Speaker: Philippe Van Parijs
The lecture would be followed by a conversation with Pratap Bhanu Mehta, before opening the floor for a Q&A session.
Electoral democracy possesses virtues that arguably makes it an indispensable tool in the pursuit of social justice. These virtues include the educational force of vote fetching, the disciplining force of self-infliction and above all the civilising force of hypocrisy. But this tool is very imperfect and for a number of reasons — among them, the growing impact of our local decisions on people living elsewhere or not yet born and the growing role of the internet — increasingly so.
To address its imperfections, it is worth exploring unorthodox strategies whose relevance will vary greatly from place to place. These strategies include the democratisation of a lingua franca (as a complement to local languages), the creation of global constituencies (as a complement to local ones), the development of randomly composed citizens’ assemblies (as a complement to elected assemblies) and listening to the street (as a complement to the ballot box). They will be illustrated by recent proposals and debates in the European context.
About the Speaker
Philippe Van Parijs is the Hoover Chair of Economic and Social Ethics at UCLouvain. Philippe Van Parijs studied philosophy, law, political economy, sociology and linguistics at the Facultés Universitaires Saint Louis (Brussels) and the Universities of Louvain, Oxford, Bielefeld, and California (Berkeley). He holds doctorates in the social sciences (Louvain, 1977) and in philosophy (Oxford, 1980). He has also been a special guest professor at the KuLeuven's Higher Institute for Philosophy since 2006. From 2004 onwards he was for several years a Regular Visiting Professor of Philosophy at Harvard University.
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