CFP: Workshop 'Navigating the Rights and Value(s) of Nature' part of the 2019 MANCEPT Workshops

Submission deadline: May 26, 2019

Conference date(s):
September 9, 2019 - September 11, 2019

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

Manchester Centre for Political Theory (MANCEPT), University of Manchester
Manchester, United Kingdom

Topic areas


We are inviting applications for the following workshop:

Navigating the Rights and Value(s) of Nature

As part of the Manchester Centre for Political Theory (MANCEPT) Workshops 2019 at the University of Manchester, 9-11 September 2019.

Workshop information:

While the environmental crisis is aggravating, it is receiving increased media attention fuelled by civil society efforts such as petitions, marches and the Extinction Rebellion protests. In this workshop we aim to discuss some of the normative questions that underlie these political actions and we envisage a critical exchange between different philosophical perspectives that could ethically ground the need for more ambitious environmental protection efforts. Thus, building on last year’s workshop we would like to continue the conversation on what type of environmental ethic – and environmental political theory – we need in light of such urgency.

For this purpose, we invite environmental ethicists and environmental political theorists to discuss which rights and/or value(s) of ‘nature’, if any, provide the necessary normative justification for extensive environmental protection in form of, amongst others, ecological restoration, rewilding or biological conservation. Topics for potential presentations include (but are not limited to):

·      Does ‘nature’ have rights? And if yes, in what form and who or what is/are the rights holder(s)?

o   E.g. what is the appropriate form of such rights? Natural, legal or rights of justice?

o   How can individualist and holistic accounts be reconciled? The normative relationship between individuals, populations, species and ecosystems.

o   What are the respective duties and how are these reflected in different environmental protection strategies? Who are the duty holders?

·      Are relational values a promising alternative/addition to instrumental and intrinsic values?

o   E.g. what is the philosophical basis of such relational values?

o   What can New Materialism as a perspective contribute to their development?

o   Where lies the value in biodiversity?

·      What types of rights or values do practices such as ecological restoration, rewilding, or biological conservation respond to? Do these practices provide adequate measures to protect these values/rights?

·      Ethical analysis of different proposals of adaptation to loss of ‘natural’ biodiversity and changing ecosystems

o   E.g. the artificial creation of fully new ‘environments’, newly introducing species into ecosystems, gene banks or genetic modification

·      Should the search for a new environmental ethic be continued? Does the state of the environmental crisis tell us anything about the state of our ethical systems?

·      And more broadly: How should the concepts of ‘nature’ and ‘biodiversity’ be understood?


We envisage five 3-hour sessions (with three presenters each) during which participants can present their papers (including Q and A).

The MANCEPT workshops is a conference during which several workshops run simultaneously. Delegates are expected to attend all sessions of the workshop they are attached to but are free to attend any workshop they like during the sessions when their own workshop is not meeting. We are predicting, however, that our workshop will run over the entirety of the conference.

How to apply:

Please send your abstract (400 words max.) to either or

            Deadline: 26 May 2019

Please do not hesitate to contact us, if you have any questions.

Further relevant information:

This year’s fees for attending the MANCEPT workshops are £230.00 for academics and £135.00 for graduate students and retirees. A few bursaries are available for graduate students/early-career researchers and retirees. Applications for bursaries have to be made to the MANCEPT workshop organisers and can only be made by people accepted to present on a panel. The deadline for bursary applications will be the 14th June, and successful applicants will be informed by the 21st June.

Supporting material

Add supporting material (slides, programs, etc.)


Custom tags:

#MANCEPT, #Environmental Ethics, #Environmental political theory