18 Nov

Representation, Bicameralism, and Sortition: With Application to the Canadian Senate

Representation, Bicameralism, and Sortition: With Application to the Canadian Senate

Although representative democracy is today almost universally associated with competitive elections, for the ancient Greeks, elections were associated with aristocracy; democracy was associated with sortition. Some contemporary representative democracies choose juries by lot, but none choose their country’s political representatives in this way. An increasing number of contemporary political scientists and philosophers, however, have argued that elements of sortition would remedy many of the recognized defects afflicting electoral representative governments. In particular, sortition has been hailed as a way to enhance descriptive representation (mirroring the population at large); prevent corruption; mitigate domination by economic elites; mitigate elite-level conflict; ensure fairness and respect for the equality of all citizens in the political process; enhance deliberation; and enhance responsiveness to diverse points of view and interests. But sortition also gives rise to potential worries, concerning accountability; the responsiveness of representatives to societal interests; the proper relation between elected and non-elected assemblies; federalism; the social ontology presupposed by sortition; and differences between Athenian and contemporary society and politics.
This workshop will bring together social scientists and philosophers with two aims: critically to evaluate our theoretical and empirical knowledge of the relative merits and defects of using sortition to select representatives to the second legislative chamber of bicameral representative democracies like Canada; and to contribute to public debate in Canada about Senate reform by evaluating the desirability of reconstituting the Senate as a randomly selected Citizen Assembly. Any overall evaluation must be implicitly comparative, relative to alternatives such as abolishing the second chamber, electing its members, or appointing them (the Canadian status quo). Canada is an ideal setting for this debate: Senate reform is a topic of recurrent debate, and Canada is already a pioneer in experimenting with randomly selected deliberative bodies. (British Columbia and Ontario used randomly selected citizen assemblies to propose an alternative voting system for provincial elections).

Workshop format: The workshop comprises three closed sessions capped by a public forum. Sessions 1 and 2 will each begin with a presentation, based on a pre-circulated paper, making the case for using sortition to select representatives, such as to a second legislative chamber. Each presentation will be followed by two formal critiques emphasizing the problems with sortition. Session 3, “A Randomly Selected Senate?” will begin with a presentation, based on a pre-circulated paper, and in light of the specifically Canadian context of federalism and its history of bicameralism, laying out the case for reconstituting the Senate as a randomly selected Citizen Assembly. Finally, Session 4 will comprise a public forum in the form of a “policy Dragon’s Den” in which a panel of critics will grill two proponents pitching the Senate idea before a large audience.

Registration is required for the workshop (but not the public form). To register, please click here. Please note that registration is limited. You will receive a confirmation of your registration or indication that you have been placed on the wait list via email.

Schedule

Friday December 9, 2016
New Chancellor Day Hall, McGill University

9:00-10:30: Case for Sortition I
Chair: James Kelly (Political Science, Concordia)
Paper: Peter Stone (Political Science, Trinity)
Critiques: Dominique Leydet (Philosophy, UQAM) & Jacob Levy (Political Science, McGill)

11:00-12:30pm: Case for Sortition II
Chair: Christa Scholtz (Political Science, McGill)
Paper: Alex Guerrero (Philosophy, Rutgers)
Critiques: Arthur Lupia (Political Science, Michigan) & John Aldrich (Political Science, Duke)

2:00-3:30pm: Canadian Senate as Randomly Selected Citizen Assembly
Chair: Ruth Dassonneville (Political Science, UdeMontreal)
Paper: Arash Abizadeh (Political Science, McGill)
Critiques: Lori Turnbull (Political Science, Dalhousie) & Peter Loewen (Political Science, Toronto)

4:00-6:00pm: Public Forum on Reconstituting the Canadian Senate as a Randomly Selected Citizen Assembly (no registration required)

This event is co-sponsored by: the Centre for the Study of Democratic Citizenship, 
Research Group on Constitutional Studies (RGCS) of the Yan P. Lin Centre & Groupe de recherche en philosophie politique de Montréal (Gripp)

