Summer School on “The Workings of Capital: Perspectives on Exploitation in Law, Labor, and Distribution”

When: July 15-17, 2021

Where: The school will be held online. We will monitor existing conditions and regulations, and if possible, we will move the event to a blended format, featuring on-campus lectures and online sessions. In case of a blended format, the event will be hosted at the Auditorium of the Institute of Letters and Human Sciences (ILCH) at the ​University of Minho, Braga.

Organization: This event is co-organized by the Centre for Ethics, Politics, and Society of the University of Minho, and the Philosophy Department of the University of York

Convenors: Catarina Neves, Daniele Santoro, and Pedro Teixeira

Speakers:  Martin O’Neill (University of York), Katharina Pistor (Columbia University), João Rodrigues (Universidade de Coimbra), Nicholas Vrousalis (University of Rotterdam)


Since Marx’s early theorization, exploitation has been identified as a defining feature of the capitalist mode of production. Exploitation sheds light on the causes of the unfair distribution of resources, opportunities, and wealth, the commodification of the labor market, as well as the plundering of natural resources. It also has the normative significance of both a moral wrongdoing and a structural aspect of an unjust system that calls for change, activism, and revolution once again. As inequalities soar and the concentration of wealth lacerates the social fabric of traditional welfare state societies, the exploitative nature of late-stage capitalism has drawn the attention of a new generation of political philosophers, both in the critical and the analytical tradition.

How does capitalist exploitation take place through legal, distribution, and productive means?  How should we understand the conceptual and normative dimensions of exploitation, and what policies should be pursued to create a less exploitative form of production? The goal of the 12th edition is to answer this question by exploring the role exploitation plays within new forms of capitalist production.

The critique of capitalism is a recurrent theme of the School. In past editions, we discussed alternatives to the existing capitalist regime, such as property-owning democracy (2014) and democratic socialism (2018). We also questioned the legitimacy of free-market capitalism and the role of corporations (2019). 

Our aim in this edition is to elucidate the concept of exploitation, investigate its distributive implications for public policy, its impact on labor and the labor market, and the legal framework enabling exploitative processes.

Among the questions we are particularly interested in debating are the following:   

  • What is exploitation? Is exploitation always unjust? How to distinguish exploitation from other forms of moral wrongdoing?
  • What taxonomy of exploitation can we identify in capitalistic and socialist regimes?
  • Are new forms of exploitation essentially distinct from traditional forms of exploitation?
  • Which are the forms of labor most affected by current forms of exploitation? How can decommodification mitigate individuals’ exploitation in the labor market?
  • How can policies of predistribution and/or redistribution address issues of exploitation?
  • Can egalitarian policies mitigate exploitation, and if so, which ones are the most effective?
  • Can exploitation happen in an egalitarian society, and what can we do about it?
  • What is the role of the law in perpetuating inequality and exploitation, especially through financial markets?


The school will take place over three days. Two invited lectures will be delivered each day. We invite the participation of Ph.D. students, postdoctoral scholars, and established researchers to join us in the discussion and present their ongoing work on these topics or any related theme. Abstract proposals should not exceed 500 words. To submit a proposal, visit the School’s website.

Deadline for Abstract submission: May 30, 2021
Applicants who only wish to attend the summer school, and do not want to submit a proposal, should only register for the event (see information below).


Due to travel restrictions that could still affect on-site participation next Summer, the School is being organized in a digital format this year. We hope that delivering the event online will encourage proposals from many who might be hesitating to commit to an in-person event, giving the current uncertainty. We will follow the changes in travel restrictions and the regulations in Portugal regarding international academic events. In case the situation changes, we will consider a blended format for the school, and we will inform all participants. More information about the format will be provided closer to the date of the school. For now, participants will be asked to submit their preferences for the school’s format.

The participation fee is 30 Euros in case the school takes place online. In case we are able to organize a partial in-person event, we will ask participants to increase the fee up to 50 Euros to cover expenses.  Detailed information about registration and payment procedures are available on the School’s website.

Deadline for registration: June 20, 2021. ​​

Information about the program and the school format will be available later on the website. 

For other queries, contact:

Climate Futures Workshop 2021: Climate Solutions, Money, and Politics

Asynchronous / Online / June 16-30

All solutions to climate change—whether mitigation, adaptation, or compensation—play out against a backdrop of domestic and global financial, economic, and political systems. Proposed climate solutions raise issues of justice as well as politics and finance. The complex interplay of these issues calls for conversation and collaboration across disciplinary boundaries.

