MT06 Political Theory

Chair: Terrell Carver  t.carver@bristol.ac.uk

Political theory sets the terms through which political issues, events and conflicts are perceived and understood. Moreover it constructs the terms through which political critique proceeds as theory informs practice, and vice versa. Universalising ideologies of human equality currently confront influential doctrines that stipulate and defend inequalities. These are of income and wealth, gender and sexuality, and inclusion and exclusion by race/ethnicity, religion, citizenship, language, ancestry, culture or security status.
Theoretical work on how equality is defined such that inequality becomes identifiable and measurable will necessarily have implications for other major concerns, conceptual in the first instance and afterwards operational. These include democracy, participation, community, rights, justice, international and inter-generational economic relations, and structures of national governance, including redistribution, entitlement and social welfare.

This section encourages papers and panels that reflect a diversity of ontological and epistemological approaches, including historical, phenomenological, positive, normative, feminist, post-colonial, experimental traditions and trends, including discourse and visual analysis. Papers and panels should address issues of significance that currently arise in local, regional, national, international and global contexts. They may also display imaginative ‘into the future’ thinking about problems and solutions where theory can challenge the present. Inter- and multi-disciplinary contributions are welcome, linking with cognate interests and perspectives in philosophy, sociology, history, cultural studies, economics, women’s studies, international relations, business and administrative studies, geographical sciences, law, cognitive sciences, and psychology.

The Congress theme – ‘Politics in a World of Inequality’ – is not a constraint on what can be theorised but an invitation to philosophical creativity and methodological innovation.

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