REAL Workshops

These seminars focus on different themes of the REAL – ‘Rights and Egalitarianism' project and bring together researchers with expertise in a given theme. The format varies.

Upcoming | 'Work and Equality' Workshop

Date | May 13-14, 2024

Location | Room 5012, Arts Building


Any normative assessment of societies will depend in part on how they organise work. After all, because most people will spend more time working than doing anything else in their life, and because individuals can only carry out their own plans thanks to the work of others, work’s organisation is inextricably linked to how people’s lives fare overall. While work has received sporadic treatment from political philosophers and political theorists over the years, a growing number of scholars are giving increased attention to the range of normative issues that arise from treating work as a distinct topic in its own right.

This workshop will situate normative debates about work within concerns of equality. It will do this by bringing together a group of international experts from across Europe to present and discuss current work-in-progress. What do the demands of equality impose on the world of work? Be this in terms of relational equality (How might relations of labour express our status as moral equals?), or distributive equality (How can the goods (and bads) of work be distributed fairly?).

Monday, May 13, 2024

11:00: Welcome and coffee

11.30-12.30: Nicholas Vrousalis (Erasmus) – 'Gender, Race, and the Primacy of the Mode of Production'

12.30-13:45: Lunch

13.45-14.45: Jahel Queralt (UPF) – 'Self-Employment and the Least Advantaged'

15.00-16:00: Jan Kandiyali (Durham) – 'One Thing Today and the Same Thing Tomorrow: Why Marx’s Account of the Good Society Requires a Division of Labour'

16.00-16.30: Break

16.30-17.30: Jonathan Wolff (Oxford) – 'Working from Home, Socialising at Work'

18.30: Conference Dinner

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

10.30-11.30: Mirjam Müller (Humboldt) – 'Free Care: A normative reconstruction of the care crisis?'

11.45-12.45: Michael Cholbi (Edinburgh) – 'Workplace Democracy Versus … Democracy?'

12.45-14.00: Lunch at The 1592

14.00-15.00: Caleb Althorpe (TCD) – 'Markets as a Game: Community In and Through Market Competition'

15.15-16.15: Virginia Mantouvalou (UCL) – 'Work in Prison: Rehabilitation or Exclusion and Exploitation?'


This workshop is funded by the Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship Award: ‘Justice and Meaningful Work’ GOIPD/2023/1395 (PI: Caleb Althorpe), and the European Research Council Consolidator Grant: 'REAL – Rights and Egalitarianism' Grant Agreement number: 819043, ERC-2018-COG (PI: Adina Preda)


Tittle | ‘Equality of Opportunity, Justice, and Rights’

Date | 19 & 20 June, 2023

Location | TRiSS Seminar room, 6th floor, Arts Building, TCD

Time | See provisional schedule below

Confirmed Speakers: Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen (University of Aarhus), Emily McTernan (UCL) and David O’Brien (Tulane)

What is the relation between rights and egalitarian justice? There is a perception that the two pull in different directions, perhaps because rights are often conceptualised as individual entitlements and/or as deontological constraints while egalitarian theories of justice are taken to propose teleological principles whose satisfaction might infringe individual rights. Is this perception warranted? Are rights and egalitarianism in tension with each other or might they be compatible? Can principles of egalitarian justice be translated into (individual) rights and if so, should they?

One area where rights and egalitarianism appear to converge is equality of opportunity. Formal equality of opportunity, at least, can easily be translated into individual rights against discrimination. But equality of opportunity might require more than the rights against discrimination currently recognised in many jurisdictions; it might also require rights against socio-economic or class-based discrimination, which might be difficult to conceptualise and/or implement.

The 2nd REAL workshop seeks to address these and any other questions about the relation between rights and egalitarianism.

Monday, 19 June 2023

11am-11.15am: Welcome and introductions

11.15am-12.45pm: Showkat Ali - ‘An institutional account of fair equality of opportunity'

12.45pm-2pm: Lunch

2pm-3.30pm: Timo Juetten - ‘The harms of unfair competition'

3.30pm-3.45pm: Coffee

3.45pm-5.15pm: Emily McTernan - ‘Equality and the right to dissociate

7pm: Conference Dinner


Tuesday, 20 June 2023

9.30am-11am: Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen (with Bastian Steuwer) - ‘Poverty discrimination

11am-11.15am: Coffee

11.15am-12.45pm: Shalom Chalson - ‘Discounting people for reasons that shouldn’t count

12.45pm-2pm: Lunch

2pm-3.30pm: Matthew Palynchuk - ‘Distributive justice and the distributive view of disability

3.30pm-3.45pm: Coffee

3.45pm-5.15pm: Adi Goldiner - ‘From Disability Accommodations to Structural Modifications: The Case of Extended Time on Exams



Title | ‘Human rights and equality’ (on Zoom)

Date | 7 & 8 June, 2021

The kinds of justification or ground most commonly offered for human rights can be divided into instrumental and non-instrumental justifications.

According to the former, human rights protect valued features of human life; according to the latter, human rights are expressions of our inviolable moral status as persons. Both types of justification have significant limitations; the second one in particular, is arguably plagued by a vicious circularity problem, as several authors have noted: if inviolability is part of the definition of moral status, this seems to express the same idea as rights.

In light of these issues, this workshop explored alternative grounds and evaluations for human rights. In particular, the workshop considered (basic) equality as a possible ground for human rights and whether it can be understood in a way that is not reducible to either of the grounds mentioned earlier.

More generally, the workshop  considered the ways in which human rights and egalitarian commitments may converge or diverge.

Monday, June 7 2021

10am-11.30am: Adina Preda (TCD) - ‘Justifications of human rights

11.30am-12.30pm: Ian Carter (University of Pavia) - ‘Equality and opacity

12.30pm-1.30pm: Lunch break

1.30pm-2.30pm: Gopal Sreenivasan (Duke University) -  ‘Human rights and democratic legitimacy

2.45pm-4.15pm: Ariel Zylberman (University of Albany, SUNNY) - ‘Rights constitutivism

Tuesday, June 8 2021

10am-11.30am: Jiewuh Song (Seoul National University) - ‘Egalitarian reasons and human rights obligations'

11.30am-12.30pm: Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen (Aarhus University) - ‘Discrimination and moral equality of persons: Could we oppose the former and not accept the latter?

12.30pm-1.30pm: Lunch break

1.30pm-2.30pm: Laura Valentini (LMU Munich) -‘On the explanatory dispensability of natural rights

2.45pm-4.00pm: Jesse Tomalty (University of Bergen) - ‘Discrimination at the border