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Washington University (St. Louis, MO 63130-4862)
Christopher Heath Wellman (Project Director: March 2009 to March 2011)

Seminars for Higher Education Faculty
Education Programs

$123,371 (approved)
$123,371 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2009 – 9/30/2010

Philosophical Perspectives on Liberal Democracy and the Global Order

A four-week college and university faculty seminar for sixteen participants to explore concepts of freedom and equality in a global framework.

Liberal democracies such as the United States aspire to treat their members as free and equal citizens. Determining precisely what this means in today's world, however, is a difficult matter. Even if one agrees that political regimes must organize themselves in a liberal democratic fashion (and not everyone does, of course), it remains controversial as to when someone is free, what equality requires, and how conflicts among these two core values should be adjudicated. What is more, as interesting and important as these issues are, some of the most pressing and difficult questions in today's geo-political context concern not how liberal democracies should treat their own citizens, but how they should interact with foreigners and their States. The chief purpose of this seminar is to enable its participants to understand and contribute to the current debate on these questions and to bring their understanding of these debates to their teaching, research and public service.