Justice in policy making; redistribution, recognition and representation

Open to the Public
Nador u. 15
Thursday, January 17, 2019 - 2:00pm
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Thursday, January 17, 2019 - 2:00pm to 5:30pm

“Justice in policy making; redistribution, recognition and representation”

Policy event


Part I

14.00–15.30 Two thematic workshops

• “Footloose Europeans”  (N15 room 103)

• “Categorizing dependency and vulnerability” (N15 room 101)

Theme 1: Footloose Europeans

 In this workshop justice in policy making will be discussed from the perspective of those whose Europeanism and ‘European-ness’ is contested or at least not taken for granted, and whose claim to redistributive, recognitive and representative justice for that reason is not guaranteed. This contestation is legitimatized on various grounds, including identity-based as well as citizenship-based arguments. Although identities are contingent, ambivalent, fluid and historically dynamic, in the current era many Europeans, politicians and policy makers imagine that there is something like a European (or national) identity from which some individuals, groups or categories deviate. And even if the majority populations do not agree on the definition of that European (or their national) identity, there is some agreement on its counter-value. Latent stereotyping becomes manifest in the rejection of, for instance, nomadic lifestyles, Muslim and increasingly also Jewish religious and cultural tradition, and race and ethnicity. The citizenship-based legitimations often refer to the defence of a ‘welfare state for our own population’ driven by a feeling that the states’ protection of its citizens is coming under pressure as a result of inter-European mobility and the immigration of Black and Minority Ethnic Third Country Nationals either for economic reasons or because of wars at the European borders. We will discuss what the implications of these tendencies are for redistributive, recognitive and representative justice from the perspective of the vulnerable populations; migrants, refugees, nomadic populations and mobile workers. Can the antagonism between the injustice they experience (profiling, discrimination and surveillance, denial of voice and representation, non- and misrecognition) and the fear of some of the majority populations for their identity and citizenship rights be solved by policies that bridge the gap, that accommodate both perspectives and do just to all involved? How can the European Union contribute to policies that seem to divide its Members States?

Moderator: Ayse Caglar (AB member; Professor at the Dept. of Cultural and Social Anthropology (University of Vienna) and PI on the project CITYSCALERS: Migrants, Urban Reinvention)

Presentations (15 minutes) by:

-       Bridget Anderson, Director of the Bristol Institute on Migration and Mobility Studies and Professor of Migration, Mobilities and Citizenshi, University of Bristol, UK (ETHOS project)

-       Iulius Rostas, Chair of the Romani Studies, CEU, Hungary.

-       Djamilia Schans, Senior researcher on Asylum and Migration of the Research and Documentation Centre (WODC ) of the Ministry of Justice and Security, Netherlands.

Theme 2: Categorizing dependency and vulnerability.

Vulnerability and dependency are immanent to human condition: every individual is vulnerable and dependent on others at several periods during their life course. At the same time, dependency is not necessarily perceived as natural, but often constructed as a (shameful) burden to others. The extent to which this burden is accepted is related to the perception of the ‘dependents’ and their deservingness. The deservingness of groups whose vulnerability is broadly acknowledged, such as severely disabled persons, older citizens or children, while increasingly contested, for example, by ‘prevention and activation’ policies, has been traditionally taken for granted. The deservingness of other groups, such as welfare recipients or immigrants, is customarily questioned and their vulnerability treated with suspicion. The deservingness of different groups is usually judged on the basis of various criteria, such as their perceived belonging to the community of value, control over own situation, and their values, attitudes and behaviour. Which criteria play a (dominant) role depends on the group in question and the social context. Thus, even though welfare recipients and immigrants are often judged as less deserving than other vulnerable groups, their non-deservingness as ‘the other’ (identity) might be ‘corrigible’ by their perceived compliance with ‘our’ norms and values (attitude). Yet, which of the vulnerable groups are considered deserving and thus incorporated into our systems of justice, solidarity and reciprocity is also a question of power. Vulnerable groups are rarely allowed to co-define ‘our’ norms and values and other criteria of deservingness. They are also rarely allowed to negotiate the areas and limits of their (state) ‘dependency’. Within this workshop we will discuss the role of policy in creating and reinforcing vulnerabilities through re-drawing of boundaries of deservingness and (tolerable) dependency; and the possibility to include vulnerable populations in the process of defining deservingness, dependency and vulnerability, and the limits of (state) intervention. How can policies at the European or Member State level contribute to the recognition, redistribution and representation of those who are defined as dependents and those who are denied ‘dependency’ despite their neediness?   

Moderator: Eszter Kollar, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Economics at the Center for Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy, Institute of Philosophy, KU Leuven; ETHOS project AB member

Presentations (15 minutes) by:

-       Dorota Lepianka, Researcher, Utrecht University, Netherlands (ETHOS project leader)

-       Ann Campbell, Co-Director, Validity, Hungary

-       Rosa Crawford, Policy Officer, Rights, International, Social and Economics department, Trade Union Congress, UK

Part II

16.00–17.30 Panel discussion on Justice in policy making

Chaired: T. Knijn (University of Utrecht, ETHOS project leader). Panellists are ETHOS researchers:

B. Oomen (Utrecht University), M.P. Meneses (University of Coimbra, Center de Estudios Sociales), Marie-Pierre Granger (CEU) and S. de Vries (Utrecht University)

N15 room 103


The ETHOS project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme under grant agreement No. 727112