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Presentations of 1st year Political Theory track PhD students

The CEU Campus
Thursday, April 19, 2018, 1:30 pm – 3:10 pm

Probationary Doctoral candidates are required to present the topic of their dissertation in a seminar of faculty and students. The Political Theory track students of the Doctoral School of Political Science, Public Policy and International Relations are scheduled for a short presentation at a regular departmental seminar as below. 

  • 13:30 – 13:50   Giorgia, BRUCATO

Children and peace processes: a normative theory of children participation

The evolution of the child rights framework led to a growing consensus on the importance of the role of children in conflict-ridden societies and conflict transformation processes, as actors involved in and exposed to violent conflicts as well as main stakeholders in transitional societies. However, reflections on whether the involvement of children in pace processes benefit them as well as the process itself lack normative justifications. The tension between the right of the child to be protected and to participate, and the complexity of a post-conflict context, raise moral questions and require serious considerations on how societies can fulfil their duty towards younger generations through the recognition of the status of their children.

Personal Autonomy and Interdependence

Personal autonomy, defined globally, as self-governing of a person regarding the pursuance of one’s own conception of the good life, has generally been said not to be concerned with morality. In this respect it is said that personal autonomy gives primacy to the aspect of self-rule, of the aspect of leading a life according to one’s own pro-attitudes (desires, reasons, preferences) and is thus contrasted with heteronomy, as a state in which an individual life is externally constrained with requirements and conditions that the individual does not perceive as one’s own. But having in mind the social nature of persons and the necessary social influence for developing first, a personality and second, autonomous personality, it is legitimate to ask how this seemingly hyper-individualistic stand of personal autonomy relates with our roles in the public sphere. In this regard, my project is focused on answering two interconnected questions: first, how can we claim that any person is self-determining and self-governing in the sense described above?; and second, how our conception of the Good, can justifiably be transferred in the public sphere, when this sphere is understood as democratic. In my presentation of the project I will elaborate on the directions I intend to pursue in answering these questions.

Positive sovereignty: towards understanding legitimate authority beyond sovereign states

We have a problem with sovereignty. Globalisation is causing state capacities to migrate to the supra- and infra-national levels, but legitimacy — in a sociological sense at least — remains at the level of the nation-state. That, I argue, is because an early modern, Westphalian concept of sovereignty remains the norm in international politics and in thinking about international politics. It functions as a meta-logic commanding assumptions and constraining possibilities. I propose, therefore, to revisit the concept of sovereignty as institutionalised public authority. I aim to develop a concept of sovereignty that is not tied to the state but to legitimacy and the capacity to act; a concept that is dynamic, not state-centric. It should allow for plural authority; a global institutional ordering that transcends states, cracking the dichotomy between a system of sovereign states and a world state. What matters is not how many states there are, but whether moral catastrophe of illegitimate rule can be overcome through conceptual innovation.