First Oxford Symposium on Comparative Political Philosophy


Event Details

Date: 10th July, 2019 – 12th July, 2019

Location: Blavatnik School of Government


For registration and programme schedule for this event, please click the link below: 



First Oxford Symposium on Comparative Political Philosophy


Recent years have seen an increasing interest among Anglo-American political theorists in comparing the diverse ways in which thinkers of different cultural traditions address political issues. Yet, despite this growing body of literature, there is still inadequate substantive engagement across different traditions about fundamental questions in political theory and public policy. The driving interest of this symposium is to promote such engagement, comparing competing (or possibly similar) answers to substantive questions, testing arguments and assumptions across traditions in philosophical debate, and then asking whether this debate can shed light on questions of substantive policy.

This year the main theme is 'political legitimacy'. Various speakers from a range of different traditions will address such issues as:

  • What conceptions of legitimacy are there in different cultural traditions?
  • How do thinkers from different traditions discuss and understand political authority?
  • How are policymaking, institutional design, as well as governance benefited from learning non-Western perspectives on legitimacy?
  • What role should public justification and religious considerations play in a law-making procedure from comparative perspective?
  • How do we compare theories of resistance and revolution in different traditions?
  • Is it legitimate to engage in cultural and national assimilation of citizens and immigrants?