News Archive 2016

In Defence of Meaningful Work as a Policy Concern

4 Apr 2016

Department of Government Research Seminar


In Defence of Meaningful Work as a Policy Concern


Speaker: Dr. Keith Breen, Queen's University Belfast


Venue: ORB 2.55


3.00 - 4.30 pm, Tuesday 5th April



Dr Keith Breen is Senior Lecturer in Political and Social Theory at the Queen's University Belfast, author of Under Weber's Shadow: Modernity, Subjectivity and Politics in Habermas, Arendt and MacIntyre (2012/2015), co-editor of Philosophy and Political Engagement: Reflection in the Public Sphere (2016), and co-editor of the Routledge book series Rethinking Political and International Theory


In Defence of Meaningful Work as a Policy Concern

Abstract: In this paper I examine the arguments put forward by those for whom ethical considerations as regards the good of meaningful work either do not play or should not play a role in modern politics. I hope to challenge three distinct claims to the effect that the demand for meaningful work, grounded upon an ethical ideal of such work as partly constitutive of a good human life, is either not a significant (J├╝rgen Habermas), a feasible (Alasdair MacIntyre), or an acceptable (Will Kymlicka) concern of public policy in liberal capitalist societies. My goal is to show that these claims are unconvincing and that the good of meaningful work remains an appropriate focus for contemporary political theory.

Department of Government & Politics

Roinn Léann an Rialtais agus na Polaitíochta

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