Which Property? Whose Capital? Property-Owning Democracy and the Socialist Alternative. 9th Braga Summer School in Political Philosophy & Public Policy
Abstr. due: 15.05.2018
Dates: 03.07.18 — 05.07.18
Organizing comittee e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Organizers: Center for Ethics, Politics, and Society , University of Minho, Portugal
In recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in issues at the intersection of political philosophy and public policy. In particular, attention has increasingly turned to the question of what kind of institutions and policies would be needed in order to create a significantly more just society.
Following past summer-schools on topics such as justice between generations (2010), democratic virtues (2011), radical democracy (2012), basic income (2013), predistribution and property-owning democracy (2014), the ethics of banking (2015), the commons (2016), the philosophy of work (2017), the 9th summer-school will be dedicated to property and capital in property-owning democracy and socialism.
Originally prompted by John Rawls’ A Theory of Justice (1971, 1999), and later in Justice as Fairness. A Restatement (2001) the concept of property-owning democracy has gained interest in the last decade as an alternative to welfare-state capitalism.
According to Rawls, the aim of property-owing democracy is “to disperse the ownership of wealth and capital, and thus to prevent a small part of society from controlling the economy, and indirectly, political life as well. By contrast, welfare-state capitalism permits a small class to have a near monopoly of the means of production” (2001: 139).
The widespread ownership of productive assets, as well as of human capital, is thus not about assisting the most disadvantaged by means of welfare policies and redistribution, but instead to enable citizens to realize their life-plans in a condition of relative economic equality and reciprocity.
The idea of a property-owning democracy bears important similarities with other attempts among liberal democratic socialists and left-libertarians to contain the perverse effects of market concentration of wealth and ensure a pre-distributive entitlement to citizens irrespective of their working status. At the same time, property-owning democracy has been criticized for assuming that the capitalist system can be effectively reformed to ensure social justice.
These topics are of growing interest within academia, where they features prominently in recent debates in philosophy, history, law, political science, and economics. In this summer school we will discuss insights emerging from philosophical reflection on the nature of these topics and think about normative principles guiding the organization of a property-owning democracy and its socialist alternative, as well as its possible public policies, such as the allocation of capital grants.
Conference Web-Site: https://9thsummerschoolbraga.weebly.com/