19 Sep

THE 2017 ANNUAL MONTREAL POLITICAL THEORY MANUSCRIPT WORKSHOP AWARD

Call for applications: The Groupe de recherche interuniversitaire en philosophie politique de Montréal (GRIPP), spanning the departments of political science and philosophy at McGill University, l’Université de Montréal, Concordia University, and l’Université du Québec à Montréal, invites applications for its 2017 manuscript workshop award. The recipient of the award will be invited to Montreal  for a day-long workshop in May 2017 dedicated to his or her book manuscript. This “author meets critics” workshop will comprise four to five sessions dedicated to critical discussion of the manuscript; each session will begin with a critical commentary on a section of the manuscript by a political theorist or philosopher who is part of Montreal’s GRIPP community. The format is designed to maximize feedback for a book-in-progress. The award covers the costs of travel, accommodation, and meals.

 

Eligibility:

 

  1. Topic: The manuscript topic is open within political theory and political philosophy.

 

  1. Manuscript: Book manuscripts in English or French, not yet in a version accepted for publication, by applicants with PhD in hand by 1 August 2016, are eligible. Applicants must have a complete or nearly complete draft (at least 4/5 of final draft) ready to present at the workshop. In the case of co-authored manuscripts, only one of the co-authors is eligible to apply. (Only works in progress by the workshop date are eligible; authors with a preliminary book contract are eligible only if no version has been already accepted for publication).

 

  1. Application: Please submit the following materials electronically, compiled as a single PDF file, in the following order: 1) a curriculum vitae; 2) a table of contents; 3) a short abstract of the book project, up to 200 words; 4) a longer book abstract up to 2500 words; and, in the case of applicants with previous book publication(s), (5) three reviews, from established journals in the field, of the applicant’s most recently published monograph. Candidates are not required, but may if they wish, to have two letters of recommendation speaking to the merits of the book project submitted (either separately or appended to the PDF) as well. Please do not send writing samples. The PDF file name should be your last name followed by a space and your first name. Send materials by email, with the subject heading “2017 GRIPP Manuscript Workshop Award” to Arash Abizadeh <arash.abizadeh at mcgill.ca>. Review of applications begins 15 January 2017. Contact ArashAbizadeh <arash.abizadeh at mcgill.ca> with questions.

 

Evaluation Process: The final decision for choosing the winner of the GRIPP manuscript award lies with the GRIPP Jury. The Jury will seek to meet within the first two weeks of the rolling deadline for submissions. All bilingual regular faculty members of GRIPP have the right to participate as members of the Jury. Each regular faculty member of GRIPP has the right to suggest a short-list of up to five proposals for consideration by the Jury, but the final decision rests with the Jury itself. All elements of the Jury’s deliberations are confidential; unfortunately it is not possible for the Jury or its members to provide any feedback to applicants concerning the merits of their proposal. A full list of the regular GRIPP faculty membership is available at <http://grippmontreal.org>

 

Previous GRIPP Manuscript Workshops:

 

May 2016: Katrina Forrester (QMUL), Reinventing Morality: A History of American Political Thought since the 1950s

August 2015: Lea Ypi (LSE) [with co-author Jonathan White (LSE)], The Meaning of Partisanship

May 2015: Magali Bessone (Rennes 1), Réparer les injustices coloniales : Perspective transitionnelle sur la justice réparatrice

May 2014: Paul Gowder (Iowa), A Commitment to Equality: The Rule of Law in the Real World

May 2013: Alex Gourevitch (McMaster), Something of Slavery Still Remains: Labor and the Cooperative Commonwealth

May 2012: Daniel Viehoff (Sheffield), The Authority of Democracy

May 2011: James Ingram (McMaster), Radical Cosmopolitics: The Ethics and Politics of Democratic Universalism

April 2010: Hélène Landemore (Yale), Democratic Reason: Politics, Collective Intelligence, and the Rule of the Many

April 2009: Alan Patten (Princeton), Equal Recognition: The Moral Foundations of Minority Cultural Rights

March 2009: Kinch Hoekstra (UC Berkeley), Thomas Hobbes and the Creation of Order

