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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

Structural Relations: Structures of Inequality: sociology and the politics of responsibility workshop (Day 3)

Seminar Room, Institute of Advanced Study, Dr Sam Hillyard (Durham University); Dr Ilan Baron (Durham University)

This three-day workshop (17 - 19 January 2018) combines two distinct activities with a shared methodological connection. The purpose of the workshop is to bring together multi-disciplinary scholars able to peer-review one another’s work as part of multiple grant applications.

There is longstanding recognition across the social sciences and humanities that inequity resides between hidden and formal structures. Yet the tendency to focus on structure as a causal mechanism deflects attention away from the analysis of the experiential basis of how people live in the social world and both shape and are shaped structures.

This project investigates structure and the injustice of inequity in two domains or groups:

(1) Legal institutions as structures of justice and injustice (Sam Hillyard (Durham); Sara Cousins (Stockholm); Hans Petter Graver (Oslo); Emma Engdahl (Goteborg); Thaddeus Muller (Lancaster) and; Lisa Flower (PGR, Lund)).

(2) Exploring the politics of responsibility (Ilan Baron (Durham); Piki Ish-Shalom (Hebrew University); Kirsten Ainely (LSE); Richard Beardsworth (Aberystwyth) and; Jonathan Havercroft (Southampton)).

The workshop provides a vital discursive forum bridging empirically focused sociological work and philosophical reflections on the politics of responsibility. These two ambitions dovetail one another. They are united by a commitment to use a theoretical-critique of political systems and agency-orientated perspectives.

Workshop (1) explores: what is the extent of change in legal frameworks undergoing reform, using case studies in the UK, Norway and Sweden. What is the direction and motivation for reform – human rights, globalisation or a consolidation of existing fragmented policy? Who are the key actors and agents in those reforms and their enactments? To what extent is justice facilitated by such structural readjustments? It is anticipated these may engage: the role and status of professionals within the judiciary and; questions of the stewardship and sustainability for land management and the environment.

The outcome of both workshops will be an empirical and philosophical research agenda to expose the way the modern agent is both driving and being driven by global capital, with one group’s focus being theoretically and empirically-driven and the other normative and philosophical.

The workshop groups will work both independently and collectively, with opportunities for peer review of papers, and the finalizing of two grant proposals. The format will require formal papers to be submitted two months prior to the workshop. Each grant proposal will have an identified PI to coordinate the submission. Initial “Case for Support” style documents will be drafted and circulated prior to the workshop.

Days 1-2 will involve paper presentations and more general discussions, with afternoon sessions on the second and final day moving to refine the working grant proposals.

Day 3 will focus on grant writing and collective paper-writing activities, with each grant proposal having a core group of three to work on the drafting. This process of intensive peer-review is modeled upon the international panel reviewing process at European councils.

For further questions please contact Dr Ilan Baron or Dr Sam Hillyard

Contact for more information about this event.