Friday, January 30, 2015

New column on 2015 General Election in the UK


My new monthly column for The Journal newspaper is out today - link: http://www.thejournal.co.uk/opinion/thom-brooks-waiting-credible-message-8544384

The subject-matter is the 2015 General Election in the UK. I expect most, if not all, columns will focus on Westminster politics and North East issues. An honour to join a fantastic team and great paper.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Visiting Yale Center for Law and Philosophy in 2015-16

I'll be on research leave for the 2015-16 academic year and organizing my schedule, including a visit to the United States to see family and friends while working on several research projects. I'm delighted to say that part of my time will be spent as a Visiting Fellow at the Yale Center for Law and Philosophy at Yale Law School with dates to be confirmed shortly. Yale is a beautiful university where I have several good friends and it's always special to be back in my native New Haven. Looking forward to much catching up and great discussions.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Birmingham (UK) on Fox News

Fox News terrorism expert Steven Emerson said on live television that Birmingham in the UK is a 'totally Muslim city' where non-Muslims do not go. Emerson soon apologised for these remarks, but not before criticism of his outrageously false remarks became rightly lampooned on social media as #FoxNewsFacts.

It is shocking that any major "news" channel would have "experts" making such outrageously false pronouncements without challenge from the news anchor. One of many problems is that such comments will be accepted as fact by viewers as they should expect "experts" to have some knowledge about the subjects they discuss. A second problem is that not all persons who saw the original broadcast will learn about his swift and unequivocal apology.

But it is shocking that someone can be on live television and make such utterly false comments with such repeated certainty - as Emerson does - so contrary to truth. It is hoped that such errors will not happen again like this in future... 

Brooks (ed.), Juvenile Offending (2014) - reviewed

. . . in The Prison Journal in a wonderful piece that can be found HERE. I'm especially pleased to see it is so positive as well.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

The Brooks Blog best of 2014

January 2014

Getting clear about Punishment: a response to Michael Davis

February 2014

Why Political Theory Matters

April 2014

On Punitive Restoration

May 2014 

Cornwall and the 'Life in the UK' Citizenship Test

June 2014

If Holyrood gets more powers, English views on regional assemblies may change

July 2014

Labour to support devolved hubs

Political theory & public policy

August 2014

The Brooks Blog reaches 500,000 page views

September 2014

One Nation Labour can deliver the Britain we deserve

October 2014

In Defence of Punishment and the Unified Theory of Punishment

November 2014

Testing Citizens: Why the UK Citizenship Requires Urgent Reforms

December 2014

Immigration system is full of holes but can Labout fix it?

Happy New Year!

A happy new year to all!  2014 was an incredibly busy year during which I published several books (in no particular order):

Alcohol and Public Policy (Routledge, 2014)
Ethical Citizenship: British Idealism and the Politics of Recognition (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014)
Retribution (Ashgate, 2014)
Deterrence (Ashgate, 2014)
Shame Punishment (Ashgate, 2014)
Sentencing (Ashgate, 2014)
Juvenile Offending (Ashgate, 2014)
Law and Legal Theory (Brill, 2014)
New Waves in Global Justice (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014)

I've also completed a few more books that will be published in 2015:

Current Controversies in Political Philosophy (Routledge, 2015)
Rawls's Political Liberalism (co-edited with Martha C. Nussbaum) (Columbia University Press, 2015)

Expect further announcements in due course....!

UPDATE: Nor was that all I did in 2014. I also published 9 articles and essays in journals such as EthicsModern Law Review, Global Policy, Harvard Review of Philosophy, Think, Northern Ireland Law Quarterly, Journal of Global Ethics, Public Affairs Quarterly and Symposion. I published another chapters in 7 books such as Popular Punishment (OUP), New Waves in Global Justice (Palgrave), Law and Legal Theory (Brill), G. W. F. Hegel (Routledge), The Relevance of Political Science (Palgrave), Ethical Citizenship (Palgrave) and Alcohol and Public Policy (Routledge). I published another 16 essays in The Conversation (5), Demos Quarterly (1), Political Insight (1), Progress Online (3), Bright Blue (1) and The Journal (5).

