Immigration: could liberal states coordinate to facilitate movement?

Laetitia Eichinger, Dmytro Makukha, Jasmin Rothenfluh

The political philosophy of Liberalism prioritises individual rights and liberty above all else. But whose liberty does the liberal state have a responsibility to protect? That of citizens or that of all people, whether they are citizens or not? 

Such questions have become increasingly pertinent in the current political climate, where we are seeing numerous liberal democracies enforcing stricter immigration policies in response to multiple and ongoing refugee crises. The UK, with its push to ‘stop the boats’ and its notorious Rwanda policy, is a prime example of a country where we can question whether the approaches used in immigration control are in line with liberal values.

In this podcast, we speak to Dr. Simona Capisani, a specialist in the Philosophy of Immigration at Durham University in the UK, about these issues. We discuss the obligations of the liberal state, democratic backsliding, and alternative ways of understanding the issue of immigration, which could help liberal states to uphold their commitment to liberal values when it comes to immigration.

Liberalism and animal ethics (German)

Jonas Auer, Dominik Rieger

In this episode of our podcast series we were discussing the relationship between liberalism and animal ethics. Our guest was Prof. Dr. Markus Wild who is professor for theoretical philosophy in Basel. His focus is on animal ethics and he pioneered animal philosophy in the German speaking region. Our questions dealt with the relationship between liberalism and animal ethics, for example whether we should grant certain animals the right to be counted as consenting individuals and whether we can connect the concepts of Judith Shklar`s “liberalism of fear” and J.S. Mill`s “harm principle” to our relationship with animals.

Liberalism of fear: The notion of «liberalism of fear» was coined by Judith Shklar. It means the (negative) freedom of abuse of power, oppression, fear and authoritarian regimes. The notion was heavily influenced by the experiences of totalitarian rule during the 20th century.

Harm-principle: The so-called «harm principle» stems from John Stuart Mill and says that the freedom of individuals consists of acting deliberately unless the freedom of others is threatened by it. In other words the freedom of an individual ends where the freedom of another individual begins. 

Liberalism in Dark Times

Yana Sonchkivska, Mariia Yelahina

In this podcast episode students of the University of Zurich spoke with Mykola Volkivskiy, a Ukrainian political scientist, philosopher, public figure and volunteer. They explored the concept of liberalism and how the war has challenged liberal norms and values, including liberal ideas about war and civil liberties.

Interviewee share his views on how the war has impacted the liberalization process in Ukraine, what are the potential consequences of the war for the liberal world order, and whether the principles of liberalism can offer a solution to the ongoing war, or whether other approaches are needed.

The Utopian Ideal of Feminist Liberalism

Aaron Toyne, Aurel Müller, Yoojin Jeong

In this podcast, we interviewed Professor Seok-Min Yun teaching at Yonsei University in South Korea. We discussed the topic of utopian literature with a particular focus on A Serious Proposal to the Ladies by the proto-feminist theorist Mary Astell. Throughout our discussion, we explored the idea of liberalism with a particular focus on its intersectionality with feminism as well the ways in which political movements of this type interact in a modern-day society. Some of the topics include female-only institutions such as women universities as well as the concept of affirmative action more generally and specifically, and whether these two ideas could be reconciled within the context of feminist liberalism.