Visions of a Just Transition, a Green New Deal, or a Green Recovery from COVID-19 have captivated imaginations: but to what extent should responses to climate change be intertwined with radical social, economic, or political transformation? Fossil fuel companies facing asset stranding have obstructed climate solutions: but do they hold the key to developing carbon dioxide removal technologies? Renewable energy remains generally capital-intensive: how can we incentivise breakthrough innovations? Future generations will benefit significantly from action on climate change today: should we “borrow from the future” to fund a clean energy transition?

Facilitating conversations addressing such questions is the aim of this year’s Climate Futures Workshop. We outline some other possible questions below:


  • What role should we take self-interest to play in climate finance and politics, and how should self-interested motivations be constrained and channeled?
  • Is it feasible or desirable for future generations to bear any of the costs of current mitigation measures?
  • How do climate solutions connect with social movements for political and climate justice?


  • Can fossil-fuel firms transform themselves from part of the problem to part of the solution? Can and should they be forgiven for their past roles in causing climate change and obstructing action to mitigate it? What kinds of constructive contributions can they offer? How can the various resources of fossil-fuel companies be redirected for developing climate solutions?
  • Developed countries agreed in Paris to a goal of “mobilising” $100bn per year by 2020 in climate finance. How should “mobilisation” be understood? How can climate finance be made more effective?
  • Can payments for ecosystem services such as natural carbon sinks be both just and effective?
  • What balance of command-and-control or pricing instruments will best achieve climate justice?
  • What role should economic measurements of the social cost of carbon play in setting climate policy, given the theoretical and practical difficulties of an accurate assessment?
  • Is buying fossil fuel reserves in order to keep them in the ground a feasible strategy?
  • Can changes in corporate governance incentivise increased investment in climate change adaptation?


  • Robert Keohane
  • John Broome
  • Rebecca Henderson
  • Michael Oppenheimer
  • Simon Caney
  • Alyssa Bernstein
  • Paul Kelleher
  • Rachel Kyte
  • Angel Hsu
  • Alexandre Gajevic Sayegh
  • Matto Mildenberger
  • Jessica Green
  • Thea Riofrancos


The Climate Futures Workshop 2021 is sponsored by the Climate Futures Initiative, the High Meadows Environmental Institute, and the Center for Human Values at Princeton University.

CFP: Ethics of Business, Trade & Global Governance – An Online Conference

Date:  Friday, December 4, 2020
Proposal Submission Deadline: September 15, 2020
Plenary Speaker: Douglas Irwin, John French Professor of Economics, Dartmouth College

The Saint Anselm College Center for Ethics in Business and Governance, in cooperation with the Department of Finance—University of Vienna and the University of St. Andrews Centre for Responsible Banking & Finance, announces a call for proposals for a one-day conference on the economics, ethics and governance of global commerce.

International trade policies and disputes have dominated domestic and international politics.  From the continued negotiations in the EU and the UK over Brexit to US/China tariff “battles,” the questions and debates over international trade and capital flows will not be going away, particularly in the midst, and in the aftermath, of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Many of these trade discussions highlight the economic benefits and costs of individual trade deals or policies without examining the diverse ethical, economic, social and political ramifications of globalization and trade for global actors as well as for local communities and businesses. What is needed now is a more comprehensive, interdisciplinary discussion of the complexities of international commerce.

The goal of this one-day conference is to bring together ethicists, economists, political scientists, international relations scholars, policy experts, and business leaders to examine not only the political and economic impact of globalization but also how international trade and investment can be conducted more ethically.

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Workshop: Extreme wealth as a moral problem

Date: 13-14 November 2019.
Location: Emil-Figge-Str. 50, 44127 Dortmund (Germany), room 0.442
Organisers: Christian Neuhäuser and Dick Timmer

Attendance is free. Limited number of places available. Please register via or

Questions about the accumulation of wealth have acquired a new urgency in recent years. Economic inequality is fierce and still rising, both within countries and on a global level. It contributes to, among other things, social and political inequality and distributive unfairness. In light of this, there is a pressing need for work in normative political theory that engages closely with the question of what the justice has to say about the rich and their wealth. Are there distinctive features about the rich compared to the ‘merely’ affluent that we should worry about in particular? Should there be limits to how much wealth and income people can appropriate? And what kinds of institutions and policies are most defensible in curtailing the harmful effects of extreme wealth?