So about 41 publications in total - so very much a year of writing and checking proofs...!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Durham ranked joint 1st for Law in UK

. . . in new research rankings published by The Guardian here.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Durham Law School - 100% of societal impact scored 3* or 4*

Details here. 

Durham University's Law School ranked 3rd nationally in REF2014


The results are out. Durham University's Law School is ranked 3rd nationally in the UK's Research Excellence Framework 2014 exercise. This is a major review of research quality assessing 'outputs' (publications), research environment and impact. Durham ranks behind only KCL and LSE. 

Needless to say, I'm thrilled to see my department perform so well and my congratulations to colleagues at other departments that also enjoyed good news this morning. The news isn't good for everyone - inevitable in any ranking where some will come top and others bottom. In particular, departments where research outputs are 50% or more at 1* and 2* will need to reassess their strategies for 2020. No doubt special attention will also be given to close scrutiny of impact case study narratives at competitor institutions - although having read Durham Law School's impact case studies, I'm unsurprised to see them score so strongly.

These results matter for several reasons. The next exercise is not until 2020 so these rankings will be used to allocate QR funding to universities and inform league tables. But most importantly, these results are a confirmation of the research excellence found throughout the British university sector. The full results for all subjects can be found here.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Ancient Republics: A Workshop (Part I)


In collaboration with the Centre for the Study of the Ancient Mediterranean and Near East (CAMNE), the Department of Classics and Ancient History at Durham University is hosting a workshop on Ancient Republics (14-15 November 2014), with the project of investigating the 'Republic' in its many manifestations in the ancient world, and its significance for later theories of Republican thought.  This project represents a collaboration between the Department of Classics and Ancient History at Durham University, the Department of Classics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the Department of Philosophy at the University of California-San Diego.

 

The first part of the workshop will take place in Durham and will investigate pre-Roman types of 'Republics', with emphasis on ancient Greece and the Near East from the Classical to the late Hellenistic periods.  The second part is scheduled to take place at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on 9-10 April 2015, and it will focus on the 'Republic' and Republicanism in the Roman Republic and Empire.   We hope that further workshops on this fascinating and understudied topic will be planned in the future.

 

Ancient Republics: A Workshop (Part I)

Friday, 14 November - Saturday, 15 November 2014

 

All sessions take place at the Ritson Room (CL007)

Department of Classics and Ancient History

Durham University

38 North Bailey, Durham, DH1 3EU

 

Friday 14 November

 

Coffee/Tea/Biscuits (from 3pm, Classics and Ancient History Department Library)

Brief Introduction by Phillip Horky (4pm)

 

Session 1 (4pm-8pm, including break)

Chair: P.J. Rhodes (Durham University)

  • S. Roy (Haverford College): 'Republicanism in the Ancient Near East' (4pm-5:15pm)
  • C. Atack (St Hugh's College, Oxford): 'The tension between monarchy and republic in Xenophon's Cyropaedia' (5:15pm-6:30pm)

Short Break: (6:30pm-6:45pm)

  • R. Brock (University of Leeds): 'koinônia politôn politeias’: membership and participation in the polis'(6:45pm-8pm)

 

Saturday 15 November 

 

Session 2 (9:30am-12pm)

Chair: Malcolm Schofield (St. John's College, Cambridge)

  • P. S. Horky (Durham University) and M. R. Johnson (University of California-San Diego): 'A Pythagorean Republic? On Law and Justice attributed to Archytas of Tarentum' (9:30am-10:45am)
  • C. Rowe (Durham University): 'Platonic Republics' (10:45am-12pm)

Lunch 12pm-1:30pm

 

Session 3 (1:30pm-4pm)

Chair: A. Russell (Durham University)

  • B. Gray (University of Edinburgh): 'Hellenistic poleis' civic ideals, humanism and republicanism' (1:30pm-2:45pm)
  • V. Arena (University College London): 'Republicanism, Rousseau, and the Roman Republic?' (2:45pm-4pm)

The workshop is free and open to the public.  For further information, including how to register, please email the Durham organizer Phillip Horky (Phillip.Horky@Durham.ac.uk).  

