Wednesday, April 30, 2014

APA Berger Memorial Prize: Call for Nominations

. . . can be found here.

The Berger Memorial Prize in the philosophy of law, a prize established by the APA in memory of Professor Fred Berger of the University of California at Davis, is awarded every other year in odd years. The prize was made possible by gifts to the APA from Professor Berger's friends, relatives, and colleagues following his untimely death in 1986. The prize is awarded to an outstanding published article in philosophy of law by a member of the association.


The prize, including a cash award of $500, is presented at the meeting of the Pacific Division of the APA, of which Professor Berger was an active member. If suitable arrangements can be worked out between the winning author and the program committee for the Pacific Division meeting, he/she will be invited to participate in a special symposium on the topics of the winning article at that meeting.
Frequency: Every 2 years
Award Amount: $500
Last Award: 2013
Next Award: 2015
Next deadline: June 15, 2014


Submitted articles may have been published in philosophy serials, law reviews, political science serials, serials in other related fields, or regularly published anthologies such as Nomos or AMINTAPHIL volumes. Articles or chapters which have been published only in non-serial or non-periodical collections or anthologies are excluded. Articles published in 2012 or 2013 are eligible for consideration for the 2015 prize. Members of the APA committee on philosophy and law who will select the winning article are not eligible for consideration. Eligibility of published articles is governed by the date shown on the publication, not by the date of actual printing or mailing. Questions may be directed to


The nominee must be an APA member in good standing. Nominators need not verify the author's membership status in the APA, but they may wish to suggest that those whose work they are nominating join or renew their membership with the APA. Nominations may be made by the author, the editor, another APA member, or any other individual. If an article was originally published in a language other than English, that submission should be accompanied by a translation into English of quality suitable for publication.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Alcohol and Public Policy

. . . is the title of my latest book found here. The blurb:

"Alcohol and its consumption is a major topic for public policy-making. Growing awareness of alcohol-related health problems among the general public has led to high levels of interest in alcohol consumption and its impact on society. This innovative collection of new perspectives on this critically important issue is informed by a leading group of international social scientists. Topics covered include alcoholism, the family, minimum pricing, paternalistic controls, and Socially Responsible Investment programs. Together, these essays reveal illuminating new insights into how public policy might be improved.

This book was originally published as a special issue of Contemporary Social Science."

The contents:

Foreword David Canter 

 1. Introduction Thom Brooks (revised)

 2. Combatting alcohol addiction: findings from the United States Daniel Yalisove  (new)

 3. Alcohol, risks and public policy Thom Brooks (new)

 4. Socially Responsible Investment in the alcohol industry: an assessment of investor attitudes and ethical arguments Boudewijn de Bruin 

 5. Two decades and a Category 5 hurricane later…tracking homeless substance abusers in New Orleans Rachel L. Rayburn 

 6. Alcohol and the family Woody Caan 

 7. The borders of booze Britain: alcohol controls and nationality Tom Henri 

 8. Minimum pricing for alcohol: a Millian perspective Ben Saunders 

 9. Respectable drinkers, sensible drinking, serious leisure: single-malt whisky enthusiasts and the moral panic of irresponsible Others Karl Spracklen 

 10. Storytelling: Walter Benjamin and recovery from alcoholism Joel C. Beaupre

I should add the book includes two never before published essays -- one by me on risk

Sunday, April 27, 2014

CFP: Thom Brooks, "Punishment": Author Meets Critics special issue

Philosophy and Public Issues

Call for papers


Symposium: The Philosophy of Punishment

With a discussion of Thom Brooks’s Punishment (Routledge 2012)

Guest Editor: Daniele Santoro


Submission Deadline

Long Abstract (1,000 words max): 1 June, 2014

Full paper (10,000 words max, upon acceptance): 15 September, 2014


Invited Contributors

Anthony Duff (University of Minnesota), Michelle Dempsey (Villanova University), Richard Lippke (Indiana University), and Thom Brooks (Durham University)


Aims and Background

While it seems obvious that crimes ought to be punished, it is far from being clear how crimes ought to be punished. The practice or institution of punishment is an obligation imposed on single individual or group of people in response to a violation of some norm. As any form of coercion, punishment, to be justified, must be issued by a legitimate authority and match a set of constraints. 

