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Mershon Center for International Security Studies

Spring COMPAS Conference on Global Inequality

Each year the Center for Ethics and Human Values hosts a yearlong Conversations on Morality, Politics and Society program, this year centering on the theme of inequality.

The 2016-17 COMPAS program is exploring the complex ways in which inequalities in resources, opportunity, and treatment -- for example, along lines of class, race, and gender -- can produce or reinforce unequal outcomes in areas as diverse as health outcomes, criminal justice policy and practices, and political power.

The program is framed by two major interdisciplinary conferences. The fall conference, "When Do Inequalities Matter?" (September 22-23), featured a keynote lecture by Richard Wilkinson, the co-author of The Spirit Level. The spring COMPAS conference, sponsored by the Mershon Center for International Security Studies, will focus on global inequality.

The spring conference, to take place Thursday, March 30, through Friday, March 31, will begin by considering two basic questions facing proponents of global justice: how to measure well being as a way of assessing global inequalities, and whether rich nations have a duty to alleviate poverty around the globe.

The conference will then consider global inequality in a variety of domains that raise serious moral concerns, including global governance, trade, migration, and LGBTQ rights, with the aim of exploring how the causes and effects of different kinds of inequality interact with one another. For more, see the conference flyer (pdf).

"Moral concern with inequality is about far more than economic inequalities," said CEHV Director Don Hubin. "It is also about political, legal, educational, and health inequalities and how these interact with each other. And it’s about how these inequalities connect with underlying issues of race, gender, ethnicity, religion, LGBTQ status, geography, and other factors."

The conference will bring together leading political scientists, sociologists, philosophers, economists, legal scholars, public health experts, and policy advocates who can effectively engage each other. It is free and open to the public, and there is no registration requirement. Faculty, students, and members of the community are welcome to attend any or all of the sessions that interest them. 

The Center for Ethics and Human Values encourages research and facilitates public discussion on a wide range of foundational and applied moral questions that connect the research, teaching, and other work pursued at Ohio State.

The Mershon Center for International Security Studies advances the understanding of national security in a global context through fostering interdisciplinary faculty and student research.