11 Apr

Research Workshop on / Atelier de recherche sur Forrester, Reinventing Morality

Research Workshop on / Atelier de recherche sur
 
Reinventing Morality: A History of American Political Thought since the 1950s
Annual Montreal Political Theory Manuscript Workshop
Atelier annuel de manuscrit de philosophie politique de Montréal
with / avec Katrina Forrester
2016/05/11
Arts Council Room 160, McGill University
 
The Groupe de recherche en philosophie politique de Montréal (GRIPP) is pleased to announce a one-day workshop dedicated to the 2016 winner of the Annual Montreal Political Theory Manuscript Workshop Award, “Reinventing Morality: A History of American Political Thought since the 1950s,” by Katrina Forrester of Queen Mary University of London.
Le Groupe de recherche en philosophie politique de Montréal (GRIPP) est content de vous informer de la tenue d’un atelier d’une journée complète dédié au manuscrit «Reinventing Morality: A History of American Political Thought since the 1950s » par Katrina Forrester, Queen Mary University de Londres, lauréate du prix 2016 de l’atelier de philosophie politique de Montréal.
 
 
 
Format: To maximize the quality of discussion, participants are expected to have read the manuscript beforehand. The workshop comprises four sessions dedicated to the manuscript. Each session will begin with brief critiques of chapters of the manuscript, followed by a brief response by the author and general discussion.
Format : pour maximiser la qualité des discussions,  on demande aux participants de lire le manuscrit au préalable. L’atelier comprendra quatre séances de discussions critiques sur le manuscrit ; chacune d’entre elles commencera sera lancée par des commentaires critiques d’une des sections du manuscrit, suivi d’une courte réponse de l’auteur et d’une discussion générale.
 
Registration: The workshop is open to everyone, but attendance is by registration and limited in number. RSVP the workshop coordinator Helen Baker:
Inscription : L’atelier est ouvert à tous, mais l’inscription préalable est requise étant donné le nombre limité de places. RSVP la coordinatrice de l’atelier Helen Baker:
 
 
Manuscript: Click here for access to manuscript. Access requires a password, which all participants will receive upon registration. (If you experience difficulty opening the PDF, ensure that your browser opens the file with the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.)
Manuscrit: Cliquez ici pour l’accès au manuscrit. Vous aurez besoin d’un mot de passe, que vous aurez recevoir quand vous vous inscrivez. (Si vous avez de la difficulté à ouvrir le PDF, notez que vous aurez besoin de Adobe Acrobat Reader.)
Programme
 
9:30 Welcome / accueil
 
9:45 – 11:30 Présidente:  Dominique Leydet (philosophie, UQAM)
1. Making the Rules: John Rawls Before A Theory of Justice
    Commentator: Victor Muñiz-Fraticelli (law, McGill)
2. Breaking the Rules: Obligation in the 1960s
    Commentator: Will Roberts (politics, McGill)
 
11:30 – 13:00 Lunch / Dîner
 
13:00 – 14:45 Chair: Travis Smith (politics, Concordia)
3. War and Responsibility: Citizenship and Liberties in the Vietnam War
    Commentator: Briana McGinnis (RGCS, McGill)
4. Going Global: Rules, Persons and International Justice
    Commentateur: Andrei Poama (CRE, Montréal)
 
14:45 – 15:00 Coffee Break / pause café
 
15:00 – 16:45 Présidente: Ryoa Chung (philosophie, Montréal)
5. Looking Forward: The Problem of the Future in the 1970s
    Commentator: Jacob Levy (politics, McGill)
6. Principles, Persons and the Challenge to Liberal Philosophy
    Commentateur: Charles Blattberg (politique, Montréal)
 
19:00 Dinner / Souper
12 Feb

Forrester awarded Political Theory Manuscript Workshop

The Groupe de recherche en philosophie politique de Montréal (GRIPP) is pleased to announce the 2016 winner of the Annual Montreal Political Theory Manuscript Workshop Award: “Reinventing Morality: A History of American Political Thought since the 1950s,” by Katrina Forrester of the Queen Mary University of London. A workshop on the manuscript will be held at McGill University in May 2016 (TBD).

