InHouse&Guests Workshop

Moral Agency and the Politics of Responsibility: Challenging Complexity

15–16 December 2016

Against the background of new, highly differentiated multi-actor governance arrangements of the global economy and world society, responsibility remains vague, ambiguous and contested. State-centered diplomacy, law-based accountability and representative politics all seem grossly out of touch with the changed nature of an interconnected, globalized world. How can moral duties though be defined beyond the territorial and legal boundaries of the nation-state and how can accountability mechanisms for a post-national world be established? This author's workshop dealt with this complexity of responsibility by discussing the forthcoming publication 'Moral Agency and the Politics of Responsibility: Challenging Complexity' edited by Tobias Debiel, Peter Finkenbusch, and Cornelia Ulbert. The volume that will be published by Routledge probably by the end of 2017 roposes an innovative discussion of responsibility in international politics by investigating how moral agency is constituted and shaped under conditions of growing complexity.

The authors' ideas emerged at the Centre for Global Cooperation Research (KHK/GCR21) and the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF). The two-day workshop aimed at exchanging and discussing the arguments of the book with other scholars in order to find a fruitful input to the author's core arguments. A focus was partly given to the broader theoretical framework like general questions on the historically conditioned and changing discourse of responsibility; on responsibility as an element of order making; and on how responsibility is negotiated in polycentric governance arrangements and a non-linear world. The second part of the workshop covered specific examples such as the UN's moral leadership and institutional change, the 'Responsibility to Protect' (R2P), shifting responsibilities in post-conflict peacebuilding settings, or the supply chain practice in transnational business.

Venue: Centre for Global Cooperation Research, Schifferstr. 44, 47059 Duisburg