In this workshop, we want to consider the place extreme wealth should have in thinking about justice. We do this by critically examining ‘limitarianism’, which is the view in distributive justice which advocates that it is not morally permissible to have more resources than are needed to fully flourish in life. Ingrid Robeyns (2018) has coined and defended this view, arguing for limits on wealth in order to protect political equality and meet unmet urgent needs.

Provisional schedule

13th November
16.00-17.00: Ingrid Robeyns (Utrecht), “Economic limitarianism: merely moral or also political?”
17.15-18.15: Alan Thomas (York), “Limitarianism and the Political Problem of the Rich”
19.00: Dinner

14th November
9.00-10.00: Stefan Gosepath (Berlin), “Problems with too much (inherited) wealth”
10.15-11.15: Tammy Harel Ben Shahar (Haifa), “Limitarianism and Relative Thresholds”
11.30-12.30: Alexandru Volacu (Bucharest) “Some Reasons to Qualify Orthodox Limitarianism”
12.30-14.00: Lunch
14.00-15.00: Annelien De Dijn (Utrecht), “Republicanism and egalitarism”
15.15-16.15: Lasse Nielsen (Odense), “Limitarianism and social flourishing”
16.30-17.30: Dick Timmer (Utrecht) & Huub Brouwer (Utrecht) “Earning Too Much: The Case For Maximum Income Policies”
19.00 Dinner

CFP: Money: What is it? How should it function?

When: November 1-2, 2019
Where: University of Groningen, the Netherlands
Invited speakers:
– Eyja Brynjarsdóttir (University of Iceland)
– Francesco Guala (Milan)
– Uskali Mäki (Helsinki)
– J.P. Smit (Stellenbosch)

Deadline: Please submit an abstract before June 15 to
Number of words: 1,000. A limited number of submissions will be accepted for presentation. Full papers are due on October 1, 2019.
The Journal of Social Ontology (JSO) will publish a special issue dedicated to papers presented at this conference.

Topic. Money used to be a simple thing in practice: a set of coins and notes. It was of course more complicated in theory, and scholars throughout history have discussed what it is that makes those coins and notes into money: certain natural properties (that are inherent in gold or silver) or certain social properties (being generally accepted and used or being backed by the state).

While these discussions continue, over the last few decades money has also become more complicated in practice. Besides the old coins and notes, we now have electronic money of various sorts, including a large array of digital currencies such as Bitcoin. This is a good time to take the age-old philosophical discussions to a new and more complex level.

Some of the puzzles that new forms of money raise are:

  • How can money have a virtual existence?
  • Can the institution of money function without state support and if so how?
  • Is it possible to develop a unified theory of commodity, fiat and electronic money?

The ontological issues here often lie close to normative issues and debates. For example,

  • Is there a moral right to choose whatever currency one wants?
  • Will new forms of money eventually violate the public’s trust in stability and justice?

This conference brings together experts on the ontology, economics, ethics and politics of money to develop novel answers to questions such as these.

Organizing institutions:
Financial Ethics Research Group of the University of Gothenburg
– Department of Financial Economics of the Faculty of Economics and Business
Centre for Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) of the University of Groningen

Organizing committee: Ryan Doody, Frank Hindriks, Joakim Sandberg

CFP: The Soul of Economics

Location: University of Zurich, Switzerland
Date: September 9-11, 2019

List of confirmed invited speakers

  • Erik Angner (Stockholm University)
  • Alvin Birdi (University of Bristol)
  • Beatrice Cherrier (CNRS & THEMA, University of Cergy Pontoise)
  • Kevin Hoover (Duke University)
  • Andreas Ortmann (University of South Wales)
  • Don Ross (University of Cork)
  • (additional speakers to be confirmed)

The occasion for this conference is the 10-year passing of the global financial crisis in 2007-08. The emphasis lies in particular on debates that have sparked or revived issues concerning the main constituents of the ‘soul of economics’ and have provoked new questions about the nature of this soul. More specifically, we focus mainly on questions that have been raised within but also outside the economics profession about some of the constituents of this soul, namely the discipline’s theoretical foundations, the desirability of old and new modeling tools, the role of empirical analysis in economics, and the usefulness of research programs such as behavioral economics, among many others. We furthermore address questions the crisis has provoked concerning the lack of public trust in economics and how to regain it.

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CFP: Data & Ethics Conference

Venue: Stift Klosterneuburg (Klosterneuburg, Austria)
Date: November 22-23, 2019

The Department of Finance at University of Vienna, in cooperation with the Saint Anselm College Center for Ethics in Business and Governance, NH, USA, and the University of St. Andrews Centre for Responsible Banking & Finance, St. Andrews, Scotland, announces a call for proposals for an interdisciplinary conference on the Data & Ethics in times of the industrial revolution 4.0.

