A Sustainable Society: Institutions, Norms and Freedom
Frank Hindriks (University of Groningen)

part of: Freedom, Norms and Democracy
January 29, 2019, 1:30pm - 3:00pm
The Centre for Philosophy, Politics and Economics, University of Groningen

Faculty of Philosophy, University of Groningen, room Omega
Oude Boteringerstraat 52
Groningen 9712 GL
Netherlands

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities

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Organisers:

University of Groningen

Topic areas

Details

After five very successful installments, the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Groningen will host its sixth yearly Winter School, aimed primarily at advanced undergraduate students and early-stage graduate students. The theme of the Winter School this year is Freedom, Norms, and Democracy. It will consist of 6 lecture tutorials where topics related to the theme will be discussed from different disciplinary viewpoints: Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE).

Theme: Freedom, Norms and Democracy

Liberal societies are under threat from the rise of authoritarian populism. Democracies in Russia, Turkey, and Egypt are giving way to electoral dictatorships; and right-wing populism continues to surge in Western Europe and the United States. Meanwhile, polling suggests that less than a third of millennials think it’s “essential” to live in a democracy. And trust in liberal institutions, such as fair elections and a free press, is eroding.

It’s with new urgency, then, that we are confronted with some age-old questions. What are liberal societies? And what, if anything, is valuable about them? How should a liberal society balance respect for individual rights against being responsive to the will of the people? By what system of laws or norms can we best sustain healthy democratic institutions? To what extent does democracy encourage or inhibit individual freedom? How much freedom is it reasonable to forgo in order to enjoy the benefits of living together peacefully? What role do social norms play in the functioning of a liberal democracy? Are social norms objectionably coercive? How much control can --- and should --- governments exert over informal, social norms? Are liberal societies worth fighting for?

To answer questions like these, the fast-growing field of Philosophy, Politics, and Economics --- or ‘PPE’ for short --- combines methods, ideas, and arguments from these three mutually complementary disciplines. This winter school consists of 6 lecture tutorials exploring topics related to freedom, norms, and democracy --- both separately as well as the connections between them ---  from different disciplinary perspectives.

Course Information

Level requirements

The Winter School is aimed at advanced undergraduate students and early-stage graduate students. It also aims to attract students who are potentially interested in the PPE Master’s programme. The Winter School will showcase the high level of teaching and research at the University of Groningen’s Centre for Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, while offering students the opportunity to become acquainted with our Master programmes.

It is expected that the participants have a sufficient command of the English language to actively participate in the discussions and to present their own work in English.

Programme

The winter school will take place on 28 and 29 January. For more information about the schedule, visit the website: https://www.rug.nl/education/summer-winter-schools/winter_schools/winter-schools-2018-2019/freedom_norms_democracy/course-information

Fee

The registration fee of €40 is to be paid in person in Groningen (and will be reimbursed for those later accepted into one the Master programmes at the Faculty of Philosophy).

The Faculty of Philosophy is offering up to three €200 scholarships for promising students enrolling in the Winter School who express serious interest in later applying for a Master’s programme in Groningen. Additionally, participants who are then accepted into a Master’s programme at the Faculty of Philosophy for the upcoming year (2019-2020) will have their registration fee for the Winter School reimbursed.

How to Apply

To register please send an email with your name, affiliation, and status (i.e. “undergraduate” or “graduate”) to winterschoolphilosophy@rug.nl, with “Registration for Winter School” in the subject line, no later than 22 December 2018. The number of spots are limited, so you are encouraged to register early. Preference will be given to advanced undergraduate students.

Scholarships

The Faculty of Philosophy is offering up to three €200 scholarships for promising students enrolling in the Winter School who express serious interest in later applying for a Master’s programme in Groningen. Additionally, participants who are then accepted into a Master’s programme at the Faculty of Philosophy for the upcoming year (2019-2020) will have their registration fee for the Winter School reimbursed.

To apply for the scholarships, send a brief CV (2 pages, maximum) and a letter (1 page, maximum) stating your interest in one of the particular Master’s programmes in the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Groningen to winterschoolphilosophy@rug.nl, with “Application for Winter School Scholarship” in the subject line. The Deadline to apply for the scholarship is 19 December 2018. Preference will be given to members of underrepresented groups in philosophy.

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