Michael Neu on "Just Liberal Violence: Sweatshops, Torture, War"

We are very pleased to announce that Michael Neu, from the University of Brighton, will deliver a talk for Filosofisk seminar this semester. The seminar is open for everyone, and will be followed by an informal reception.

Portrait of Michael Neu (Photo: Private).

Michael Neu (Photo: Private).


Many contemporary moral and political philosophers have published work in defence of sweatshops, torture and/or war. I argue that the liberal framework from which these defences derive is unexamined. It is obsessed with individuals, blind to social hierarchies and interconnectedness, and fanatically fixated on pressing the complex material world into a binary moral structure of right and wrong. In failing to take a step back and reflect critically on the defects of their framework of analysis, however, defenders of just liberal violence contribute to a moral climate characterized by a pervasive amnesia about the histories, structures and politics of violence. My talk is an invitation to think about the ethics of writing about violence, as well as the question of intellectual responsibility.

About Michael Neu

Michael Neu completed his PhD on The Dilemma of Justified War at Sheffield University (2010), and was subsequently awarded the Political Studies Association (PSA) Sir Ernest Barker Prize for the best dissertation in Political Theory. He is interested in political and moral philosophy, specifically moral questions pertaining to justice, equality and violence. Neu is committed to interdisciplinary and collaborative work. He is currently working towards completing two monographs: one, with Robin Dunford, on Just War and the Responsibility to Protect: A Critique (Zed Books, 2018); another, single-authored, on Just Liberal Violence: Sweatshops, Torture, War (Rowman and Littlefield International, Oct, 2017). He also researches on the question of intellectual complicity in violence, including structural violence, and has recently co-edited and co-authored a volume on Exploring Complicity: Concept, Cases and Critique (with Robin Dunford and Afxentis Afxentiou, Rowman and Littlefield International, Dec 2016). With Bob Brecher and Robin Dunford, he is co-editor of a new book series, Off the Fence (with Rowman and Littlefield International). He was also, with Andy Knott, the Convener of the 2016 Political Studies Association "Politics and the Good Life" Conference held at Brighton.

About the seminar series

Philosophical Seminar is a philosophy colloquium series, hosted by the Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas at UiO. The departmental colloquium has previously hosted renowned philosophers such as Charles Taylor, Peter Railton, Galen Strawson, Julia Annas, Martin Kusch, Stephen Darwall, John Sallis and Samuel Wheeler III.

The colloquia are open to everyone and followed by an open and informal reception on the third floor in the same building. Students are especially encouraged to attend, and all participants are invited to the reception afterwards.

Published Mar. 1, 2018 5:58 PM - Last modified Mar. 6, 2018 4:01 PM