Global Justice Pre-Conference


External Event

The new millennium opened with much activity in global justice philosophy.  The initial debates about cosmopolitanism versus nationalism have now largely died down without it being clear which side won. Some global justice scholars say the way forward is more engagement with empirical evidence and methods (Blake & Taylor Smith, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). Others argue that the recognition of a plurality of contexts of justice within and beyond the state will be the distinctive mark of future global justice theorizing.  There is even the further argument that while philosophers should attend to the best science of our day, philosophers should be more ambitious and frame theories about the world that the social scientists have not tested and, perhaps, cannot yet test.

A one-day ‘pre-conference' event before the annual Human Development and Capabilities Association (HDCA) conference will take stock of the current state of global justice theorizing.  Global justice philosophy and engagement with 'real world' empirical evidence and methods has been a long standing and defining aspect of the capabilities approach developed by Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum.  The pre-conference event aims to bring together some of the leading thinkers to reflect on the state of the field including Leif Wenar (King’s), Simon Caney (Oxford), Judith Lichtenberg (Georgetown), and Speranta Dumitru (Univ. Paris Descartes.)

The global justice pre-conference event is open to all and will finish at 4:00 PM.  Participants can then also attend the opening plenary session of the annual HDCA conference featuring presentations by Martha Nussbaum and others on the conference theme of capabilities and human aspirations.

Participation in the annual HDCA conference in the days following is encouraged. But it is not a requirement for participating in the pre-conference event.  It is open and free to all academics.  All voluntary donations will help offset cost of conference materials.

HDCA 2015

The annual Human Development and Capability Association conference brings together international scholars and practitioners that seek to build an intellectual community focused on the ideas of human centered development and the capabilities approach.

"Capabilities on the Move: Mobility and Aspirations" September 10-13, 2015


Blood Oil: Tyranny, Resources, and the Rules That Run the World (2016)

Leif Wenar

Tyranny, war, corruption and terrorism follow oil and other natural resources—because of the same law that once allowed the slave trade and genocide, conquest and apartheid. The West can lead the world beyond blood oil and conflict minerals to a more united, enlightened future. 

Global Justice: Recent Trends and New Direction 

Simon Caney

‘I will discuss ways in which the debate about global justice has evolved, and seek to identify the main methodological and substantive issues and debates.  I will also suggest new directions for future research.’

Distant Strangers: Ethics, Psychology, and Global Poverty

Judith Licthenberg

‘In Distant Strangers Judith Lichtenberg shows how a preoccupation with standard moral theories and with the concepts of duty and obligation have led philosophers astray. She argues that there are serious limits to what can be demanded of ordinary human beings, but this does not mean we must abandon the moral imperative to reduce poverty.’

Equal Accessibility

Speranta Dumitru

Prof. Dimutru will be pressing a paper on ‘equal accessibility’ as a principle of justice in mobility inspired by the CA and applicable to different groups (migrants, disabled, gender, etc.).

Due to limited space, registration is required.

If you have problems with registration, please contact