Finance and Social Justice Conference

CFP: Finance and Social Justice Conference

Date: 3-5 November 2016

Location: University of Bayreuth, Germany


Keynote Speakers:

  • Adair Turner(Former Chairman of the United Kingdom’s Financial Services Authority and former member of the UK’s Financial Policy Committee, Institute for New Economic Thinking)
  • Martin O’Neill(Senior Lecturer in Political and Moral Philosophy, University of York)

Invited Speakers:

  • Boudewijn de Bruin(University of Groningen)
  • Gerald Epstein(UMass Amherst)
  • Lisa Herzog(University of Frankfurt) 
  • Katharina Pistor (Columbia Law School)

The Finance and Social Justice conference to take place at the University of Bayreuth will discuss questions at the intersection of finance and moral and political philosophy. The conference will bring together about 40 participants from philosophy, economics, and related disciplines such as sociology, political science, law, and economic history who work on finance and social justice. Presenters will be paired with commentators from a different discipline. Presentations, keynote lectures, and a poster session will be augmented with innovative formats to facilitate open and interdisciplinary discussion of the conference theme.

A principle aim of the conference is to establish a dialogue between scholars undertaking new empirical research on the impact of finance on society and scholars enquiring into the normative role of finance for a just society. On the empirical side, new research traces how the financial sector has grown in size, reach, and complexity, and how it affects both individual economic actors and the economy as a whole. The dominant role of modern finance in the economy can transform not only the goals firms pursue but also the opportunities individuals and households have, and even the way we conceive ourselves as individuals and as participants in market exchanges. Whether we like it or not, we are all affected for good or bad in some way or another by global finance.

On the normative side, moral and political philosophers have started investigating the moral issues raised by particular financial products and their role for individuals and households, such as payday loans, mortgage contracts, or insurance products. As part of this they have studied the epistemic shortcomings that contributed to the financial crisis and the assignment of responsibility for this crisis. They also enquire into the morality of imposing systemic risk of the financial system, the legitimacy of new central bank policies such as quantitative easing, and the ethics of sovereign debt.

We invite submissions on questions at the intersection of finance and social justice, conceived broadly. Sample questions include, but are not limited to:

  • What is the social purpose of finance?
  • Do citizens have moral claims to have access to certain financial services?
  • What does it mean to say that financial markets exercise power over people and even states, and would that be a bad thing?
  • What are the positive and negative impacts of finance on social justice?
  • What is systemic financial risk, and how should we deal with it from a perspective of justice?
  • What are the normative implications of international financial integration?

We encourage applications from philosophy, economics and economic history, law, political science, sociology, and related fields who have an interest in integrating empirical and normative research on finance.


To apply for giving a presentation or a poster presentation, please send an extended abstract of up to 1,000 words.

Deadline for Applications: 1 June 2016

Notification of acceptance: by 20 June 2016 

Please apply using the conference website.

Application for Non-Presenters 

If you would like to attend the conference without giving a paper, please apply via the conference website.

Travel and Accommodation Grants

We cover accommodation for speakers and poster presenters. Please enquire for a travel grant.


Together with the Young Scholars Initiative of the Institute for New Economic Thinking, we host a series of webinars on the conference theme in the run-up to and after the conference. Please consult the conference website for details.


The conference has received generous financial support from the Young Scholars Initiative of the Institute for New Economic Thinking and the Departments of Philosophy and Economics of the University of Bayreuth.

Organizing Committee

Prof. Matthew Braham, Philosophy Department, University of Bayreuth

Prof. Bernhard Herz, Economics Department, University of Bayreuth

Marco Meyer, University of Cambridge/University of Groningen (Executive Secretary of the Organizing Committee)

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