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Human Development &
Capability Association

Agency, Well-Being and Justice

Monthly Archives: March 2016

CFP: Conference and Workshop on “Ethics for a Broken World”

November 25th – 27th 2016

Keynote: Timothy Mulgan (Auckland, Nz)

Location: University of Munich, Faculty of Philosophy at the Munich Center for Ethics supported and sponsored by the Research Consortium ForChange in the project Capabilities: Opportunities for Change in collaboration with the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy

Submission deadline: April 30, 2016

Download the call as pdf

We invite submissions for a joint conference and interdisciplinary workshop on Timothy Mulgan’s book Ethics for a Broken World: Imagining Philosophy after Catastrophe (McGill 2012).

Tim Mulgan’s book is a highly innovative exploration of our modern concepts in political philosophy. It achieves this aim by looking at our current theories from the viewpoint of a fictional “broken” future, i.e. one in which a climate catastrophe has made life much more difficult for all humankind.

Mulgan’s book applies a method that is quite unique in philosophy. He develops a detailed scenario of the future and scrutinizes political philosophy in this fictional world. Thus, Mulgan builds on a tradition in political philosophy to use scenarios and thought experiments in their arguments, such as Rawls “original position” or the “state of nature” in classic contractualism. Also, Mulgan’s work criticizes the “affluent” philosophy of our time because it does not fit the conditions of a broken world. Even worse, affluent philosophy may be partly to blame for not preventing climate change and disregarding the needs of future people. We take Mulgan’s criticism as a starting point to look for alternatives to traditional Western theories in political philosophy. The capability approach, as it was developed by Martha Nussbaum and Amartya Sen seems a plausible candidate, which I why we focus on it in the conference. Also we aim to expand Mulgan’s methodology and scenario building to further topics not covered in Mulgan’s book so far, most notably gender issues. We are especially interested in submissions about the following topics:

Capabilities for a broken world

The capability approach claims to evaluate the actual well-being of people and their circumstances of living. How does this thought transfer to the intergenerational context? How useful is the idea of capabilities in world, which is threatened by crisis or where crisis has already happened?

Gender and the broken world                         

Gender justice is often thought to be an important topic in works on sustainability. How relevant are just gender relations in scenarios about the future? What role does gender equality play in a broken world or in other scenarios? Can we achieve (more) sustainability by promoting gender justice?

For this segment we have invited Pamela McCorduck and Nancy Ramsey (both to be confirmed) for a round-table discussion on the Futures of Women This book was written 20 years ago in order to envision the different routes that the movement for gender justice could take. McCorduk and Ramsey lay out four detailed scenarios. Both are experts in scenario building. In this workshop we will discuss the role of scenarios in decision-making for the future and in philosophical ethics.

Workshop on world-building and the broken world

The conference is accompanied by an interdisciplinary workshop in which the participants will meet professionals from media and other creative industries. The aim will be to join forces to flesh out the broken world as it is presented in Mulgan’s book to the point where the world would be suitably concretely defined to serve as the story world of a movie or a novel. We will then turn around to discuss some philosophical questions with respect to this more fully specified world. The question we aim to answer is whether or not the added fictional detail will help us to develop clearer moral intuitions.

Given the experimental character of this event, we will ask of all prospective speakers to bring an open mind, as well as the willingness to do some light creative “homework” as preparation for the event.

The workshop will be facilitated by

Please send an abstract of about 500 words for the conference until April 30th 2016 to

Dr. Rebecca Gutwald: and Dr. Andreas Kapsner:  

The conference and workshop is free of charge. We will not be able to provide funding for travel and accommodation. Contact us for tips where to stay in Munich, or if you have any other questions.



Call for Papers – Factors in Studying Employment for Persons with Disability

Call For Papers: Research in Social Science and Disability, Volume 10. Factors in Studying Employment for Persons with Disability: How the Picture can Change.

Submissions are due May 1, 2016. Please send to Barbara Altman ( and Sharon Barnartt  (

More information:

Capability and Pragmatism: Between Social Sciences and Social Philosophy (Berlin, Germany)

21 - 22 April 2016

This international workshop is jointly organized by the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, the French Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS-Paris), and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). It aims to bring together scholars from philosophy and the social sciences to explore the theoretical and the empirical potential of capability studies today. Three main research themes will be explored during the two-day workshop: the relevance of the capability approach for deliberative democracy, human rights, and self-government; the social relevance of capabilities and their social embeddedness; and the economic dimension of capabilities, addressing vulnerability and empowerment. All these dimensions will be explored having in view the overall theme of the possible interactions, overlaps, and influences between the capability approach and the pragmatist tradition.