06 Oct

Manuscript workshop on Arash Abizadeh, “Thomas Hobbes and the Two Dimensions of Normativity”

December 15, 2015

Old Chancellor Day Hall Room 16, Law Faculty

The Groupe de recherche interuniversitaire en philosophie politique de Montréal, the Centre de recherche en éthique, and the Research Group on Constitutional Studies are pleased to announce a day-long workshop on Arash Abizadeh’s book manuscript “Hobbes and the Two Dimensions of Normativity.”

 

 

Le Groupe de recherche interuniversitaire en philosophie politique de Montréal, le Centre de recherche en éthique, et le Research Group on Constitutional Studies ont le plaisir d’annoncer un atelier d’une journée complète sur le manuscrit d’Arash Abizadeh, entitulé « Hobbes and the Two Dimensions of Normativity ».

 

 

Format: To maximize the quality of discussion, participants are expected to have read the manuscript beforehand. The workshop comprises four sessions dedicated to the manuscript. Each session will begin with brief critiques of chapters of the manuscript, followed by a brief response by the author and general discussion.

 

 

Format : pour maximiser la qualité des discussions,  on demande aux participants de lire le manuscrit au préalable. L’atelier comprendra quatre séances de discussions critiques sur le manuscrit ; chacune d’entre elles commencera sera lancée par des commentaires critiques d’une des sections du manuscrit, suivi d’une courte réponse de l’auteur et d’une discussion générale.

 

 

Registration: The workshop is open to everyone, but attendance is by registration and limited in number. RSVP the workshop coordinator: Cameron Cotton O’Brien <cameron.cotton-obrien at mail.mcgill.ca> Inscription : L’atelier est ouvert à tous, mais l’inscription préalable est requise étant donné le nombre limité de places. RSVP le coordinateur de l’atelier : Cameron Cotton O’Brien <cameron.cotton-obrien àmail.mcgill.ca>

 

 

 

Manuscript: Click here for access to manuscript. Access requires a password, which all participants will receive upon registration. (If you experience difficulty opening the PDF, ensure that your browser opens the file with the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.) Manuscrit: Cliquez ici pour l’accès au manuscrit. Vous aurez besoin d’un mot de passe, que vous aurez recevoir quand vous vous inscrivez. (Si vous avez de la difficulté à ouvrir le PDF, notez que vous aurez besoin de Adobe Acrobat Reader.)
Programme
8:45 – 9:00 Welcome / accueil

 

 

9 – 10:30 1. Introduction

2. Naturalism

Chair /président: Christian Nadeau (philosophie, Montréal)
Commentators /commentateurs: 1. Sarah Stroud (philosophy, McGill)

2.Terence Cuneo (philosophy, Vermont)

10:30 – 10:45 Coffee Break / pause café

 

 

10:45 – 12:15 3. Mind, Action, and Reasoning

4. Subjectivism, Instrumentalism, and Prudentialism about Reasons

Chair / président: Dario Perinetti (philosophie, UQAM)
Commentators /commentateurs: 3. Laurens van Apeldoorn (philosophy, Leiden)

4. Stephen Darwall (philosophy, Yale)

12:15 – 13:30 Lunch / Dîner

 

 

13:30 – 15:00 5. A Theory of the Good: Felicity by Anticipatory Pleasure

6. Accountability and Second-personal Reasons

Chair / présidente: Dominique Leydet (philosophie, UQAM)
Commentators / commentateurs: 5. Kinch Hoekstra (politics, Berkeley)

6. Evan Fox-Decent (law, McGill)

15:00 – 15:15 Coffee Break / pause café

 

 

15:15 – 17:00 7. Morality, the Laws of Nature, and Justice

8. Rational Agency versus Personhood

Chair / président: Daniel Weinstock (law, McGill)
Commentators / commentateurs: 7. Susanne Sreedhar (philosophy, Boston)