The accelerating digitalization brings up new challenges across various areas such economics, finance, medicine, biology, technology, or energy. These challenges come along with ethical questions that arise within affected disciplines, e.g. questions from cyber-security, privacy issues, job-security, shifts in economic frameworks, to technological progress in biology and the use of big data. Moreover, the tensions between efficiency, security and freedom are moving to the core of societal reform.

The goal of this conference is to bring together ethicists, economists, technological experts, and business leaders to comprehensively examine not only the political, economic and technological impact of big data, but also how big data can be used responsibly to the global benefit of society.

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Finance and Social Justice Workshop

In collaboration with Oxfam, Share Action, and the University of Glasgow

March 21-22, 2019, University of Glasgow – Scotland

This two-day workshop aims to bring together NGOs, early career academics, and PhD and Masters students to investigate the interconnections between finance and social justice in a way that transcends conventional conference and workshop formats.

The focal points of the workshop are two case studies formulated by Oxfam and Share Action. These case studies outline two key challenges in the design of a financial system that works for the many and not the few: reshaping the market for corporate control (Oxfam) and including social and human rights considerations in the drive for sustainable finance initiatives (Share Action).

Participants will be asked to present analyses of (and possible solutions to) the problems identified in the case studies from their diverse methodological and disciplinary approaches.

If you have any questions, please contact:
Anna Chadwick:
Javier Solana:
Cecilia del Barrio:

CFP: Futures of finance and society

FSN 2018: Futures of finance and society
University of Edinburgh, 6-7 December

Organisers: Nathan Coombs, Tod Van Gunten
Keynotes: Donald MacKenzie, Annelise Riles, Gillian Tett
Sponsors: Edinburgh Futures Institute/University of Edinburgh

Ten years on from the global financial crisis, the settlement between finance and society remains ambiguous. Regulation has been tightened in traditional areas like banking, against a backdrop of fiscal austerity and the proliferation of new monies, financial platforms and investment vehicles. Building on the success of our previous ‘Intersections of finance and society’ conferences, ‘Futures of finance and society’ asks what new social, organisational and political forms are emerging and what direction they should take.

This two-day event, based at the University of Edinburgh’s historic Medical Quad, aims to deepen dialogue between the diverse disciplines contributing to the field of ‘finance and society’ studies. It seeks to develop new synergies between political, sociological, historical, and philosophical perspectives. In addition to providing a venue for presenting ongoing theoretical research, contributors are invited to propose and debate potential solutions for improving financial stability, expanding financial inclusion, and mitigating inequalities associated with financialisation.

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Conference: Money Matters

MONEY MATTERS: Thinking About Money in Times of Change
Conference in Uppsala, June 8, 2018

Organizers: Tomas Ekenberg (Uppsala), and Joakim Sandberg (Gothenburg)

Money is one of those things that we tend to think we understand. That is, until we start to consider its complexity as a technology that structures the presuppositions and practices of nearly all human interaction. At the present moment in time, money is becoming even more complex to grasp as we are entering into uncharted territory featuring many-layered virtual economies, crypto-currencies and global financial flows.
While philosophers and social scientists of old were working towards grand unified theories, the second half of the twentieth century saw a general turn toward diversification and specialization. This led to an explosive growth of expertise in many fields, but it also led to a fragmentation of the scholarly debate into factions with little or no mutual exchange. Instead of rivaling overarching theories, we are now seeing various sets of mutually independent systems of local hypotheses driving highly specialized research.
This conference will bring together scholars working on different aspects of money – both its theory (metaphysics, epistemology, law, ethics, economics) and practice (history, sociology and politics). The principal aim is to take stock of what different approaches can contribute to a more unified discussion of money.

9:30–10:30 Eyja Brynjarsdóttir (Reykjavik) “Is Money Real?”
10:30–11:30 Tomas Ekenberg (Uppsala) “Is Money Evil?”
11:30–12:30 Marco Goldoni (Glasgow) “The Legal Theory of Money between Conventionalism and Institutionalism”
13:30–14:30 Clément Fontan (Gothenburg) “Making Sense of Central Bank Digital Currencies”
14:30-15:30 Lars Lindblom (Umeå) ”Bitcoins Left and Right”
16:00–17:00 Gabriel Söderberg (Uppsala) “State Money vs. Private Money: Does it Matter?”
17:00–18:00 Patrik Winton (Uppsala) “Money and political regimes in Sweden, 1700-1850”