Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

On Vice: Political Ethics and Moral Conflict Conference

13 December 2012 - 14 December 2012 | Conference

University of Leeds

The White Rose Association of Political Philosophy in association with the School of Politics and International Studies presents this two day conference.

Amid widespread acts of political manipulation and public deception, outrageous corporate scandals, as well as the protests, demonstrations and riots which have erupted across the globe in recent months, we live at a time of heightened concern for the ethical fabric of society. These sorts of concerns have traditionally formed the core subject matter of political theory, and yet they also seem to cast doubt on the intellectual resources at our disposal to cope with this new sense of ethical fragility. The rich tradition of political and philosophical thought on the virtues and its general preoccupation with moral innocence, goodness, and perfectibility seems out of joint in a time marked more by villainy, conflict and vice.

The primary aim of this small-scale two-day workshop is to explore the idea of political morality and civic ethics in a distinctive way: through the lens of vice. The conference will emphasise the moral and political nuances associated with the concept of vice and encourage collaborative thinking on the nature of vice, its relationship to virtue, its place in modern life and its potential role in the explication and rehabilitation of political ethics in an age of conflict.

We invite papers for presentation in 40-minute sessions (20 minute presentation plus 20 minute discussion). The conference is open to any interested party and aims to provide a supportive environment for scholars either in their early careers or in their postgraduate studies.


  • Prof Susan Mendus (York)
  • Prof John Horton (Keele)
  • Dr Cecile Hatier (Wolverhampton)
  • Dr Gerald Lang (Leeds)

The following is a list, by no means exhaustive, of possible paper themes:

  • The concept of vice
  • The relationship between vice and virtue 
  • Vice, virtue and moral conflict 
  • The virtues of viciousness 
  • Studies of particular vices 
  • The possibility of 'civic vice'
  • The tradition of the vices
  • The role of vice in the ethics of political leadership 
  • Vice in the history of political thought 
  • The control of vice through civic education

For more information or to submit an abstract of 500 words, please contact Dr Derek Edyvane and Demetris Tillyris.


Location Details

University of Leeds

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