the workshop seeks to explore what citizens should and could do to defend their freedom and moral integrity under the pressure from both their authoritarian government and the crisis. The ambition is not to radically reform the regime in the near future, but to encourage conscious citizens to act in solidarity and address the feeling of powerlessness.

Finally, we hope this workshop can bring together political theorists who work in different political contexts, so we also welcome papers addressing relevant problems in liberal democracies.

If you would like to present your recent work on related topics, please send a 300-500 word abstract to [email protected] by 23rd June, 2023. 

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