Peace and Justice Studies Association 2006 Conference

“Who Speaks for the Common Good?”

October 5-8, 2006, Manhattan College, New York City


Shortly after September 11th, peace groups throughout the US distributed world flags with a photo of the earth and a slogan, “We’re all in this together.” That sense of the common good – that we are all bound together, living on one earth, and that our wellbeing is interconnected – is crucial to the development of a more peaceful and just world. Has this notion fallen out of favor? How do we resolve the tension between the dual strivings we each feel, to be autonomous, and yet to be connected?

In an era in which pursuing one’s self-interest is commended, who speaks for the common good? Those who honestly attempt to do so are disempowered to act on it, and those who speak for the nations rarely even pretend to do so. How do we decide what really serves the common good, and how do we work for the common good? The rhetoric of a common good is sometimes misused to ride sacrifice the interests of some people, allegedly for the good of a greater number. How can we, as people committed to creating a peaceful, just world, promote a focus on the common good, properly understood?

The Peace and Justice Studies Association will explore these questions at our 4th annual conference, to be held October 5-8th, 2006, at Manhattan College, in the Bronx, New York City. We invite proposals for paper presentations, organized panels, roundtable discussions, workshops and other creative contributions on these and related questions.

As our mission statement says, “We are dedicated to bringing together academics, K-12 teachers and grassroots activists to explore alternatives to violence and share visions and strategies for peacebuilding, social justice, and social change.” Therefore, we seek contributions that explore the idea of the common good in research, teaching and action:

In Peace Studies, how can we encourage critical exploration of the idea of the common good? How can we prepare our students to work effectively for the common good?

K-12 education for the common good. How can the education of young people foster their appreciation of, and pursuit of, the common good? What can schools of education do to promote this focus in K-12 education? What successful practices can we share?

What does scholarly research, across the disciplines, have to offer on defining the common good? What political, social and economic structures best assist human communities in prioritizing the common good? What case studies, negative and positive, can help us work through these issues?

What strategies can activists share of ways in which they’ve struggled for the common good, or led communities in defining what is in their common interest?

Please send an abstract (no more than 200 words), to Margaret Groarke, Peace Studies, Manhattan College, Bronx NY 10471 or to Please clearly state the preferred format of your proposal (paper, panel, workshop, roundtable discussion, etc.), and please include a brief biographical sketch. The deadline for proposal submission is May 1, 2006. Submissions will be acknowledged by email or by postcard. Late proposals will be reviewed, and may be accepted if there is space on the program.

By mopress

Writer, Editor, Social Democrat

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