Freedom: At What Cost and to Whom?

Country: Portugal

City: Lisbon

Abstr. due: 28.10.2016

Dates: 07.04.17 — 09.04.17

Area Of Sciences: Sociology;

Organizing comittee e-mail: Ram.Vemuri@cdu.edu.au

Organizers: Inter-Disciplinary.Net

 

As world events unfold, individual freedom is under threat in many regions, nations and contexts.

When people vote and express their views freely without working out the implications of their actions, are individuals free to exercise their choices and are they free to change their minds? The case in point is the Brexit vote. A great number of British people voted to exit the EU, but following the result they want to reconsider their vote: this is an example of questioning freedom. When is one free to choose? How many times can individuals choose to be free? What are some of the fall out effects of people exercising their choices? Are people really free to choose? Or are they overly influenced by the media or by other circumstantial forces?

As bombs go off in restaurants, cafes, shopping centres, mosques, airports and, other common spaces, many are raising the question ‘what do we need to do when freedom is under threat?’.

To answer these questions and others, one needs to have informed conversations about Freedom. This is a proposal for a conference under the auspices of Inter-Disicplinary.net on Freedom.

The call for presentations (please note this is not a call for papers, because it is much more than an academic conference) at the international and interdisciplinary conference on Freedom is made to address Freedom: at what cost and to whom?

The conference is open to individuals who are directly dealing with, as well as are front-line staff in, a number of contexts: border security, prison officers, patrol and probationary officers; emergency officials: police, doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, and other allied health staff, fire services men and women officials; government officials, advisers and managers; academics of several disciplines including economists, psychologists, historians, philosophers, sociologists, just to name a few; local, national, regional and international representatives working in non-governmental organisations .

This conference is aimed at anyone who is interested in issues related to Freedom. Some of the suggested discussion topics are:

Conceptual questions:

    What does one mean by freedom? Is anyone ever truly free? In what ways?
    How much of freedom is an illusion? Conversely, how much is the absence of freedom an illusion? (For example, the Christian Right in America is fond of arguing that equal rights for LGBTIQ people deprives Christians of their freedom of religion, but does it?) How are arguments about the provision or denial of freedoms useful in a purely rhetorical context where the factual nature of the claim is either irrelevant or a secondary consideration?
    What is – or should be – the price of freedom? Must freedom always entail sacrifice (self-sacrifice or sacrifice of others)? Is freedom always at the expense of another’s freedom?
    What elements or features best describe freedom?
    When we think about freedom, do we do consider primarily in positive or negative terms: ‘freedom to’ or ‘freedom from’?
    Is freedom a right or a privilege? That is, is freedom an innate right or something that is earned, gained or lost? What are the mechanisms and processes of how these are achieved?
    What differences are there between freedoms that one is born with and freedoms that one has earned?
    Freedom promises: are there agents who promise freedom? Who bears the costs of such promises?
 

Conference Web-Site: http://www.inter-disciplinary.net/critical-issues/human-rights-and-active-citizenship/research-streams/freedom/call-for-presentations/