Rethinking global ethics in a changing world

This event will be in Brighton, UK.

Ethics and World Politics scholars inhabit what seem to be rapidly and radically changing worlds. Politically, climate breakdown and exponential increases in inequalities are making normative questions increasingly urgent. At the same time, a nationalist turn and international/multipolar normative contestation are challenging assumptions of a world order shaped by shared universal values. Intellectually, international studies have taken a distinct post and decolonial turn. This calls on us to consider how to make global ethics truly ‘global’ in terms of the traditions and scholarship it draws on: highlighting power dynamics underpinning purported universal values and unpicking the value and purpose of the cosmopolitan-communitarian binaries that still permeate the field.

Institutionally, the role of academics is also changing as higher education institutions are challenged by declining public funding. This has increased pressures on scholars to commercialise scientific discovery, pursue non-public research funding opportunities, and focus research around pre-defined multidisciplinary challenges. While perhaps opening horizons in some respects, this may also close off the available space for fundamental research, inhibit academic freedom, and limit intellectual debate. Scholars thus face both new professional challenges and ethical questions concerning the kinds of ‘impact’ one’s research should have and the dynamics of working with non-academic partners.

This one-day workshop will engage with these changing political, intellectual, and institutional environments in which ethics and world politics scholars operate.

Co-sponsored by the Centre for Rights and Anticolonial Justice, University of Sussex.


9.30-10am Coffee and pastries / welcome 

10 – 11.30am  Panel 1: The Human and Critiques of International Law

Chair: Kim Hutchings, Queen Mary

  • Lara Montesinos Coleman, Sussex

  • Beatriz Arnal Calvo, Brighton

  • Sean Molloy, Kent

11.30-11.45am  Coffee break

11.45am – 1.00pm  Panel 2: Global Ethics in Everyday Practice

Chair: Rahul Rao, St Andrews

  • Susan Murphy, Trinity College Dublin

  • Miao-ling Lin Hasenkamp, University of Rostock, Germany

1.00-1.45pm  Lunch

1.45pm – 3.15pm  Panel 3: Migration Ethics and Action on Local/Global Scales

Chair: Louiza Odysseos, Sussex

  • Dan Bulley, Oxford Brooks

  • Moises Vieira, Manchester

  • Stanislaw Kwiatkowski, Sussex

3.15-3.30pm  Break

3.30pm – 5pm  Keynote Roundtable: Rethinking Global Ethics in a Changing World

Chair: David Karp, Sussex


  • Kim Hutchings, Queen Mary
  • Rahul Rao, St Andrews

5-5.15pm  Concluding reflections

Robin Dunford (Brighton), David Karp (Sussex), Susan Murphy (Trinity College Dublin).

Registrations close on 27 November at 5pm.

See below for full programme.

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