PhD Summer School 'What Equality?' hosted by the Centre for Citizenship, Civil Society and Rule of Law (CISRUL)
at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland
Workshop: Tuesday 28th – Wednesday 29th June
PhD summer school: Thursday 30th June – Friday 1st July
Extended deadline for submissions: Friday 3rd June
Academic coordinators: Trevor Stack (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Matyas Bodig (email@example.com)
Administrator: Laura Mackenzie (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Equality, slogan of choice in heady moments such as the 1790s and the 1960s, recedes into the background at other times like our present. All the more reason to ask, now, what ideas of equality there are, and whether there are equalities in practice. Ideas and practices of equality have, no doubt, been around for ever. Hunter-gatherers are often said to be egalitarian. Being equal in the eyes of God has for long been important to Judaeo-Christian traditions. But the workshop will focus on the ideas of equality associated with citizenship, with civil society and with rule of law.
The PhD summer school and preceding workshop are hosted by the Centre for Citizenship, Civil Society and Rule of Law, whose mission is to produce conversation across the social sciences and humanities on key concepts of the modern polity. Citizenship, civil society and rule of law are three such key concepts, all three of some pedigree but enjoying a new lease of life, prescribed by bodies such as IMF and United Nations, championed by social movements, and debated in the media and in academic research.
Citizenship, civil society and rule of law all include notions of equality, but it is far from clear what notions of equality, how they relate to each other, and what they do in practice. There are, to begin with, many notions of equality. For example, citizenship and rule of law share a notion of being equal as individuals in spite of other differences. One votes as a citizen rather than as a women, indigenous person or aristocrat, and one faces judgement as a legal subject equal to other legal subjects. But we will discuss, among other things, how the equality of citizens and equality before the law relate to each other, and how they stand in relation to other kinds of equality and inequality, such as the substantive distribution of rights, the socioeconomic disparities that concerned T.H. Marshall, access to the justice system, and cultural recognition. We will also ask how equality plays out in civil society, which has been accused of being unrepresentative and elitist yet often invokes some kind of equality as its objective.
Our approach is entirely inter-disciplinary and we are looking for advanced PhD students across the humanities and social sciences who are genuinely interested in talking with each other. There have been occasional debates among social scientists or between legal and political theorists but we represent a broader range of disciplines, including anthropology, education, history, law, literary and cultural studies, politics, sociology and theology. We are also keen to get beyond contemporary Europe and the US, on which most recent studies have focused, by including other contexts and perspectives. Our three key questions will be: How do notions of equality relate to citizenship, civil society and rule of law, in theory and in practice? How do notions of equality in citizenship, civil society and rule of law compare and relate to each other? What notions of equality exist beyond citizenship, civil society and rule of law?
The PhD summer school will begin with a workshop (schedule below) to be held at the beautiful Old Aberdeen campus of the University of Aberdeen on Tuesday 28th and Wednesday 29th June. The workshop will be followed by the summer school itself, which will be held on Thursday 30th June and Friday 1st July at The Burn, a Royal Deeside country house and estate. Transport will be provided to and from The Burn, where we will stay on the Thursday night.
We have a small number of places remaining at the summer school, open to PhD students who are in the final year of writing up. Successful PhD applicants will receive board and lodging for the duration of the workshop and summer school, as well as the first £200 of their travel expenses. Details are given after the workshop schedule.
Please download the application form for the PhD summer school at http://www.abdn.ac.uk/cisrul/events/129/
We will shortly be opening registration for those who wish to attend the workshop only.
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