IAS Egalitarianisms

by Henry on June 14, 2013

The Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton NJ will be inviting twenty visiting scholars to participate in a year-long program next year, and is particularly interested in applicants focusing on different forms of egalitarianism.

What exactly is political equality? We have come to think of this ideal as consisting primarily of voting rights and the right to run for elected office.These political rights are, of course, fundamental.The carceral state draws our attention to that point, but voting rights are only one of the instruments available to be directed toward the egalitarian empowerment of a citizenry. How do political equality, social equality, and economic equality (and the corresponding inequalities) relate to each other? Are they separable or necessarily interdependent? What has been their historical relationship? How do questions of economics, law, institutions, social structure, culture, psychology, and human development intersect with the empowerment (and disempowerment) of individuals and collectivities? How have these intersections differed depending on time and place? In the current context, how do forms of global governance and democratic deficits relate to projects of empowerment at other levels? How have notions of empowerment differed in different historical and cultural contexts? Is it possible to articulate a clear definition of equality or should we think in terms of varying languages of egalitarianism? What have been the critiques of political equality? Must egalitarianism be understood in relation to democracy? How should we think about non-democratic egalitarianism? We encourage applications that are at once aimed at the theoretical and philosophical dimensions of these questions, as well as applications that offer concrete examples of different practices and definitions of equality.

Obviously, these are questions that many CT readers are very interested in. I’ve been to the IAS for weekend workshops, and it’s a wonderful place – spending a year there with a bunch of smart people interested in these questions would be a lot of fun. If you’re interested in applying, further information can be found here.

{ 6 comments }

1

Anonymous coward 06.14.13 at 2:59 pm

Don’t forget the cafeteria. It’s called Institute for Advanced Dining for a reason!

2

Bruce Wilder 06.14.13 at 3:48 pm

“The carceral state draws our attention to that point”

the carceral state! I wonder which carceral state was participating in their weekend seminar.

3

Anarcissie 06.14.13 at 4:44 pm

The IAS, in Princeton, looking for equality? They will need long telescopes.

4

prasad 06.14.13 at 8:45 pm

One fairly large hole (istm) in their topic list: what counts as a community when thinking about inequality? Shall we care about inequality largely at the national level or also expand to continent level (e.g. inter-state inequalities in Europe) or global inequalities? The last would seem to be of considerable interest both in general and when thinking about things like trade, job migration or immigration.

5

LFC 06.14.13 at 11:30 pm

I just saw that Dani Rodrik is going to IAS as Albert Hirschman Professor, acc. to this post:
http://cheaptalk.org/2013/06/07/dani-rodrik-to-move-to-the-institute-for-advanced-study/

(maybe people already know this but I didn’t)

6

peggy 06.15.13 at 2:34 am

In 1969 I spent a summer working with the architect John Sharrat as a city planning student. He was partnered with a Puerto Rican activist group working to save an impoverished neighborhood scheduled to be torn down and remade convenient for the professionals employed by the burgeoning “New Boston”. Together they created Villa Victoria, an award winning community that incorporated quality housing, social services, economic development, and the arts. The Villa Victoria model established a foundation for the current thinking behind “New Urbanism”, an integration of housing and services leading to the building of a sustainable community.

MIT decided to expand my summer program so that more students could participate. I pointed out that the community organizers I had met had as much to teach us a we had to offer them, and the program grew appropriately to include the community. I had that insight at age 20, yet the designers of this prestigious program at the IAS don’t have a clue. Consider excluding the young Barack Obama because he’s lacking credentials and publications. After all, the editors at the Harvard Law Review only publish other people’s work. Maybe Obama would have made it past the cut off, but how about the young Mandela or the authors of “Our Bodies, Ourselves”, which was originally published on newsprint?

Have fun, apply, and if you get in, enjoy. Just don’t expect to learn anything.

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