10th Summer School in Political Philosophy and Public Policy: “Democracy, Corporations, and the Limits of the Market”

daniele santoro's picture
Call for Papers
July 9, 2019 to July 11, 2019
Subject Fields: 
Philosophy, Public Policy, Political Science, Humanities, Government and Public Service

10th Summer School in Political Philosophy and Public  Policy: “Democracy, Corporations, and the Limits of the Market”

University of Minho, Braga

When: 9-11 July 2019

Where: Auditorium - Instituto de Letras e Ciências Humanas (ILCH), University of Minho, Braga - Portugal

Lectures by:

Isabelle Ferreras - Université Catholique de Louvain (by videoconference) 

Liza Herzog - Technische Universität München

Abraham Singer - Loyola University, Chicago

Alan Thomas - University of York

Website: https://10thsummerschoolbraga.weebly.com


Since the end of the Cold War, capitalism has triumphed globally, and market economies have ruled unchallenged. Criticisms that capitalism exacerbates inequalities have been brushed aside in the name of the freedom of enterprise, while limits to its inherent logic have been suppressed by systematic policies of deregulation and privatization. Despite recurrent periods of recession,  economic liberalism became hegemonic in the 1980s through the 1990s, conquering and converting much of the European social-democracy to its assumptions and policies. Then the 2007-2008 financial crisis hit. The long-lasting consequences of soaring inequalities and public and private debt became manifest, as well as the inability of neoliberal policies to provide essential public goods to large portions of national communities affected by the crisis. Many have come since then to question capitalism and the unfettered rule of the markets. Political philosophers have insisted that, even within the constraints of a capitalist market economy, a more just society is not only economically and politically feasible but morally mandatory and have been keen to explore new avenues of alternative public policies. In this context, some authors have recently explored the idea of the private company as a political entity in its own right, which ought to be subject to legal and moral rules and limits analogous to those which exist for other kinds of political communities, such as nation-states. The private company doesn't have to be, nor should it be, a morality-free or justice-free space in liberal democratic societies.

While in previous editions of the Summer School we have discussed alternatives to the existing capitalist regime such as property-owning democracy (2014) and democratic socialism (2018), in this edition we seek to discuss more largely the legitimacy of free market capitalism and the political role and structure of the private company.

We are particularly interested in debating the following questions: 

What is the philosophical foundation of the legal personhood of the company?

Should a liberal-democratic state impose democratic rules and rights on the company? 

Are democratic constraints on the operations of the company an encroachment on fundamental private property rights of its owners?

Can rules and rights simultaneously be politically and economically feasible? 

Are free market capitalism and social justice still compatible? If so, to what extent?

What philosophical grounds justify state regulation and interference in the market?  

What limits should be devised to the market for the sake of the public interest? 

What is the nature of the public interest?


The course features four invited speakers, who will deliver one to two lectures each. We invite the participation of Ph.D. students, postdoctoral scholars and established researchers to join us in the discussion and present their ongoing work on these topics or any related theme.

How to Apply

To present a paper, submit an abstract of no more than 500 words, along with 3-5 keywords at https://goo.gl/o1gCXs

To attend the school without presenting a paper, complete the participation form with your name, institutional affiliation (if any), and a short bio at  https://goo.gl/4juVcp

Women and members of socially under-represented collectives are especially encouraged to apply.


The deadline for submissions of abstracts is May 31, 2019. Applicants will be notified by June 9  if their paper has been selected for the school.

The deadline to apply for participation is June 16, 2019.   Applicants will be notified on a rolling basis.

Registration and Fee

The participation fee is 100 Euros. Detailed information about registration, program, and accommodation are available on the school website: https://10thsummerschoolbraga.weebly.com

For other queries, contact: 10thbragasummerschool@gmail.com


Contact Info: 

This event is co-organized by the Centre for Ethics, Politics, and Society of the University of Minho,  and the Philosophy Department of the University of York.

Convenors: António Baptista, Daniele Santoro, Alan Thomas