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Ethics and Social Welfare in hard times

01-09-2016 - 02-09-2016

hard ethical challenges

Changed landscape of social welfare

The landscape of social welfare has changed markedly since the financial crisis of 2008 especially where governments, as in Europe and elsewhere, have actively pursued an austerity agenda. The 10th Anniversary Conference for the journal Ethics and Social Welfare will address stark ethical challenges concerning how best to manage the impacts both of cuts themselves, and of ideological shifts to the priorities of the public sector and the wider public sphere. At the same time, global inequalities, sharp increases in numbers of refugees and in the migration of workers in care and domestic labor, remind us of the need for a global perspective. But how should we approach those challenges from an ethical point of view? To what extent does the landscape of values remain the same, even amid shifts in economic and political circumstances? What responsibilities does society have for the welfare of the most vulnerable, here and elsewhere? How much does it matter who delivers services to the most vulnerable in society and on what terms? And to what extent do ethical priorities differ, in hard times?

International and cross-disciplinary

This international conference aims to attract academics, practitioners, commentators, activists, service-users and others with an interest in the relationship between ethics, social justice and relevant arenas of contemporary policy and practice. Its audience will be cross-disciplinary and contributions addressing social, political and moral theory, alongside empirical studies of the impacts of austerity are welcome. But in both respects, with a focus on the application of key ideas and values in social justice to issues of pressing practical concern. The organizers are keen to include papers exploring the international dimension of these issues of care in light, for example, of the current migrant crisis and of the pursuit of austerity economics across Europe and beyond. They place a particular priority on attention to voices seldom heard in the mainstream of debate on these issues and among academics, on the inclusion of early career researchers alongside their well-established peers.

Issues and themes

Issues and themes are: social welfare and theories of equality, personalization and structural inequality, impacts of income inequality, global interdependencies, fairness, private sector provision and social justice, care and/versus justice, redistribution and recognition, relevance of traditional ethical theories, neoliberalism and its alternatives, inclusion and participation, marginalized voices, charity and responsibilities of the rich.

All this with a focus on ethical practice in relation to, for example: class, gender, race, ethnicity, religious diversity, disability, sexuality, poverty, migration, the market as service provider, children and older people, families, healthcare.

Keynote speakers

  • Eva Feder Kittay (Stony Brook University)
  • Andrew Sayer (Lancaster University)
  • Sue White (University of Birmingham)

More information

Registration and costs: registration will open in June 2016, with a non-residential fee expected to be £100, plus optional conference dinner on 1 September.
A limited number of subsidized places will be available for postgraduate students and those without institutional financial support.

Proposals of papers (300 words) and panels of 3 papers (including a title, 100-word description, plus paper outlines) are welcome.
Deadline: 28 February 2016.
Please send submissions to the email address below, and insert the word ‘SUBMISSION’ at the beginning of the subject line.

Proposals and queries to: 2016esw(at)gmail.com



Event Category:


Ethics and Social Welfare
View Organiser Website


Friends House
173-177 Euston Road
London , United Kingdom
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