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Seminar Series on Global Justice

Over the last two decades, there has been a renewed and growing interest in academic circles about understanding the requirements of global justice at both the individual and institutional levels.  These discussions have implications for how one may consider the role of organizations such as the World Trade Organization, vertical global health funds, or the World Bank in development policy and practice.  The Development Dialogue on Values and Ethics, the unit in the World Bank’s Human Development Network working on the relationships between values, faith, ethics, and development, is organizing a series of four seminars with leading contemporary philosophers in order to inform Bank staff of recent developments in this area.  The BBL seminars will be organized on Thursdays every fortnight.


Seminar series


September 30, 2010 - 12.30 to 2.00 pm: Mathias Risse, Harvard University

October 14, 2010 - 12.30 to 2.00 pm in MC 13-121: Judith Lichtenberg, Georgetown University

October 28, 2010 - 12.30 pm to 2.00 pm in MC 2-800: Thomas Pogge, Yale University

November 11, 2010 (tentative): Larry Temkin, Rutgers University


The first seminar on September 30, 2010 (in room JB1-075), with Professor Mathias Risse of Harvard University, will discuss how recent views of global justice have assessed global institutions and explain what role such institutions have within his own approach to global justice, which he is developing in his forthcoming book The Grounds of Justice.  The seminar will start with the presentation of a conceptual framework that will then be applied to the World Trade Organization on which Prof. Risse has published several articles in leading journals.  He will then discuss to what extent the conceptual framework can also be applied to institutions such as the World Bank.


Brief biographies of the four speakers


Mathias Risse is Professor of Philosophy and Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.  His primary research areas include contRisse_Sep2010_DDVE_Seminaremporary political philosophy (in particular questions of international justice, distributive justice, and property) and decision theory (in particular, rationality and fairness in group decision making). His articles have appeared in journals such as Ethics, Philosophy and Public Affairs, Nous, the Journal of Political Philosophy, and Social Choice and Welfare. Risse received his BA, BS and MS in mathematics from Bielefeld, and his MA and PhD in philosophy from Princeton. Before coming to Harvard he taught in the Department of Philosophy and the Program in Ethics, Politics and Economics at Yale. His forthcoming book The Grounds of Justice: An Inquiry about the State in Global Perspective is under contract with Princeton University Press.


Judith Lichtenberg joined the Georgetown University philosophy department in 2007. She Judith Lichtenberg_DDVE_Sep2010previously taught at the University of Maryland at College Park, where she held appointments in the philosophy department and at the university's Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy. Her writing and teaching are in the fields of ethics and political philosophy, with special interests in justice and charity both in the domestic and the international spheres, race and ethnicity, education, the mass media, and moral psychology. She has held visiting appointments at Dartmouth, Harvard, Yale, and the University of Melbourne, and in 2006-07 spent her sabbatical at Stanford University's Humanities Center.


Thomas Pogge is currently the Director of the Global Justice Program and LeitneThomas Pogge_DDVE_Sep2010r Professor of Philosophy and International Affairs at Yale University. In addition to his Yale appointment, he is the Research Director of the Centre for the Study of the Mind in Nature at the University of Oslo and a Professorial Research Fellow at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the Australian National University. Pogge is also an editor for social and political philosophy for the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science. Pogge received his Ph.D. from Harvard University with a dissertation supervised by John Rawls. Since then he has published widely on Kant and in moral and political philosophy, including various books on John Rawls and global justice.


Larry Temkin is Professor II of Philosophy at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. He graduated number one with a B.A.Honors Degree from the University of Larry_Temkin_DDVE_Sep2010Wisconsin/Madison (1975), and earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Princeton (1983). He also studied at Oxford University. Specializing in ethics and political philosophy, Temkin is the author of Inequality, (Oxford University Press, 1993), as well as many articles. He has received fellowships from the Danforth Foundation and the Andrew Mellon Foundation, and been a Visiting Fellow or Scholar at the National Humanities Center, Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics, All Souls College Oxford University, the National Institutes of Health, and the Australian National University. He is also the recipient of eight major teaching awards.



For information on the Development Dialogue on Values and Ethics seminar series, please contact Jorn Sonderholm at  To register for this seminar series or for other seminars organized by the unit, please contact Sukanya Venkataraman at For more general information on the unit’s work, please contact Quentin Wodon at or visit our website at\developmentdialogue.





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