2014-15 Theme Seminar - Egalitarianisms

Readings and Seminar Schedule
(open only to participants)

Organizer - Danielle S. Allen

Insofar as the purpose of democracy is to empower individual citizens and give them sufficient control over their lives to protect themselves against domination, the core ideal of democracy is political equality. What exactly is political equality? We have come to think of this ideal as consisting primarily of voting rights and the right to run for elected office. These political rights are, of course, fundamental. The carceral state draws our attention to that point, but voting rights are only one of the instruments available to be directed toward the egalitarian empowerment of a citizenry. How do political equality, social equality, and economic equality (and the corresponding inequalities) relate to each other? Are they separable or necessarily interdependent?  What has been their historical relationship?  How do questions of economics, law, institutions, social structure, culture, psychology, and human development intersect with the empowerment (and disempowerment) of individuals and collectivities? How have these intersections differed depending on time and place?  In the current context, how do forms of global governance and democratic deficits relate to projects of empowerment at other levels?   How have notions of empowerment differed in different historical and cultural contexts?  Is it possible to articulate a clear definition of equality or should we think in terms of varying languages of egalitarianism? What have been the critiques of political equality? Must egalitarianism be understood in relation to democracy? How should we think about non-democratic egalitarianism? We encourage applications that are at once aimed at the theoretical and philosophical dimensions of these questions, as well as applications that offer concrete examples of different practices and definitions of equality.

 Participating SSS Scholars

Other Participating Scholars

Tugba Basaran, University of Kent Urs Lindner, Max Weber Center at the University of Erfurt Germany
(currently a visiting scholar at University of Pennsylvania)
Brady Brower, Weber State University Daniel Mandell, Truman State University
Manduhai Buyandelger, Massachusetts Institute of Technology  
Anver Emon, University of Toronto  
Gary Alan Fine, Northwestern University  
Paul Gowder, University of Iowa College of Law  
Alexander Guerrero, University of Pennsylvania  
Michael Hanchard, Johns Hopkins University  
John Holmwood, University of Nottingham  
Nannerl O. Keohane, Princeton University  
Julilly Kohler-Hausmann, Cornell University  
Jill Locke, Gustavus Adolphus College  
Nolan McCarty, Princeton University  
Maurizio Meloni, University of Nottingham  
Peter Meyers, Institute for Advanced Study  
Charles M. Payne, University of Chicago  
Sophia Rosenfeld, University of Virginia  
Cécile Stephanie Stehrenberger, University of Zurich  
Joanna Tokarska-Bakir, University of Warsaw  
Mara Viveros Vigoya, Universidad Nacional de Colombia