 

Sincerely,

Phillip Horky (Durham University)

Monte Ransome Johnson (University of California-San Diego)

Grant Nelsestuen (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Monday, November 10, 2014

The facts about immigration & Labour's policies


The FACTS about immigration and Labour's policies to deal with this...
SHADOW HOME SECRETARY
IMMIGRATION

In a week in which the Shadow Home Secretary will visit Basildon to discuss immigration with local residents, I think it is important that we set the record straight over UKIP's misleading statistics and inform people of Labour's policies for government.

UKIP claim they are 'straight talking'. They plaster the phrase all over their leaflets. They think if they talk louder than everyone else and do it with a pint in one hand and a fag in the other, the public will simply believe them. (It helps that they are the only party in British politics not to have been placed under any scrutiny by the media!)
Well in Basildon, UKIP call it straight talking and everyone else just calls it lying and here is why:
CLAIM: UKIP claims there are 26 million unemployed people across Europe after your job
The total number of EU migrants who came to the UK last year is less than 1% of 26 million. And even then many of them were students, not unemployed workers. This isn’t a serious claim.
CLAIM: Immigrants can claim benefits straight away
This is untrue.
Unless non-EU immigrants have indefinite leave to remain – i.e have lived in the UK for 5 years or more - you can't normally claim benefits, such as income support or housing benefit.
EU migrants cannot claim benefits unless they have been in the UK for more than 3 months and are settling in the UK – which means passing what’s called the Habitual Residence Test. Labour wants to extend this period to 6 months.
CLAIM: Most immigrants claim out of work benefits
Overall, migrants pay more in taxes than they claim in benefits and only 2.6% of EU migrants claim unemployment benefits. The rest are working, studying or supporting themselves, for instance a retired person living with family. Non-EU migrants usually can’t claim benefits at all.
CLAIM: Immigrants get priority for housing
This is not true. The previous Labour Government changed the rules so most foreign nationals who have recently come to England are not eligible for social housing.
The current and previous government have also put in place powers new guidance so that Councils can ensure people have a local connection before getting housing.
New research from the House of Commons library shows that foreign nationals who arrived in the past two years make up 0.5% of those living in social housing.
CLAIM: We can’t do anything about EU immigration and that’s what people are worried about
We can. We can have longer and stronger restrictions on new EU countries, which Labour is committed to.
We can also ensure EU migration is not used to exploit and undercut local jobs and wages. Serious exploitation and undercutting should be a crime and only Labour will do that.
We can also change Europe to make the system fairer.
What level will immigration be under Labour?
We believe immigration was too high and we want it to come down.
But we won’t set a false target for all immigration as the Government has done because that has badly failed. They promised net migration would be in the tens of thousands. In fact it is going up and is over 200,000 – more than double what the Tories promised.
We believe there should be different kinds of controls and targets for different kinds of immigration. So we should not tolerate illegal immigration. We should have less low-skilled immigration. We will continue with the cap. And routes that are open to abuse, such as student visitor visas, should be toughened up. But we also know that university students and doctors coming to work in our NHS are valuable and shouldn’t be reduced.
Overall the pace and scale of immigration under the last Labour Government was too high and we support measures to bring it down.
Will Labour stop free movement of labour in Europe?
We believe free movement of labour needs to be reformed.
We are calling for changes to benefit rules so people coming to look for work are not able to claim benefits for the first 6 months, that people who commit crimes having not been in the UK for long are more easily deported, and for longer transitional controls for new countries joining. And we believe Europe should look at this for the long term. But we don’t believe it is in Britain’s interests to pull out of Europe.
Why is Labour moving to the right on immigration?
We’re not. Neither a right wing reactionary completely closed door policy nor a right wing free market completely open door policy is right for Britain. We know immigration is important for Britain but that’s why it needs to be properly controlled and managed so the system is fair for all.
By stopping exploitation and reinforcing NMW for all, aren’t we just making it even more desirable for EU immigrants to come here?
Exploiting immigrants make them a cheaper option than local workers. That’s the problem we need to tackle.
Immigration and wages
Whilst there is no evidence of an overall impact on wages, some studies have shown that for the lowest paid, there was a small downward pressure on lower wages as a result of immigration.
 
