Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Fairness and Responsibility in an Unequal Society conference

The Senate Room, Senate House, University of London
Thursday 28th June 2012, 9.30am – 5.30pm

In the wake of the financial crisis there has been a renewed interested in issues of fairness and responsibility. But what do these notions really mean? And how should they be applied to the social issues of our time? At same time there is concern at the increase in social and economic inequality, both nationally and globally. Which types of inequality ought be of primary concern, and what can be done about them? How does the recent emphasis on fairness and responsibility fit with the aim of reducing inequality? Can appeals to such notions help to reduce inequality, or do they detract from such efforts? What role ought such notions play in international efforts to reduce poverty and encourage development?
The conference marks the end of a four-year project on inequality, responsibility and fairness, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council at the University of Exeter. Four panels composed of prominent policy-leaders and academics will debate the issues, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas between policy and academy. Confirmed speakers include:


Will Hutton (Principal of Hertford College, Oxford, former Editor-in-Chief of The Observer, author of Them and Us: Changing Britain – Why We Need a Fair Society)

Panel: The Fair Society

Rachel Reeves (MP for Leeds West and Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury)

Keith Hyams (Senior Lecturer in Political Theory, University of Exeter)

Andrew Harrop (General Secretary, Fabian Society)

Mark Hammond (Chief Executive, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission; Visiting Professor in Public Administration at Canterbury Christchurch University)

Panel: Economic and Social Inequality in Britain

Bill Kerry (Co-Founder and Director, The Equality Trust)

Martin O’Neill (Lecturer in Political Theory, University of York)

Karen Rowlingson (Professor of Social Policy, University of Birmingham)

Patrick Diamond (Visiting Fellow in Politics, University of Oxford, Senior Research Fellow, the Policy Network, former Head of Policy Planning at Downing Street)

Panel: Responsibility and Fairness in Taxation and Public Services

Rick Muir (Associate Director for Public Service Reform, Institute for Public Policy Research)

Zofia Stemplowska (Associate Professor in Political Theory, University of Warwick)

Sonia Sodha (Head of Strategy, Social Research Unit)

Panel: Risk and Inequality in International Development

Duncan Green (Head of Research, Oxfam)

Tom Sorell (Professor of Global Ethics, University of Birmingham)

Thom Brooks (Reader in Political and Legal Philosophy, Newcastle University)

To book a place please visit Spaces are limited so early booking is recommended. Please contact Keith Hyams ( with any enquiries. Generously supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

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