Conference: Justice at Work

Friday and Saturday, October 14-15, 2016

Location: Social Science Research Building, John Hope Franklin Room 

Read below for more details about the conference, confirmed participants, and schedule

Please note: Papers will be circulated prior to the conference. To ensure a robust conversation, we ask that participants register in advance to receive copies of the papers being discussed.

(Papers will be available no later than Friday, October 7.) 

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About the Conference

This conference is organized by Ben Laurence (Philosophy) and Daniel Brudney (Philosophy) as part of the Pozen Center Justice at Work Project. It is also supported by The Franke Institute for the Humanities

Workers’ rights are central to both the history and contemporary practice of human rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights forbids slavery, places just limitations on working hours, grants the right to work, as well as freedom of occupation, equal pay for equal work, just remuneration sufficient to secure a life worthy of human dignity, and, crucially, the right for all workers to join a trade union. These rights are further developed in the ICECR to include a right to workplace safety, a right to equal opportunities for promotion on the sole basis of competence and seniority, the right to strike, and the right for trade unions to form national and international associations. The history of international bodies, and nongovernmental organizations, focused on workers’ rights is a rich one. Recently, human rights monitoring organizations have turned their attention increasingly to workers’ rights. 

By contrast, for much of the 20th century, the paradigms employed by analytic political philosophers for thinking about social justice were primarily distributive. Even when the distributive doctrines were quite egalitarian, the consequences for workers’ rights were unclear to say the least. Having largely rejected a Marxist inspired vocabulary of exploitation, domination, alienation, and oppression to describe the conditions of workers under regimes of private property and the discipline of markets, analytic political philosophers struggle to find the tools neccessary to graple with these terms. This is thus an area where analytic political philosophers have failed to lead, until now. Spurred on by the precipitous decline of organized labor, and the long-term stagnating position of US workers, a growing number of political philosophers and political theorists are turning their attention to issues of justice at work.

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Confirmed Participants:

Sam Arnold
Texas Christian University

Sam Arnold is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Texas Christian University. His research interests include liberal egalitarianism, socialism, the division of labor and work, and consumerism. 

Pablo Gilabert
Concordia University

Pablo Gilabert is an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Concordia University. His primary research interests are in global justice, distributive justice, democratic theory, and contractualist theories in normative ethics. He has been a HLA Hart Visiting Fellow at the University of Oxford, a DAAD Fellow at the University of Frankfurt, a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University, and a Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Faculty Fellow in the Center for Human Values at Princeton University. 

Alex Gourevitch
Brown University

Alex Gourevitch is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Brown University. His Primary research interests are in political and economic thought; theories of freedom; work and leisure; Marxism; and rights theory. He writes political commentary, for publications like Jacobin, Dissent, and Salon, and runs a critical political economy blog The Current Moment. 

Rahel Jaeggi
Humboldt University, Berlin

Rahel Jaeggi has been a Professor for Practical Philosophy with Emphasis on Social Philosophy and Political Philosophy at the Humboldt University of Berlin since 2009. Her primary research interests are Social Philosophy, Political Philosophy, Ethics, Philosophical Anthropology, Social Ontology, Critical Theory, History of Critical Theory.

Kristi Olson
Bowdoin College

Kristi Olson is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy. Her research interests are in normative political theory, with a focus on issues of egalitarian justice. She received her Ph.D. in philosophy from Harvard University; she also holds degrees in health policy (A.M.) from Harvard University and law (J.D.) from Duke Law School. She was a postdoctoral research associate at Princeton University’s Center for Human Values. 

Julie Rose
Dartmouth College 

Julie Rose is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Government at Dartmouth college. Her primary research interests are in normative political philosophy, with a focus on issues of economic justice. She received her Ph.D. from Princeton University, and was previously a fellow at Brown University's Political Theory Project and Stanford University's Center for Ethics in Society.  

Lucas Stanczyk 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

Lucas Stanczyk is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at MIT. His Primary research interests are in political philosophy and the history of political thought. He has written on a broad range of topics such distributive justice, political economy, and normative democratic theory. 

Schedule of Events:

Friday, October 14, 2016

1:00pm-1:15pm / Registration and light snacks

1:15-1:30pm / Welcome

1:30pm-2:45pm / Session 1
Alex Gourevitch, "What Do Strikes Have to Do With Civil Disobedience?"
Anton Ford (University of Chicago, Philosophy)

2:45pm-3:00pm / Break and refreshments

3:00pm-4:15pm / Session 2:
Julie Rose, "The Value of Economic Growth"
James Wilson (University of Chicago, Political Science)

4:15pm-4:30pm / Break and refreshments

4:30pm-5:45pm / Session 3 
Sam Arnold, "The Structure of Proletarian Unfreedom, Revisted: Voluntary Simplicity and Liberation from Employment"
Daniel Brudney (University of Chicago, Philosophy)

Saturday, October 15

9:00am-9:15am / Coffee and Light Breakfast

9:15am-10:30am / Session 4 
Pablo Gilabert, "Dignity at Work"
Ben Laurence (University of Chicago, Philosophy)

10:30am-10:45am / Break and refreshments

10:45am-12noon / Session 5 
Rahel Jaeggi, "Pathologies of Labour"
Rafeeq Hasan (Amherst College, Philosophy)

12noon-1:00pm / Lunch

1:00pm-2:15pm / Session 6
Kristi Olson, "Equality, Matters of Taste, and the Incentives Debate"
Mark Berger, (University of Chicago, Philosophy)

2:15pm-2:30pm / Break and refreshments

2:30pm-3:45pm / Session 7 
Lucas Stanczyk, "The Shared Burdens of Social Cooperation"
Chiara Cordelli (University of Chicago, Political Science)

3:45pm-4:15pm / Reception