 
Streetstall

Don't forget to join Yvette and myself at the immigration streetstall in Basildon town centre at 1pm on Wednesday 12 November.

Feel free to come and talk to us about a whole range of issues, including policing, streetlights, crime and immigration. 
 
 
Copyright © *2014, Gavin Callaghan, All rights reserved.

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Sunday, November 09, 2014

Dudley Knowles (1947-2014)

Dudley Knowles was Professor of Philosophy at the University of Glasgow.

The Daily Nous has links to announcements here.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Why the Magna Carta matters for political theory

... is the subject of my video podcast for Magna Carta 800th & the PSA HERE.

Friday, October 31, 2014

CFP: Northwestern University conference on ethics and political philosophy

CFP re: faculty and students - keynote speakers are Frances Kamm and Joseph Raz


Submission Guidelines: We welcome submissions from faculty and graduate students, as some sessions will be reserved for student presentations.  Please submit an essay of approximately 4000 words.  Essay topics in all areas of ethical theory and political philosophy will be considered, although some priority will be given to essays that take up themes from the work of Frances Kamm and Joseph Raz, such as authority, death and dying, duties, freedom, law, moral status, normativity, permissible harm and killing, practical reason, responsibility, rights, terrorism, torture, value, and war.  Essays should be prepared for blind review in word, rtf, or pdf format.  Graduate submissions should be sent by e-mail to nustep.grad.conference@gmail.com;  faculty submissions should be sent by e-mail to kebelsduggan@northwestern.edu.   The deadline is February 15, 2015.  Notices of acceptance will be sent by March 15.  For more information, please contact Kyla Ebels-Duggan at the e-mail address above or visit our website:

 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Durham University - Research Fellowships

NOTE: Interested readers should contact me about these opportunities.
 
Durham University is delighted to announce its 2015/16 International Fellowship Scheme, designed to attract the most talented researchers in Europe and beyond, and to build international networks of scholars with a common passion for today’s most important research challenges.

2015/16 Junior Research Fellowships
 
 
Up to 21 Junior Research Fellowships are available (REF: 4076) starting salary will be in the range £31,324 – £35,256 p.a. The closing date is 05 December 2014. Details can be found at: https://www.dur.ac.uk/ias/diferens/junior/

2015/16 Senior Fellowships
Up to 16 Senior Research Fellowships and 8 Policy & Enterprise Fellowships are available. These Fellowships are available for periods of 6 weeks to 6 months between October 2015 and September 2016 (with a typical stay of 3 months). Applications are considered from researchers with an established or emerging international reputation for scholarship or research leadership. The closing date is 09 January 2015. Details can be found at: https://www.dur.ac.uk/ias/diferens/senior/


Full details about the Durham International Fellowships for Research and Enterprise and how to apply can be found at: https://www.durham.ac.uk/ias/diferens/  

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Beyond Retribution - in Think

My article "Beyond Retribution" is in the current issue of Think and can be found here. The abstract:

Retribution enjoys an unwarranted appeal from the public and its politicians. This is because it is impractical and perhaps even incoherent. This does not mean that we should reject the importance of morality for criminal justice nor should we reject the link between desert and proportionality. Nevertheless, we can reject the way retribution has understood these ideas in defense of a more plausible and compelling alternative.