Below you will find a copy of the call for applicants to the Yaoundé seminar, organized by the Centre of Study and Research on Political and Social Justice -CERJUSP – (Catholic University of Central Africa), and the Hoover Chair of Economic and Social Ethics (Catholic University of Louvain).
Justice and Agents of Justice
CALL FOR APPLICANTS
If political and moral philosophers have worked to define the principles of justice by identifying the fundamental rights and correlative obligations, there is however less interest on questions pertaining to agents of justice which if well-constructed will include both moral agents and individuals or institutions who can be attached certain obligations of justice. In other words, the issue of ‘what we owe to each other’ (Scanlon, 1998) has attracted more attention than reflections on who actually owes what to whom? Or who should be obligated once a moral imperative has been identified (O’Neill, 1999). This blurring situation on the identification of agents of justice is often confronted when examining global problems such as hunger. If we recognize this situation as ‘unacceptable’ and a violation of the fundamental rights of the less privileged, we must also accept that many scholars are more divided when it comes to identifying the actors who have the obligation to rectify this. If the issue of agents to implement the principles of justice is less explicit, it is probably because of the contention that the State, as a source of law and stakeholder in international human rights agreements, is immediately in charge of the obligations related to these rights.
If any theory of justice therefore aims to identify principles that should regulate the coexistence and cooperation between various individuals recognized as free and equal, it therefore implies that the State, as an organized group of free and equal people living in a given territory, is the principal agent of justice. It is because the state has power that theorists of justice assume she is the principal agent of justice. And because other actors of the society would be deprived of the same power that they are regarded as secondary agents of justice. However, considering the state as the main agent of justice may seem problematic for the protection of fundamental rights if one takes seriously into consideration some social facts: What becomes of the protection of fundamental rights when the State practices injustice, either through violation of her own citizens’ fundamental rights, or just because she is not democratic? What happens to the protection of fundamental rights when the state becomes weak due to lack of resources –political and financially. Such weaknesses can lead to a power or authority vacuum thus the privatization of many state prerogatives to private actors or agents. How then identify potential agents of justice in these contexts?
After devoting its first edition to the theories of global justice, the second edition of The Yaoundé Phd Seminar – “Theories of Justice” attempts to address the criteria enabling the identification of different agents of justice at the global and national, through three main segments: lectures, project presentations and feedbacks.
The Application Process
The organizing committee welcomes applications from doctorate students – African PhD students (max. 10) and the other half non-African PhD students (max. 10) who are interested in this subject. Applicants will be selected according to their projects or ongoing theses on aspects related to theories of justice in general and other related fields (philosophy, law, theology, canon law, sociology, anthropology, economics, political science, history, human rights, etc. However priority will be given to those which are directly related to this theme as well as female candidates. Non-doctoral candidates may also be considered based on the substance of their application.
Applications are expected by 28 February 2013 in French and / or English and include:
1) a project (max. 2 pages) in a pdf format.
2) One letter of recommendation from the supervisor sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com,
3) One brief CV highlighting the University to which the candidate is affiliated, his research interests and scientific publications if possible.
The entire file must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or
Successful applicants will be notified by 31st March 2013 at the latest.
They should undertake to:
1) Pay 150 Euros participation fee (for African PhD students) and 300 euros (for doctoral non-African) no later than 30 June 2013 and
2) Their travel costs to Yaoundé (Cameroon).
Once in Cameroon, accommodation, transportation and catering will be fully taken care of by CERJUSP. (NB: there are opportunities to reduce costs of participation for African PhD students, but they are very limited).
In addition to the scientific aspect of this event (26/08/13 to 31/08/13), this second edition will offer a touristic weekend for interested participants (31/08/2013 to 01/09/13).
Prof. Philippe Van Parijs, Philosophy & Sociology (UCLouvain, Belgium and Oxford, UK)
Prof. Florian Wettstein, Law (St. Gallen, Switzerland)
Prof. Ernest-Marie Mbonda, Philosophy (UCAC, Cameroon & CREUM, Canada)
Prof. Godfrey Tangwa, Philosophy (Yaoundé I, Cameroon)
Prof. Jonathan Wolff, Philosophy (UCLondon, United Kingdom)
Prof. Thierry Amougou, Economy (UCLouvain, Belgium)
Prof. Georges Pavlakos, Law (Antwerp, Belgium) (to be confirmed)
Ernest-Marie Mbonda (UCAC, Yaoundé)
Mikael Petitjean (UCLouvain, Belgium)
Geert Demiujnck (UCLille, France)
Axel Gosseries (UCLouvain, Belgium)
DanyRondeau (UQAR, Canada)
Ryoa Chung (UdM, Canada)
Emmanuel Babissagana (Saint Louis, Belgium)