• Policy research and debate

IPP Conference – Lisbon, 6-7 September 2013

The challenges facing most European countries are similar. The prospects of an aging population and low average rates of economic growth over the next decades put extreme pressure on state reform in EU countries. The situation is particularly difficult in peripheral countries with recession and high unemployment, low prospects of growth within the euro, high levels of public and private indebtedness, and difficult access to capital markets.

Fiscal consolidation programmes in several countries raise important issues in terms of distributive justice. The first issue occurs diachronically between generations, since excessive debt not only hampers economic growth but also puts an extreme burden on unborn generations. The second is synchronically, between pensioners, active workers, and the unemployed (mainly young). The last issue arises between occupations: public and private sector workers. Welfare reforms, expenditure cuts and tax increases therefore raise important questions concerning the transformation of the implicit or explicit social contracts within each European country.

What do we mean by renewing the social contract at both a national and a European level? What have the successful experiences of state reform been? What are the implications of the current austerity measures for social justice (inequality, poverty, social cohesion) and economic growth? What are the social and political bases of a possible consensus for reform? These are some of the questions to be addressed in this conference.

Scientific and organizing committee

Paulo Trigo Pereira (Chair)
Ana Rita Ferreira
Carlos Farinha Rodrigues
José António Pereirinha
Marta Nunes da Costa

Some invited speakers

Daniel Innerarity

Professor of political and social philosophy and Ikerbasque researcher at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), he is the director of GLOBERNANCE – Institute for Democratic Governance. His works mainly focus on the cultural and political transformations of knowledge societies, on innovation of our systems of government, on democracy and on globalization. A visiting Professor at various European and American universities, he is, presently, Appointed Visiting Professor at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies of the European University Institute of Florence. He is the author of several prized and translated works such as La sociedad invisible [The invisible society] (Espasa Essay Prize, 2004) or El nuevo espacio público (Espasa, 2006) [The new public realm].

Viriato Soromenho-Marques

Viriato Soromenho-Marques (1957) teaches Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Nature, and European Ideas in the Departments of Philosophy and European Studies of the University of Lisbon, where he is Full Professor. Since 1978 he has been engaged in the civic environmental movement in Portugal and Europe. He was Chairman of Quercus (1992-1995). He is member of the National Council on Environment and Sustainable Development. He was Vice-Chair of the European Environmental and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils network (2001-2006). He was the scientific coordinator of the Gulbenkian Environment Program (2007-2011). He was one of the twelve members of the High Level Group on Energy and Climate Change by invitation of the President of the European Commission (2007-2010). He is member of the Lisbon Academy of Sciences, Class of Humanities (Letras), and also member of the Navy Academy. He was awarded in 1997 and 2006 by the President of the Republic (“Grande Oficial da Ordem de Mérito” and “Grande Oficial da Ordem do Infante D. Henrique”). He was the representative of public opinion in the Press Council (1985-1987). He is a regular contributor to some Portuguese mass media. He wrote over four hundred works on Philosophy, Environment and International Relations matters. He was speaker in over one thousand conferences in Portugal and twenty three other countries.

Axel Gosseries

Axel Gosseries is a Professor at Louvain University (Hoover Chair, UCL, Belgium) and a Permanent Research Fellow at the FNRS. He holds a PhD in philosophy (Louvain, 2000) and an LL.M. (London, 1996). He has spent time abroad in the best European and American universities, doing research and teaching. He works in the field of political philosophy and especially on issues of intergenerational justice, the respective role of states and firms, ethical challenges to tradable quotas schemes, and the political philosophy of information. He is the author of more than 50 articles and chapters in philosophy, law and economics books and journals, and works as Penser la justice entre les générations (Aubier-Flammarion, 2004), having also co-edited three books, including one on intellectual property issues (Palgrave 2008) and another on issues of intergenerational justice.

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