16 mrt
20:00 - 22:00
Studium Generale | Collegereeks, Engelstalig

More Peaceful, More Just Societies | Thoughts from Economics, Law and Political Science

What are peaceful and just societies, and how can societies become more peaceful and just? In a collaboration between the disciplines of economics, law and political science, this series offers an overview of the components needed for a society that serves its constituents and helps its members grow and thrive. We place an emphasis on five essential components. Each lecture will discuss one topic from the angle of the three disciplines, and look at where the challenges lie. One of the speakers will take the lead, and the other speakers will be present to react from their field of research.

The individual lectures

1. Fundamental Rights (Hopman, Thomsson & Krebs / 16 Mar)
Many see it as a fundamental truth, the idea that all human beings have rights, which are supposed to be inalienable. This adheres to the idea of natural law and natural rights (rights that you have simply because you are a human being). This idea is the foundation for international law, global politics and development. But do we really have these rights? And if so, how are they protected/enforced? What is for example the meaning of the right to life, when there is war?

2. Development & Modernization (Thomsson, Hopman & Krebs / 23 Mar)
We continue our exploration with the human drive to advance our knowledge and develop. As a species, we have evolved from being hunter-gatherers to building civilizations that can hone the power of sophisticated technologies, in an attempt to improve our lives as well as our collective goals. This is in other words, development, namely the idea that societies around the world are pursuing the advancement of well-being, or the freedom to live lives they value. But what exactly hides behind this concept? What is development? What are the roots of this concept, and how has it evolved?

3. Political Participation (Krebs, Hopman & Thomsson / 6 Apr)
This week investigates the institutionalization of powers that make development possible. Politics aims to guide society, and therefore plays a crucial role in determining how the benefits of development are shared. This week, we look at ways in which we participate and influence the political decision-making, who has soft or hard power and how we ensure that those in power are held accountable.

4. Legal Pluralism (Hopman, Thomsson & Krebs / 13 Apr)
This week we present you the theory of legal pluralism. According to this theory, there are different legal orders (or systems) which provide law over one geographical space. The theory gives us a theoretical lens through which to study the realization of rights, development and political participation in any geographical area. To illustrate: we might for example see that the opportunity for women to participate in politics is regulated through both religious law, tribal agreements, national and/or international law. These different legal orders all play a role in the realization of human rights in different societies.

5. Inequality & Distribution (Thomsson, Krebs & Hopman / 20 Apr)
We end our discussion with a focus on inequality as a danger to the common good/public interest. Touching upon aspects of development and participation, the starting point of this week is the question of what exactly the common good is, and how economically polarizing groups in a given society negative impacts it, as economic and political regimes aiming for the extremes obtain unattractive results. In this background, the optimum could lay somewhere in the middle, with a value of inequality that “works best”: Can we speak of just inequality? How much inequality could be just?

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