The Centre for Ethics and Poverty Reserach (CEPR) is happy to welcome Constanze Binder as a Visiting Fellow in 2018. She will stay at the CEPR from April to June 2018 and work on a project on the relation of freedom, inequality and democracy.
Dr. Constanze Binder is Assistant Professor in Philosophy at the Faculty of Philosophy, a Co-Director at the Erasmus Institute for Philosophy and Economics and Director of the research master programme in Philosophy and Economics at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Constanze Binder studied Economics and Environmental System Science at Graz University and obtained a PhD in Philosophy at the University of Groningen on the value of freedom for a person’s identity and agency. Constanze has previously taught in the Philosophy Departments of Groningen and Leiden University, worked at the Economics Department of the University of Osnabrück, and contributed to projects on climate change for the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Environment and the Austrian Human Dimensions Program. Constanze’s research focuses on the value of freedom in human development. She worked on the conceptualization and measurement of freedom and responsibility in welfare economics and political philosophy.
Freedom, Inequality and Democracy
The objective of this research project is to explore the relationship between (material) inequality and freedom. More specifically, the goal is to question the suggested conflict between freedom and equality and investigate under which conditions (material) inequality can undermine freedom in general and democratic freedom in particular. For this purpose, the project is divided into three parts.
In the first part, the literature on (in-) equality is explored and the literature on the relationship between inequality and other concepts, such as poverty, human well-being, social cohesion and human development are surveyed. In the second part, the question is raised whether/under which conditions inequality can undermine human freedom. In this part the specific focus will be on the capability approach and under which conditions material inequality in society can undermine human well-being understood as the freedom/capabilities to pursue the life paths a person has reason to value. In part three of the project, the focus will be on specific variant of such freedoms that are at risk to be undermined by increasing (material) inequality, namely democratic freedoms. Part four of the project explores different policy proposals, such as an unconditional basic income or inheritance taxation to constrain material inequality and its negative impact on human well-being and democratic freedom.