On Tuesday January 18, The World Economic Forum hosted a panel discussion on Renewing a Global Social Contract. The Institute of Art and Ideas invited me to reflect on the idea of a global social contract, its intellectual origins, and the potential dangers its value as a tool for conceptualizing global justice.
I have very much enjoyed rethinking Rousseau through the literature on tragedy and politics. And I am happy to share that these reflections are now available not only in private rantings but also in published form.
“Pagani’s achievement…is to develop…a conceptual apparatus through which readers can trace the origin and development of modern attitudes towards anger and forgiveness. Pagani outlines what might be called a political or moral economy of anger and forgiveness.”
“Prior to Rousseau, Pagani writes, conceptions of anger and forgiveness — in the work of, for example, Bacon, Hobbes, Descartes, Locke, Montesquieu, Butler, Diderot, D’Alembert, Holbach, Helvétius, Morelly, and Voltaire — followed a similar, essentially Christian pattern. Simply put, anger was seen as a danger to the social order and forgiveness as a moral obligation brought about by the urgency of the need to dissipate anger. Anger was a privilege of the aristocracy alone. Forgiveness, correspondingly, could be bestowed only by a superior upon an inferior. Rousseau rejected both assumptions — both the notion that anger constituted an inherent danger, and the notion that only those of a certain social status had title to anger.”
I teach political theory, along with other subjects I find interesting, such as the politics of urban land use and urban design, constitutional law, contemporary legal issues, and the politics of the modern Middle East, among others.