Democracy, Economic Security, and Social Justice in a Volatile World

Democracy, Economic Security, and Social Justice in a Volatile World

A working conference sponsored by the American Political Science Association and the European Union Center of Excellence/ European Studies Center.

April 7-9 2011

The University of Pittsburgh

Opening reception April 7th

Conference location 4230 Posvar Hall Friday 8:30am-5:00pm
Saturday 8:30am-2:00pm


Three recent developments have thrust issues of economic security and social justice into the public consciousness.  First, the global economic crisis has brought economic insecurity home to developed countries and highlighted that increasing inequality coupled with decreasing regulation is unsustainable.  Second, there is mounting evidence that many foreign aid and development programs don't work.  Neo-liberal market reforms have likewise become controversial, with many critics arguing that they have failed to ease poverty or to spark economic growth.  Finally, China's apparent success in achieving sustained growth and reducing poverty, which stands out against these global trends, has revived the idea that authoritarian regimes can deliver greater economic security and social justice than their democratic rivals.

The charge of this Task Force is to rethink some of the familiar assumptions about democracy, economic security, and social justice in light of these worrisome trends.  Its aim is to refresh and reinvigorate debates on the articulation between democracy, economic security, and social justice in developed and developing countries.  In particular, the Task Force will assess recent policy innovations in three broad, related areas: basic income, participatory budgeting and planning, and rights-based models of welfare and development.


List of Participants:

Michael Goodhart, University of Pittsburgh
Archon Fung, Kennedy School, Harvard University
Varun Gauri, World Bank
Siri Gloppen, CMI, Bergen, Norway
Anne Louise Haagh, York University, UK
Patrick Heller, Brown University
Enrique Carlos Peruzzotti, UNRISD
Anja Ruediger, National Economic and Social Rights Initiative
Hans P. Schmitz, Maxwell School, Syracuse
Guy Standing, Bath University, UK
Brian Wampler, Boise State
Susanna Wing, Haverford College