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IFDT 2016 : Social Justice: New Perspectives, New Horizons


When May 4, 2016 - May 6, 2016
Where Belgrade, Serbia
Submission Deadline Mar 5, 2016
Categories    social science   philosophy

Call For Papers

4th International Conference of the Group for Social Engagement Studies, Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University in Belgrade

Social Justice: New Perspectives, New Horizons

May 4-6, 2016

It is our great pleasure to announce a conference entitled Social Justice: New Perspectives, New Horizons. The conference is organized by the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade. It will take place in Belgrade from 4-6 May 2016. Prospective conference participants are welcome to apply and submit their abstracts by the 5th of March 2016.


The conference will reflect on the phenomenon of social justice in a comprehensive and interdisciplinary manner, encompassing a variety of theoretical perspectives and contemporary empirical research that shed light on the complex ways in which people experience injustice and articulate its critique. We envisage the conference as an attempt to deepen the dialogue between empirical research, theoretical conceptualizations and public discourses on social justice in the pursuit of a nuanced and empirically sensitive conception of a just society.

In their approaches to injustice, economists, sociologists and political theorists have mostly been focused on different dimensions of inequality and ways to measure them. The public discourse on social justice has thus revolved around a critique of inequalities and the demands for a fairer distribution of resources – economic, but also organizational, cultural, societal, epistemic and symbolic. The conference will give an opportunity for a critical examination of contemporary perspectives on distributive justice considering possible limits of the distribution-oriented (and justice-oriented in general) approaches to ordinary actors’ grievances. Among others, the following questions will be addressed: Is the concept of justice and its opposite (injustice) the best conceptual tool in confronting the deficiencies of a particular social order, or is there any other concept that could better suit this purpose? What is the relation of the concept of justice to the concepts of equality, liberty and autonomy?

We would also like to examine the relation between the vocabularies of political theory and the ‘lay’ normativity of ordinary social actors (Andrew Sayer), as well as reflect on the role that publicly engaged social science might have in bringing about a more just society. We are especially interested in exploring further the potential of the capabilities approach for conceptualizing social justice. Participants are also invited to reflect on the ever more prominent conception of ‘fair’ inequality.

Topics of interest include:

Theories of justice: ‘differences and commonalities’
Principles of a just society
Justice, critique and lay normativity
Distributive justice and people’s capabilities
Redistribution and/or recognition
Social justice and rising inequalities
Complexity of inequalities (class, age, gender, ethnicity, race, geographical area, disability, etc.)
Epistemic equality
(Un)just inequalities
Social justice and the (neoliberal) state
New work arrangements and justice
Challenges in the health care (biotechnologies, etc.)
Global justice
Environmental justice
Justice in the Cyberspace

Confirmed speakers

Hauke Brunkhorst, Universität Flensburg

Lisa Herzog, Institute for Social Research, Frankfurt am Main

Wolfgang Merkel, WZB, Berlin Social Science Centre

Organization of the conference

The conference is organized by the Group for the Study of Social Engagement, part of the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory in Belgrade, with the support of the Serbian Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, and in cooperation with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, the Heinrich Böll Foundation, The Goethe Institute in Serbia, French Institute in Serbia and the Center for Advanced Studies of the University of Rijeka, Croatia.

Guide for authors

The official language of the conference is English.

The Program Committee of the conference will select the presenters based on the submitted abstracts. The book of abstracts will be published by the time of the conference.

Conference applications should be sent via e-mail to the following address: The email subject should contain the following title: Application: title of the paper. The application should be in the .doc, .docx or .pdf format and it should contain: the title of the presentation, an abstract of up to 200 words and a short biography, in English.

The application deadline is the 5th of March 2016.

Presentations should not exceed 20 minutes.

There will be no registration fees. Conference organisers will provide lunch and light refreshments during the conference. Participants are kindly requested to make their own accommodation and travel arrangements.

Important dates

Application deadline: March 5, 2016

Notification of acceptance: March 25, 2016

Conference dates: 4-6 May 2016

Program Committee

Petar Bojanić, Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade

Wolfgang Merkel, WZB, Berlin Social Science Centre

Éric Fassin, University of Paris VIII

Marjan Ivković, Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade

Srdjan Prodanović, Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade

Bojana Radovanović, University of Cambridge and Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade

For any enquiries regarding the conference, please contact:

For more information, please visit the website of the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory:



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