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The 2017 Ontario Legal Philosophy Partnership Philosophy of Law Conference



Governance, Legality, and Political Morality

Thursday, September 28-Sunday, October 1, 2017 (Burlington, Ontario)

Keynote Speakers

Karen J. Alter and Cristina Lafont (Northwestern University)

Thomas Christiano (University of Arizona)

John Gardner (University of Oxford)

David Luban (Georgetown Law)

Andrei Marmor (Cornell University)

Amrita Narlikar (German Institute for Global and Area Studies)*

Donald Regan (University of Michigan)

Nicole Roughan (National University of Singapore)

*Participating via teleconference

Call for Abstracts

The Call for Abstracts has now closed.


Conference Theme

A bewildering array of institutions prescribe, implement, and enforce policies designed to address morally urgent issues that demand institutional responses on a transnational or global scale. To name just a few, these include:

  • Security arrangements and the maintenance of borders and territories
  • Transnational public health issues
  • Access to and maintenance of the global commons
  • Climate change
  • International trade, currency, and property regimes
  • Global distribute justice
  • Human rights
  • Responses to humanitarian crises
  • Migration across state boundaries
  • The adjudication and punishment of war crimes and crimes against humanity

The overarching purpose of the conference is to clarify and address a number of tightly interconnected philosophical questions that these morally urgent matters and the institutional responses to them have generated. The following is meant to be suggestive of the questions that we have in mind:

Are all or any of these global and transnational institutions legal institutions? Are the policies that they prescribe and implement law? Must these regimes be legal institutions in order to succeed? Are the institutions that develop and enforce these policies legitimate? Must these institutions give democratic voice to the relevant stakeholders to be legitimate?  To what extent is extending such democratic voice feasible? Do these institutions have the authority that law claims or something similar? Must they have the authority that law claims or something similar as a matter of political morality? Must they be widely regarded as legitimate or as having the authority that law claims or something similar if they are to succeed? How ought these institutions be designed or modified so that they have the legitimacy and authority demanded by political morality and their institutional raison d’etre?

We welcome papers that address any of these questions (or closely related matters) posed singly or together and as applied to global or transnational institutional regimes in general, to particular regimes (e.g., the WTO, WHO, ICC, ICJ, the UN, or the Paris Agreement), or to interconnected sets of such regimes (e.g., the EU and the EMU or the WTO and the Paris Agreement).


Conference Organizers

Claudia Emerson (McMaster University, Philosophy)

Michael Giudice (York University, Philosophy)

Violetta Igneski (McMaster University, Philosophy)

Stefan Sciaraffa (McMaster University, Philosophy)

Francois Tanguay-Renaud (York University, Osgoode Hall School of Law)

Wil Waluchow (McMaster University, Philosophy)

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