Justice and Democracy

Convenors: Tom Rowe and Ben Arscott

Justice and democracy are dominant ideas in political philosophy. The relationship between the two values is complex and has been relatively underexplored. It may appear that there is at least some fundamental conceptual harmony between justice and democracy; both incorporate (or aim to) the values of freedom and equality to some extent. However, there are obvious tensions. Democracies can legislate in ways that are unjust, and justice may demand constraints to democratic procedures.

What is or should be the relationship between the two ideas? Are attempts to create harmony between the two ideas successful or desirable? This workshop aims to consider the various ways in which the relationship between justice and democracy can be understood.

Papers that deal with the interrelationship between justice and democracy, whether from a theoretical or applied approach, are welcome. Potential questions may include the following:

What is, or what should be, the role of democracy within theories of justice?

Does justice demand or require democracy?

Do the underlying values of justice and democracy reveal the potential for a closer synthesis between the two ideas?

What is the relationship between democracy and forms of multicultural justice?

Anyone who is interested in presenting a paper should send an abstract of no more than 500 words, or a complete paper, to Ben Arscott (hia08ba@sheffield.ac.uk) and Tom Rowe (trowe2@sheffield.ac.uk) by the 1st June 2012.


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