Room A, City Hall
Time Slot: 
Tuesday 27th March 13:30 - 15:00
Panel Chair: 
  • Dr Robin Jervis (University of Brighton)
Panel Members: 
  • Dr Jonathan Benson (King's College London)
  • Mr Tom Godfrey (University of Sussex)
  • Mr Mark Kyle (Ulster University)

This panel, organised by the Political Thought specialist group, aims to "answer the difficult questions" presented by the separation of political economy and political theory. The papers presented present potentially radical answers to questions of political and economic organisation in a range of contexts. Benson’s and Barry’s papers will bring environmental concerns, adding a new empirical and theoretical dimension to pre-existing debates on the sustainability of economic growth and the inclusion of environmental impact in democratic deliberation. Abbott’s and Godfrey’s papers draw on issues of state authority, rights and contradictions in liberal thought. Abbott’s work draws on Habermas’ conception of the public sphere as a means to understand democracy and the social contract as it exists in Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE. Godfrey’s work addresses the role of the state in economic regulation, and the contradictions presented by a sole negative-liberty, laissez-faire approach to the issue. Both papers highlight the importance of analysis beyond ideal theory and the application of political thought to the concrete and non-ideal case.

Papers presented:

Jonathan Benson (University of Manchester) “An Epistemic Defence of Environmental Democracy”

John Barry (Queen’s University Belfast) “What’s the Story with Unsustainable Economic Growth? Understanding Economic Growth as Ideology, Myth, Religion and Cultural Meme”

Thomas Godfrey (University of Sussex) “Political Liberalism and the Problem of Regulation”

Mark Kyle (Ulster University) "The Voice in the Wilderness?: Reassessing Herbert Spencer’s The Man Versus The State (1884)"