Digital Dictatorship or Digital Republic? Law and Ethics of China’s Social Credit System @ Sala Triaria, Villa Schifanoia
Jan 30 @ 9:00 am – 7:00 pm

China’s effort to build and implement its so-called Social Credit System (SCS) offers a fascinating case of a technological ecosystem designed for social control. Driven by public-private partnerships, it combines public policy and law making with data-driven solutions to monitor and control citizens’ actions and identities. Underlying systems such as the SCS are notions of ‘good citizens’, the type of citizen that optimally contributes to a flourishing political community, and of ‘civic virtues’, the state of character that contributes to a desirable kind of civic life.

The workshop will examine China’s emerging SCS from different disciplines: political theory, social science, legal jurisprudence, and moral philosophy. It aims at improving our understanding of the system—examining its functions, goals, and feasibility—investigating the ethics of the social credit system, and exploring its legal implications and the regulatory regimes that should govern it.

The event is organized by Wessel Reijers and Liav Orgad and funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme (Grant No. 716350).

You can download the programme here and register for the event here.

Majority and Minority Rights @ WZB Berlin Social Science Center
Apr 25 – Apr 27 all-day

Liberal thinking and human rights law recognize minority rights. Thus far, majority groups have not been granted similar rights because it is assumed that they are not vulnerable groups. The majority is presumed to be able to “take care of itself”; it can use its numerical advantage to perpetuate its political power and interests.

Tensions between minority and majority rights are among the most pressing issues of our time. The changing patterns in global migration reconfigure the cultural landscape of societies and shift the dynamics between cultural groups within the state. On one side, the backlash against multiculturalism and the reemergence of majority nationalism raise new concerns over the tyranny of the majority. On the other side, fears over the erosion of majority groups’ culture appear due to the pace of migration and the creation of new minorities. All these challenges call for the reexamination of fundamental assumptions in law and theory.

The conference seeks to understand better the intercultural tensions between majority and minority rights, the reflection of these tensions in law and policy, moral and legal challenges they pose to theories of democracy, diversity and justice, and their normative consequences. What are the vulnerabilities that minorities and majorities face in contemporary societies? Can minority and majority rights be asserted based on similar rationales? How do distinctive political contexts and histories influence the legal responses that shape minority and majority rights? Which policies act as barriers against cultural group rights?

The call for papers was closed on October 1, 2018.

Ruud Koopmans, Director, “Migration, Integration, Transnationalization” Research Unit, WZB Berlin
Liav Orgad, Director, “Global Citizenship Governance”, EUI Florence/WZB Berlin/IDC Herzliya

Confirmed distinguished speakers:
Rainer Bauböck, Part-Time Professor, EUI Florence/Austrian Academy of Sciences
Paul Cliteur, Professor of Jurisprudence, Leiden University
David Goodhart, Head, Policy Exchange’s “Demography, Immigration, and Integration” Unit
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Founder, The AHA Foundation; Fellow, Hoover Institution
Christian Joppke, Director, Institute of Sociology, University of Bern
Will Kymlicka, Canada Research Chair in Political Philosophy, Queen’s University
Tariq Modood, Director, Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship, University of Bristol