CFP: Responding to an Uncertain Future: Normative Theories of Risk and Climate Change Policy

Submission deadline: January 31, 2017

Conference date(s):
June 21, 2017 - June 23, 2017

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

Department of Philosophy, University of Graz
Graz, Austria

Topic areas


Risk and uncertainty pervade life from individual everyday choices to large-scale political decisions. The range extends from risks and uncertainties associated with climate change, terrorist attacks and new technologies to more prosaic examples related to health, accidents, financial crises and everything in between. Philosophical concern with the topics of risk and uncertainty is at an all-time high.

This workshop addresses the definition, assessment, moral evaluation and management of risks and uncertainties. We welcome contributions from a broad range of normative theories (ethics, political philosophy, political theory, law, etc.) as well as from related public policy fields, especially those concerned with risk and uncertainty in the context of climate change.

Workshop presentations might consider questions including, but not limited to:

  • What (if anything) is the harm in imposing a risk?
  • How can risk imposition be justified?
  • How to fairly distribute risk?
  • How to deal with uncertainty, for example in large-scale technologies?
  • How does the presence of risk affect our duties to future generations?
  • What role (if any) should public perceptions of risk have in policy-making?
  • Is the Precautionary Principle sound?
  • In relation to climate change, how can we tackle deep uncertainties about the future in an ethical way?

The workshop will be organized around a public lecture and a series of presentations with attendant commentaries. After a peer-review process, a selection of papers accepted for presentation will be considered for publication in an edited volume.

Please send abstracts of a maximum of 500 words to (with the subject line of your email including the title of the workshop). Abstracts should be received by 31 January, 2017, and should be in either PDF or MS Word formats. Acceptance notifications will be sent out by 1 March, 2017. We plan to pre-circulate papers, so the papers must be received by 31 May, 2017.

Unfortunately, we cannot commit to providing financial support for travel expenses and accommodation. We are applying for funding that may change this situation, and accepted speakers will be kept informed about the status of these applications.

Supporting material

Add supporting material (slides, programs, etc.)