An inter-disciplinary workshop hosted by the Centre for Citizenship, Civil Society and Rule of Law
at the University of Aberdeen
Tuesday 28th – Wednesday 29th June 2011
Academic coordinators: Trevor Stack (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Matyas Bodig (email@example.com)
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 conference is 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.
Speakers include Matyas Bodig, Michael Brown, Corinne Caumartin, James Collins, Ajay Gudavarthy, Hilary Homans, David Kaulem, Heather Lardy, Line Nyhaen-Predelli, Jorun Poettering, Trevor Stack, Andrea Teti, Camille Walsh and Colin Wilder.
Full programme and instructions on how to register at http://www.abdn.ac.uk/cisrul/events/129/
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