The APPI, together with the Thomas International Center, sponsored a conference on "The Concept of Social Justice," held at Marquette University, on November 1213, 2010. Speakers included J. Brian Benestad, Patrick Carey, Jean Bethke Elshtain, John Finnis, Michael Fleet, Samuel Fleischacker, Kevin Hector, Joseph Koterski, S.J., Ryan Hanley, Robert Vischer, and Nicholas Wolterstorff.
The conference was made possible by the generous support of the Earhart Foundation and co-sponsored by the Marquette University College of Arts and Sciences and the Departments of Political Science, Economics, Philosophy, and Theology.
The Concept of Social Justice (2010)
This conference analyzed the current claims about the role of the Supreme Court in American politics (especially the Court's own claims in Planned Parenthood v. Casey), noting the extraordinary breadth of such claims. It then surveyed a variety of practical ways in which the role of the Court can be confined to its proper place in the American separation of powers. Speakers included Gerard Bradley, Robert Nagel, Michael Zuckert, Stephen Smith, Hadley Arkes, Jeremy Waldron, Michael McConnell, Leonard Leo, Michael Stokes Paulsen, Steven Calabreso, John Yoo, John Harrison, and William Kristol.
Homosexuality and American Public Life (1997)
Speakers at this conference included Drs. George Rekers, Jeffrey Satinover, and Joseph Nicolosi, as well as Robert George, Patrick Fagan, Richard Neuhaus, Maggie Gallagher, Michael Medved, Hadley Arkes and William Kristol, speaking on topics such as the scientific data on homosexuality, the possibility of reversing a homosexual orientations, the morality of homosexual acts, and what should be the appropriate public stance on homosexuality. The conference resulted in two volumes from Spence Publishing Company: Homosexuality and American Public Life (1999) and Same-Sex Matters: The Challenge of Homosexuality (2000).
The Family, Civil Society, and the State (1996)
Topics of discussion at this conference included how the contemporary state of the family is distinctive; the role of women today and its impact on the family; the tendency of the state to undermine and displace the family, and the role of the knowledge class in rationalizing such activity; and whether or in what ways public policy can have a significant impact in protecting the family. Contributors included Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, Lawrence Stone, Gertrude Himmelfarb, Allan Carlson, David Popenoe, David Blankenhorn, Mary Ann Glendon, Michael and Diane Medved, Marvin Olasky, John DiIulio, Jr., William Galston, and William Kristol. Rowman and Littlefield published a book based on the conference papers, The Family, Civil Society, and the State, in August, 1998.
Liberalism, Modernity, and Natural Law (1993)
Conference topics included the place of natural law in the American founding and constitutional law, whether there are theological presuppositions to natural law theory, whether natural law theory and egalitarian liberalism are compatible with limited government, modern challenges to natural law, and liberalism and autonomy.
Moving beyond the core group of the APPI for the first time, the conference promoted serious discussion among outstanding scholars who represented various positions across the theoretical and political spectrum. Papers were given by Thomas Pangle, Randy Barnett, Walter Berns, Russell Hittinger, Michael Moore, John Finnis, Michael Zuckert, Lloyd Weinreb, William Sullivan, Joseph Raz, and Michael Sandel. Respondents included Frank Michelman, Christopher Wolfe, Stephen Macedo, Jeffrey Reiman, Daniel Robinson, and Sanford Levinson. A book based on the conference papers, Natural Law, Liberalism, and Morality, was published by Oxford University Press in 1996.
Problems of Contemporary Liberalism (1992)
Building on the theoretical landscape of liberalism mapped out in the first conference, this conference moved on to analyze some of the key points on which current liberal theory faces serious challenges. Papers included: "Romantic Liberalism: The Role of Individuality in Liberal Political Theory" (Michael Pakaluk), "Locke: Divine Workmanship or Radical Autonomy as the Foundation for Liberal Rights" (John Hittinger), "Liberal Iusnaturalism: The Rights of Unlimited Selves" (Russell Hittinger), "Liberalism and Paternalism: A Critique of Ronald Dworkin" (Christopher Wolfe), and "Shaping Public Morality in a Liberal Regime" (Brian Benestad). Besides an expanded core group, a number of journalists and graduate students were in attendance as well.
Liberalism in Crisis: Contemporary Liberal Political Theory (1991)
Ten of the scholars who made up the core group of the APPI (Michael Pakaluk, Christopher Wolfe, John Hittinger, Terry Hall, Russell Hittinger, David Wagner, Gerard Bradley, Dwight Duncan, Robert George, and Brian Benestad) gave papers on various liberal theorists and their critics: Rawls, Dworkin, Richards, Sandel, Unger, MacIntyre, Rorty, Stout, Raz, and Galston. The papers were published as Liberalism at the Crossroads: An Introduction to Contemporary Liberal Political Theory and Its Critics (Rowman and Littlefield).