8. Travis Smith (politics, Concordia)

19:00 Dinner / Souper
About: Since the manuscript partly considers Hobbes’s ethics in light of recent philosophical treatments of normativity, the workshop brings together both Hobbes scholars and contemporary moral philosophers. The basic premise of the manuscript is that, despite Hobbes’s materialism, he was committed to the existence of two irreducible and genuinely normative properties and types of claim, involving third-personal reasons for which one is responsible, and second-personal reasons for which one is accountable to others. As a result, despite widespread belief to the contrary, Hobbes cannot be fruitfully read as a substantive ethical naturalist for whom normative properties and claims are reducible to naturalistic, non-normative ones; nor was he is an expressivist or normative nihilist; nor was he a pure instrumentalist about practical reasons. Rational agents have genuine, irreducibly normative reasons to desire the preservation of a life worth living, and they have prudential reasons (independent of their desire to do so) to take the means that promote such an end; and rational agents who are also persons have genuine, irreducibly normative second-personal reasons to uphold their contracts, for which they are accountable to others. Moreover, Hobbes had neither a subjectivist (desire-fulfilment) theory of the good, nor a subjectivist theory of practical reasons. Reading Hobbes as an ethical naturalist, expressivist, or nihilist cannot properly account for his strongly cognitive account of reasoning, according to which reasoners infer conclusions by reasoning from premises that they take to furnish genuine, normative reasons; reading him as a pure instrumentalist about practical reasons fails to account for his commitment to prudential practical reasons (to care for one’s future self) and to a notion of obligation as a type of second-personal normative reason.
30 Sep

The 2016 Annual Montreal Political Theory manuscript workshop award

Call for applications: The Groupe de recherche interuniversitaire en philosophie politique de Montréal (GRIPP), spanning the departments of political science and philosophy at McGill University, l’Université de Montréal, Concordia University, and l’Université du Québec à Montréal, invites applications for its 2016 manuscript workshop award. The recipient of the award will be invited to Montreal  for a day-long workshop in May 2016 dedicated to his or her book manuscript. This “author meets critics” workshop will comprise four to five sessions dedicated to critical discussion of the manuscript; each session will begin with a critical commentary on a section of the manuscript by a political theorist or philosopher who is part of Montreal’s GRIPP community. The format is designed to maximize feedback for a book-in-progress. The award covers the costs of travel, accommodation, and meals.

Eligibility:

  1. Topic: The manuscript topic is open within political theory and political philosophy.
  2. Manuscript: Book manuscripts in English or French, not yet in a version accepted for publication, by applicants with PhD in hand by 1 August 2015, are eligible. Applicants must have a complete or nearly complete draft (at least 4/5 of final draft) ready to present at the workshop. In the case of co-authored manuscripts, only one of the co-authors is eligible to apply. (Only works in progress by the workshop date are eligible; authors with a preliminary book contract are eligible only if no version has been already accepted for publication).

Application: Please submit the following materials electronically, compiled as a single PDF file, in the following order: 1) a curriculum vitae; 2) a table of contents; 3) a short abstract of the book project, up to 200 words; 4) a longer book abstract up to 2500 words; and, in the case of applicants with previous book publication(s), (5) three reviews, from established journals in the field, of the applicant’s most recently published monograph. Candidates are not required, but may if they wish, to have two letters of recommendation speaking to the merits of the book project submitted as well. Please do not send writing samples. The PDF file name should be your last name followed by a space and your first name. Send materials by email, with the subject heading “2016 GRIPP Manuscript Workshop Award” to Arash Abizadeh <arash.abizadeh at mcgill.ca>. Review of applications begins 15 January 2016. Contact Arash Abizadeh <arash.abizadeh at mcgill.ca> with questions.

Evaluation Process: The final decision for choosing the winner of the GRIPP manuscript award lies with the GRIPP Jury. The Jury will seek to meet within the first two weeks of the rolling deadline for submissions. All bilingual regular faculty members of GRIPP have the right to participate as members of the Jury. Each regular faculty member of GRIPP has the right to suggest a short-list of up to five proposals for consideration by the Jury, but the final decision rests with the Jury itself. All elements of the Jury’s deliberations are confidential; unfortunately it is not possible for the Jury or its members to provide any feedback to applicants concerning the merits of their proposal. A full list of the regular GRIPP faculty membership is available at <http://grippmontreal.org>

Previous GRIPP Manuscript Workshops:

