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Political Studies Speaker Series: "Commitment and the Politics of Labor" - Mara Marin (Victoria)

This event is Cancelled
Thursday, April 2, 2020
2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Dunning Hall
Room: 12
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Commitment and the Politics of Labor​

What sort of politics can transform the current organization of labor? What sort of political action is called for by the task of this transformation? In commitments, agents
take upon themselves obligations through their voluntary actions but without knowing the precise content of their obligations. Commitments are relationships of
obligations developed over time through the accumulated effect of open-ended actions and responses. While we are familiar with commitments as personal relations such
as friendships or spousal relations, social structures can and should also be understood as commitments for two reasons. The first reason is that a view of social structures as
commitment can make sense of some perplexing features of structural injustices, such as the fact that they are the products of human action, and therefore create
responsibilities, yet reflect no particular individual intention. In this regard, the virtue of the notion of commitment is to connect the normative question of our
responsibility for unjust structures to the descriptive, social theoretical question of what makes these structures enduring. The second reason is that this view can open up
possibilities of political action otherwise invisible. Underlying this advantage is a notion of political action as cumulative and joint, the “conception of action as chains of
actions and responses.

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