Call for Papers – Climate Change, Sustainability and an Ethics of an Open Future

Societas Ethica, the European Society for Research in Ethics, in cooperation with the ESF (European Science Foundation) network A Right to a Green Future is calling for papers for their Annual Conference, this year held in Soesterberg, Netherlands on August 22-25, 2013. It will be the 50th Societas Ethica conference.

“Climate change, dwindling resources, and growth of the global population have emerged as challenges for all areas of political action in modern societies. These challenges have been on the political agenda since the “Limits to Growth” report was released in 1972. While the challenges are well known, and while there appears to be some form of consensus that sustainability is a goal worth striving for, there is little discussion of how the changes necessary to achieve this goal will affect our political institutions, our social relationships, our moral responsibilities, and our self-understanding in general. The more far-reaching the necessary changes are, the more pressing the following questions will become: To what extent are political and economic institutions – national as well as global – capable of realizing sustainable politics and what is its ethical basis? To what extent will personal liberties, such as freedom of movement, property rights, and reproductive autonomy, need to be limited in order to realize sustainable politics? How could we extend the current system of human rights to incorporate the rights of future generations? Can we expect human beings to take responsibility for the living conditions of future generations, and how do such responsibilities affect philosophical and eschatological theories? An ethics of an open future must develop criteria for moral action under conditions of uncertainty. A developed theory of the principle of precaution in ethics and law is, however, lacking.”

Paper channels:

  1. Climate change and scarcity of resources as ethical challenges
  2. Sustainability, future generations and human rights
  3. Democracy, global governance and political ethics
  4. An open future; philosophical and theological responses
  5. Reflections from different cultural and religious perspectives
  6. Open channel

Authors are invited to submit an abstract of max. 4,000 characters. Abstracts should be suitable for blind review.

Deadline for submissions: March 31, 2013

For more information on the call and the conference visit

By Nikolai Huckle

Nikolai is a BA-student in Individual Studies at the Leuphana University Lueneburg. He did a five months internship at Cultura21 in the framework of the Leuphana PLUS program. Nikolai studiert das Studium Individuale an der Leuphana Universität Lüneburg und absolvierte im Rahmen des Leuphana Plus Programms ein fünfmonatiges Praktikum bei Cultura21.