Tarunabh Khaitan (Oxford): "(Liberty, Equality), Camaraderie: Love as a Constitutional Ideal"

Event date
11 May 2023
Event time
15:00 - 17:00
Oxford week
TT 3

(Liberty, Equality), Camaraderie: Love as a Constitutional Ideal

Tarunabh Khaitan, Professor of Public Law and Legal Theory, and Head of Research at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights at the University of Oxford, presents the fourth paper of Trinity Term 2023: "(Liberty, Equality), Camaraderie: Love as a Constitutional Ideal".

Abstract: This is a very early draft of the introductory chapter of a book project. 

This book presents an argument that camaraderie (and, through it, equality) can and should be given a higher status in the liberal constitutional triptych, flanking rather than subserving liberty. This would entail the rejection of the policy of benign neglect towards camaraderie, and the constitutionalisation of certain institutional mechanisms that would give camaraderie its due (alongside equality). Doing so, I will argue, does not require an abandonment of a commitment to liberalism; in fact, it is difficult to see how liberal constitutionalism could survive the contemporary challenge it faces from right-wing populism without giving up its unjustified hesitation in embracing camaraderie more fully. Before we get there, however, let us finesse our understanding of camaraderie first. In Section 2, I will define the conception of camaraderie that this book will defend. I will argue that camaraderie is an attitude of impersonal (recognition) love, and that members of sufficiently democratic polities owe this kind of love to their compatriots. In Section 3, I will argue that a polity that is committed to liberty and equality must reject identity as well as ideology as the bases for generating and sustaining camaraderie; instead, the only legitimate foundations for camaraderie that are compatible with commitments to liberty and equality is behavioural.

This seminar will take place in Bostar Hall, University College, at 3:00 pm on Thursday, 11 May.

How to find the room

Bostar Hall is reached through University College's Radcliffe Quadrangle. Find staircase 11 and walk past four doors straight to find the room to your left.

This event is open to anyone. No registration needed.

Pre-reading is desirable but not a requirement to attend.

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