Globalizing Minority Rights

CANCELLED: Boston Conference 2020

CANCELLED: Global Structural Injustice and Minority Rights 
We regret to inform you that the conference has been cancelled due to the current outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Date: Friday, March 13 – Saturday, March 14, 2020
Location: Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA 

Keynote Speakers:
Avigail Eisenberg, University of Victoria
Stephen Gardiner, University of Washington
Catherine Lu, McGill University

Call for Papers

Conference Theme

The concept of structural injustice is one that has been given a lot of attention by political philosophers in recent years. Iris Young defined structural injustice as a kind of moral wrong that is distinct from unjust, biased or malicious actions by individual actors or policies of states. Rather, structural injustice is the result of actions by many different actors and institutions over long periods of time, actions which are not necessarily unjust and may even be morally neutral or positive. Even though the individual actions may not be unjust in themselves, the resulting structural features may be said to be unjust because they unfairly constrain some people’s options and threaten them with deprivation, whereas they benefit others. Individual actions play a role, of course, since structural injustice is maintained through the behavior and actions of individuals, but the focus of moral concern is the structures that perpetuate it.


The structural injustice framework has been used to discuss domestic political questions. But can it also be used to consider global social and political challenges? The guiding question of this conference is: Can the concept of structural injustice be fruitfully applied to global problems? For example, can the harms of climate change, forced displacement, gender inequality, economic inequality, etc., be understood as forms of structural injustice? Furthermore, can this framework help us to understand how we should ascribe responsibility for these global challenges?


A particular focus of this conference will be minority rights. Can structural injustice help us to understand how to better address injustices experienced by members of global minorities such as Indigenous populations, refugees, climate refugees, members of the LGBTQ community, etc.? How have global minorities attempted to resist and transform the conditions of structural injustice that impact them?  Should global minorities (and their allies) aim to transform domestic or global institutional structures (or both)?  How can global minorities (and their allies) collaborate to resist and transform structural injustice?


Papers relating to any aspect of the theme of global structural injustice and minority rights will be considered.


Please email 300-500 word abstracts to Ava Sasani (sasani.a@husky.neu.eduby August 1, 2019.


This conference is organized by the Department of Philosophy at Northeastern University in Boston in cooperation with UiT The Arctic University of Norway and the Globalizing Minority Rights Project ( The conference is supported by a grant from the Norwegian Research Council.


Important information for participants

We ask that those of you who are coming from outside the US please apply for a visa or permission to travel (if applicable) by the end of December. Please let us know if you need an official letter of acceptance and we’ll be happy to send you one. If you’re coming from outside the US, we can’t put you on the conference program until you have your visa. Please be aware that visa rules have changed in recent years and applications to the US, even from Europe, are taking longer than usual. 



The conference organizers,

Serena Parekh

Kerstin Reibold

Patti Lenard

Ansvarlig for siden: Lippert- Rasmussen, Kasper
Sist oppdatert: 02.10.2023 10:50