Llamada a la participación: Monográfico «Public and Private Disruption in the Twenty-First Century»

Revista: Philosophical Papers

Deadline para el envío de propuestas: 31 de agosto de 2021

Writing in 2001, Raymond Geuss lamented that: 

We do not really have any effective general framework for thinking about politics apart from liberalism, so the main place that a distinction between public and private occupies in such a general scheme is in the context of a defence of the ‘private sphere’ from encroachment by the public. [Public Goods, Private Goods, 114]

Having described some of the many purposes served by the distinction between public and private, Geuss condemns the liberal division as addressing ‘the highly parochial problems of a particular kind of society that has thrown itself with a will into a certain very specific process of economic and political development …’

World events since the turn of the century have put strain on an already beleaguered understanding of the public and the private. These include the war on terror, the financial crisis, climate crisis, and the current Covid-19 pandemic, the rapid rise of social media, state capitalism, geopolitical tension, and escalating conflict over gender and race. The editors of this special issue invite reflections on such disruptive events since 2000 to our conceptions of, and our putative need for, a distinction between the public and the private.

Questions for discussion include, but are by no means limited to:

• Since the 1970s, feminist critique of the liberal public/private distinction, advocating the need for public protection within the ‘private sphere’ to which many women are confined. How do we update these concerns in the light of events this century?

• The Covid-19 pandemic has forced populations throughout the world to retreat to the private sphere. What are the implications of this?

• Does the #MeToo movement, or the exposure of sexual harassment more generally, require a rethinking of the public/private distinction?

• Do we need the distinction to cognize the duties and rights of parents, given, for example, new laws against corporal punishment and a growing anti-vaccine movement, ?

• How has social media affected traditional conceptions of privacy, publicity and proportionate limits in relations between the public and private spheres?

• The global financial crises of 2008 and 2020 challenged the distinction to stimulate the economy. Where does this shift balance between public and private economic interests?

• Do public – private partnerships undermine the legitimacy or security of public services?

• How does state capitalism (i.e., state controlled economic activity) challenge liberal dispositions toward the place of public and private?

• What significance have the war on terror and its long afterlife had on the distinction and its usefulness?

• What significance does the distinction hold in African and other non-Western traditions? Need these traditions be updated in the light of events this century? Is there inspiration to be found in these traditions for a renewed public/private distinction?    

• How is the public/private distinction related to globalization, or to the retreat we are presently seeing from globalization?

The deadline for submissions is 31 August 2021. This issue of Philosophical Papers, comprising both invited and submitted articles, will appear in November of 2021. Manuscripts should be submitted electronically, as a pdf or word-document attachment, to <philosophical.papers@ru.ac.za>. Authors should include with their submission their full name, affiliation, and address for email correspondence.

Further enquiries may be addressed to either Christopher Allsobrook (callsobrook@ufh.ac.za) or Ward E. Jones (w.jones@ru.ac.za).