Conference: “Fracture”

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Conference: “Fracture”
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Thursday July 13th

Conference: “Fracture”

Justitia Amplificata Annual Conference

Hosted by the Centre of Advanced Studies "Justitia Amplificata" Goethe University of Frankfurt (funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft)



13th-14th July 2017

Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften


Attendance to the conference is free, but places are limited so please make sure you register.  Please register with Valérie Bignon ( by Monday 26th June at the latest.

Conference Description

In this age of Brexit and Trump, many of the political institutions once thought stable are under attack. Rights widely considered universal and inalienable are routinely being questioned; pluralism and liberal forms of democracy have fallen out of fashion; calls for closed borders and a retreat into national identity abound. In many ways, then, our age is one of fracture—the fragmentation of institutions to which we have grown accustomed. How might normative theory respond to some of the most pressing political problems of our times? What guidance can it provide for the construction of institutions that enable social cooperation that is just and legitimate?

Panel 1 - Temporal Fracture: The Timing of Injustice

This panel focuses on contemporary modes of response that attempt to bridge the fissure between past injustice and the present condition. Two sets of questions motivate the discussion. First, how is an emancipatory politics of resistance shaped by the collective experience of profound loss— ancestral, cultural,  territorial, familial? How might contemporary forms of resistance influence what it means to take responsibility for past injustice? Second, when past injustice is an extended period of collective injury, rather than an abrupt event, how might the persistent subjection to collective threat or vulnerability change deliberation within and between groups about projects of historical reconciliation? Who reconciles and who must be reconciled; reconciliation is motivated by which features of the past and towards which aspects of the future?

Panel 2: Temporal Fracture: Rethinking Intergenerational Solidarity for the Future

We are used to think of the welfare state and its institutions as being founded on an intergenerational pact of solidarity. However, the adoption of austerity measures in manycountries and the worsening of global economic and social inequality, put welfare state institutions and their intergenerational nature under pressure. In different dimensions we are witnessing the emergence of new tensions and potential conflicts between generations: young people feel “robbed of their future” by the decisions of older generations, the old worry to be socially excluded and disadvantaged in crucial aspects of their lives such as the allocation of health resources, and many think that present generations are harming future ones by neglecting their duties of ecological sustainability. This panel aims to intervene in such debates with a critical, yet constructive, perspective for thinking about the future. Three main questions will guide our investigations: (i) What are the demands of intergenerational justice? (ii) Is there such a breakdown in intergenerational solidarity? (iii) What is the future of intergenerational solidarity and its institutions?

Panel 3: Fractured sovereignty: The People

Nationalism and populism have regained currency across established democracies. This makes itself visible not only in the proliferation of political movements who demand placing severe limits on immigration and/or curtailing the rights of citizens who are not considered part of the cultural or ethnic nation, but also in the return of the concept of “the people” in political discourse more generally. But what exactly is a people and what role ought it to play in contemporary democracies? Do claims to exercise power on behalf of the people harm or benefit democracy? And should we aim to re-shape the contours of peoples along transnational lines in order to promote trans- or supranational forms of democracy?

Panel 4: Fractured Sovereignty: Borders

This panel seeks to understand questions of justice in immigration policy and the legitimacy of border coercion in the context of the international system as a whole. This system assigns distinctive political powers and authority - sovereignty - to each state, and (at least since 1945) has constrained, or attempted to constrain, each state’s territorial sovereignty in certain ways. A myriad of recent developments has put pressure on the international system so structured, and by extension to the role that states have in regulating immigration. Responding to these developments, this panel will explore how immigration regulation and border coercion can and should evolve.


Thursday, 13th July 2017


Registration and Lunch


Welcome and Introduction by Rainer Forst 


Panel 1 - Temporal Fracture: The Timing of Injustice

Chair: Tamara Jugov (Free University Berlin)

Catherine Lu (McGill University): History and Structural Injustice

Lawrie Balfour (University of Virginia): Reparations in the Carceral Polity

Amy Hondo (Goethe University Frankfurt): Relational Continuity and the Presence of the Past



Coffee Break


Panel 2 - Temporal Fracture: Rethinking Intergenerational Solidarity for the Future

Chair: Antoinette Scherz (Goethe University Frankfurt)

Sara Amighetti (Goethe University Frankfurt): Motivating Political Action for the Future: Is Solidarity a Useful Concept?

Dominic Roser (University of Fribourg): Institutional Reforms for Combatting Short-Termism

Paula Casal (Pompeu Fabra University and ICREA): Conservative and Conservationist Sufficiency and Future Generations


Drink Reception

From 19.30

BBQ at FKH (Bad Homburg)


Friday, 14th July 2017




Panel 3 - Fractured Sovereignty: the People

Chair: Dimitrios Efthymiou (Goethe University Frankfurt)

Paulina Ochoa Espejo (Haverford College): Populism and the Idea of the People

Sofia Näsström (University of Uppsala): The People Trap

Fabio Wolkenstein (Goethe University Frankfurt): Agents of Popular Sovereignty

13.00- 14.00



Allen Buchanan (Duke University)

International Law: Lamentable Fragmentation or Productive Modularity?

Chair: Stefan Gosepath

16.00- 16.30

Coffee Break

16.30- 19.00

Panel 4 – Fractured Sovereignty: Borders

Chair: Jiewuh Song (Seoul National University)

David Owen (University of Southampton): A Political Theory of Global Migration Governance

Adam Hosein (University of Colorado Boulder): Does freedom of movement matter? A moderate view

Caleb Yong (Goethe University Frankfurt): Selecting Immigrants: Explaining the Wrongs of Racial and Ethnic Selection


Concluding Remarks by organisers 

19.10- 19.30

Drink Reception at FKH








Eva Erman (Stockholm University)

“Global Political Legitimacy beyond Justice and Democracy?”

Comment: Thomas Christiano (University of Arizona)