Download the schedule here. For more information:

Webinar- Engineering education for sustainable human development: a capabilities approach

The education thematic panel invites you to take part in the following webinar on 6 April from 14:00 to 15:30 GMT:

Title: Engineering education for sustainable human development: a capabilities approach

Presenter: Mikateko Höppener (Centre for Research on Higher Education and Development, University of the Free State, South Africa)

Please see the attached document for details and the paper abstract.

Also please note that you have to register to participate in the webinar through sending me an email at

ALCADECA Conference – Submission Deadline Extended to March 17

Montevideo, Uruguay

May 30 – June 1, 2016

Hosted by Universidad de la República (Uruguay)

Submissions deadline extended March 17

The organizers of the 2016 Conference of ALCADECA  are  pleased to announce the call for papers for its 6th  biennial meeting, to be held in Montevideo, Uruguay, on June 1-3, 2016. These meetings bring together researchers from different disciplines and fields interested in human development, the capabilities approach and other approaches to normative and development issues, with particular focus in Latin America.  Previous conferences have taken place in Mexico (2006), Montevideo (2008), Porto Alegre (2010), Buenos Aires (2012) and Lima (2014).

The rapid economic growth recently experienced in most Latin American countries has generated a significant increase in household income that has not necessarily been translated into proportionate achievements in terms of human development and freedoms. Social interactions can promote different life styles and, specifically, consumption patterns, that might strengthen or erode functionings and capabilities, both in terms of individuals and of social justice perspective. For instance, conspicuous, emulative or positional consumption might result in high indebtedness in the case of some households, leisure time reductions in other cases, or changes in preferences for redistribution, among individuals struggling to achieve certain standards promoted by the media or through peer groups. Institutions, markets and public policies can foster, mitigate or redirect these behaviours. Specifically, we are interested in discussing around questions such as: To which extent these phenomena are observerd in Latin America? If so: Do they foster or weaken achievements in terms of agency or capabilities?; Should institutions and public policies promote certain life styles or would that be an unacceptable form of paternalism?; Which policies and institutional designs need to be implemented in order to avoid the (potentially) deletereous effect of these behaviours? The conference aims at estimulating academic interchange on these topics.

The hosts of the 2016 HDCA Conference cordially welcome submissions of papers and thematic panel sessions.  In addition to proposals on the conference theme, papers on topics related to normative issues, human development, inequalities and poverty are welcome. The deadline for submissions is March 10, 2016.

More information about the conference will be available on the conference webpage: Questions can be addressed to the conference organizers at:

Paper Submission

a) Individual academic papers. An abstract of up to 500 words in English, Spanish or Portuguese must be submitted for consideration for presentation at the meeting. The cover page should include the title of the paper, institutional affiliation, including address, phone and email of each author and an abstract with 3-5 keywords.

b) Proposals for thematic panel sessions should be proposed as such, under a single theme. The sessions will be 90 minutes long, and so will accommodate 3 or 4 component papers. Each panel should have a coordinator who submits an abstract  for the panel  of up to 500 words in English, Spanish or Portuguese with 3-5 keywords. In addition, an abstract of similar characteristics should accompany each of the component papers of the proposed panel.

Please send your submission to

 Important Dates

Deadline for abstract and thematic panel proposals submission:  EXTENDED to March 17, 2016

Notification of acceptance:  March 31, 2016

Deadline for full papers submission:  May 10, 2016


The official language of the conference is Spanish, but panel proposals, papers and presentations in English or Portuguese are welcome. There will be a simultaneous translation service for keynote speechs.

For more information about ALCADECA 2016 see

Scientific Committee

Izete Bagolin (Pontificia Universidad de Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil)
Flavio Comim (Universidad Federal de Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil y Universidad de Cambridge)
Javier Iguñiz (Pontificia Universidad del Perú, Perú)
Gustavo Pereira (Universidad de la República, Uruguay)
Andrés Rius (Universidad de la República, Uruguay)
Graciela Tonon (Universidad de Lomas de Zamora y Universidad de Palermo, Argentina)

Local organizing committee

Ana Fascioli (Universidad de la República)
Martín Leites (Universidad de la República)
Agustín Reyes (Universidad de la República)
Gonzalo Salas (Universidad de la República)
Andrea Vigorito (Universidad de la República)

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