August 2015: Lea Ypi (LSE) [with co-author Jonathan White (LSE)], The Meaning of Partisanship

May 2015: Magali Bessone (Rennes 1), Réparer les injustices coloniales : Perspective transitionnelle sur la justice réparatrice

May 2014: Paul Gowder (Iowa), A Commitment to Equality: The Rule of Law in the Real World

May 2013: Alex Gourevitch (McMaster), Something of Slavery Still Remains: Labor and the Cooperative Commonwealth

May 2012: Daniel Viehoff (Sheffield), The Authority of Democracy

May 2011: James Ingram (McMaster), Radical Cosmopolitics: The Ethics and Politics of Democratic Universalism

April 2010: Hélène Landemore (Yale), Democratic Reason: Politics, Collective Intelligence, and the Rule of the Many

April 2009: Alan Patten (Princeton), Equal Recognition: The Moral Foundations of Minority Cultural Rights

March 2009: Kinch Hoekstra (UC Berkeley), Thomas Hobbes and the Creation of Order

 

08 Aug

GRIPP 2015-16 appel de candidatures/ call for fellowship applications

Call for Applications

The Groupe de recherche interuniversitaire en philosophie politique de Montréal (GRIPP) invites applications for a limited number of 2015-16 graduate student fellowships. Fellowships are available to graduate students in political philosophy and political theory at Concordia, McGill University, l’Université de Montréal, and l’Université de Québec à Montréal studying for their program’s highest degree.

Stipends will vary by degree program, by the Fellows’ existing funding, and by the number of successful applicants, but will be up to $6,000 for PhD students and $2,000 for MA students in programs that do not normally offer the PhD.

Successful applicants are expected to attend and participate in all GRIPP activities, including 2-3 seminars per month (held on Fridays), 1-2 conferences per year, two book manuscript workshops, and one workshop per semester on methods and approaches in political theory and philosophy.  In all cases, papers will be circulated and should always be read in advance.

Fellows will be expected to either

a) present a manuscript in progress at a seminar, which must be circulated at least two weeks in advance, with an abstract available in both French and English.  These papers, normally dissertation chapters or manuscripts in preparation for submission to conferences and journals, should be 6000-10,000 words in length, i.e. about the length of a journal article;

or

b) lead discussion of a manuscript in progress (which may be written by a Fellow, or a GRIPP-affiliated postdoc or faculty member, or a visiting speaker).  This will involve speaking for 10-15 minutes at the beginning of the session.  A straightforward summary of the paper isn’t called for, since all attendees should have read the paper, but rather an explanation and elaboration of its key arguments and contributions, followed by constructively critical engagement, suggestions for future directions, challenges, and questions.  The aim is to help the author, and to provide a good starting point for useful discussion.

Applications must include:

-The name of at least one GRIPP faculty member (see list here http://grippmontreal.org/faculty/ ) who will support your application.

-For past GRIPP fellowship holders: a statement of progress made since obtaining the GRIPP fellowship.

-Information about any external or endowed fellowships you hold (agency and award).  (Those who hold full fellowships will receive courtesy stipends, not the full award.)

Fellows in their first year with GRIPP will act as discussants; so will those who presented papers last year.  Returning fellows who acted as discussants last year will present papers this year.

If you will be a discussant, you should indicate any broad preferences about the kind of work you are most interested in discussing (these may not be honoured) and whether you are able to comment on work that was written in French, English, or either.

If you will be presenting a paper, you should offer a tentative title and abstract of the paper, along with preferences about when in the year you would like to present (these may not be honoured, and you will be expected to present whenever your session is scheduled).

GRIPP is a bilingual research group. Workshops will operate according to the principle of passive bilingualism.

Deadline: August 21, 2015

All applications should be sent by email to me at jtlevy@gmail.com Read More

02 Apr

Caleb Yong wins Sir Ernest Barker Prize

Congratulations to GRIPP/ RGCS postdoctoral fellow Caleb Yong, whose dissertation “Justice, Legitimacy, and Movement across Borders: A Political Theory of International Migration” has been recognized with the Sir Ernest Barker Prize for Best Dissertation in Political Theory by the Political Studies Association!