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Morals and markets


Tuesday, June 7, 2016, 13:30


Academy House, 19 Dawson Street, Dublin 2


Free admission booking required

Geosciences and Geographical Sciences Committee symposium.

Can we trust our political and economic systems to work in our best interest?  Is there a place for ethical behaviour and moral concerns in these arenas? 

The latest cycle of boom, bust and austerity and, perhaps, recovery have led to the question of whether we can still trust our economic and political system to work and to deliver ‒ not just for the few but the many. What kind of political culture or moral fabric is necessary to prevent such cycles and crises and to establish what some social scientists have called a more virtuous cycle? Such concerns are related to other questions: Are markets and economic systems free and independent spheres or places in which ethical behaviour and moral concerns don’t count anymore?. Can we expect more than lip-service to reform and adherence to formalities and legalism, and isn’t there more to legitimacy than delivering the goods? Do we have the moral checks and balances ‒ in other words, that moral costume once called virtues ‒ that are adequate to the challenges that complex markets, institutions and interests pose?

In this symposium three speakers will try to tackle these questions from different vantage points:

  • Professor John Holmwood (School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Nottingham; Former President of the British Sociological Association): The university, markets and democratic knowledge.
  • Dr Samantha Ashenden (Department of Politics, Birkbeck, University of London; Editorial Board of the journal Economy and Society): Does commerce undermine the virtuous republic? Surrogacy in France.
  • Dr Andreas Hess (School of Sociology, University College Dublin): Passions, doux commerce, interest well-understood: from Adam Smith to Alexis de Tocqueville and beyond.

The symposium will be chaired by Professor Alun Jones MRIA, (School of Geography, University College Dublin) 

Tabhair tacaíocht do thodhchaí an léinn in Éirinn

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