There is a growing and rich discussion on the topic, which this special volume of Philosophy and Public Issues wants to capture and disclose. We encourage submissions of original papers that philosophically explore aspects of the topic of punishment from a moral, political, or legal perspective.

We expect original contributions discussing problems such as (but not limited to):

- the definition of punishment;

- the justification of punishment;

- the distribution of punishment;

- views of criminalization;

- hybrid or pluralistic theories of punishment;

- capital and other kinds of punishments;


… or any other relevant topic, subject to the Editors’ approval.


This special issue will include a discussion of Thom Brooks’s Punishment (Routledge 2013), with commentaries by Anthony Duff (University of Minnesota), Michelle Dempsey (Villanova University), Richard Lippke (Indiana University), and Daniele Santoro (Luiss), followed by Thom Brooks’s replies.


Submission Details

Please send a (.rtf, .doc or .docx) file containing a long abstract (1,000 words max) and a title, prepared for blind review with all revealing references to the author removed. All personal information (name, affiliation, and contact) must be submitted separately, along with a short abstract (200 words max). Deadline for abstract submission is 1 June, 2014. Decisions will be made within a month.


Upon notification of acceptance, you will be invited to submit the full paper (10,000 words max) no later than September 15, 2014. The volume will be published at the end of this year.

All material should be submitted on line:


Further Inquiries

Please direct any queries about this call for papers to PPI’s Editors at More information on the Philosophy and Public Issues can be found at

Friday, April 25, 2014

Cornish pasties must be added to the UK citizenship test

. . . is my latest piece for The Conversation and can be found here.

The piece examines a perhaps surprising consequence of the recent recognition of the Cornish as having protected minority status --- serious changes to the UK citizenship test are required!

On Punitive Restoration

. . . is my new essay for the public policy think tank Demos' Demos Quarterly and can be found here. I argue that the twin challenges of improving public confidence about criminal justice while improving crime reduction --- often in tension with each other --- can be achieved through restructuring the uses of restorative justice.

Punitive restoration is about expanding the options for restorative conferences --- to include a more punitive element --- in order to increase the applicability of restorative justice to more cases in the criminal justice system. The recommended options include suspended sentences and intensive rehabilitation under specified conditions.

My "impact essay" (a column connecting academia with policy) is included in an issue with articles by Mark Thompson (former Director-General of the BBC), senior political journalists Adam Boulton and Mary Riddell, and Trevor Phillips (the first chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission).

Two senior positions at Durham University's Law School

. . . in the areas of Corporate or Commercial Law at Chair and Reader levels can be found here:

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The "Life in the United Kingdom" Citizenship Test: Is It Unfit for Purpose?

. . . is the name of my report - the only comprehensive examination of the UK's citizenship test available. I uncovered serious problems throughout -- and highlight solutions that might fix them in future tests. My report launch has now broken the 4,000 views barrier:

On book recommendations

I have recently come across a page on Goodreads listing my books. The website allows users to comment and recommend books - including offer 'stars' and so on in a format different from what can be found on Amazon.

Out of interest, how to readers receive recommendations on books? Is there another alternative?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

What is the most important topic political scientists are not studying?

A recent piece in Perspectives on Politics by Professor Debra Javeline (found here) claims the answer is "adapting to climate change"(?). While I'm delighted to be noted as one of the good (or just better?) academics in the field, it is a pity she overlooked my other work in this area which does engage with the adaptation literature. Still, a thought-provoking piece even if I take issue with some of its claims.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Many thanks to the Open Univesity

. . . for the invitation to give a talk yesterday to their Philosophy Department's faculty seminar series (see details here). A great occasion with some terrific discussion I found highly beneficial.