20/01/23 - 03/03/23
15:00 - 16:30
Campion Hall

Campion Hall Research Seminar - Institutions: Understanding and Evaluating Them

Dr Patrick Riordan, SJ will be leading a research seminar series during Hilary Term 2023 entitled "Institutions: Understanding and Evaluating Them."

Institutions: Understanding and Evaluating Them

Major institutions have failed society. Banks and the Financial Markets have failed us in the 2008 credit crisis. The FA, the BBC, the Churches, British Gymnastics have all failed the victims of sex abuse. The Police and the CPS have failed the victims of sexual violence and rape. The NHS and Care Services continue to fail many patients. The British Government, its regulatory and supervisory bodies, and the building industry have failed the residents of Grenfell Tower, and the residents of similar high-rise blocks, whether social housing or privately owned.
Multiple institutional failure provokes the question whether we have the intellectual resources to understand institutions, to critique them, to repair them, or to construct and operate them appropriately. The hermeneutics of suspicion (Marx, Freud) has trained us to suspect hidden agenda in the exercise of institutional power. People espouse spirituality and reject institutional religion. Voters abandon established political institutions and seek an alternative politics. What prospects are there for a different experience of institutions?
The seminar will explore available analyses of institutions, the intellectual resources for dealing with them, possible remedies, and will test their application in various domains such as the law, the economy, the Church, public administration.

Seminar Schedule and Method

There will be four sessions, 3.00 pm – 4.30 pm at Campion Hall.

Week One, Friday 20 Jan

Week Three, Friday 3 Feb

Week Five, Friday 17 Feb

Week Seven, Friday 3 Mar

Method: There will be a short presentation based on circulated literature followed by discussion. Reading material will be circulated in advance of each session, and a general bibliography will be provided.

Presenters, Topics, Literature

Week One, Friday 20 Jan

Dr Patrick Riordan SJ (Campion Hall, University of Oxford): Philosophical analysis of Institutions

Miller, Seumas. Social Action: A Teleological Account. Cambridge: CUP, 2001.

Miller, Seumas. The Moral Foundations of Social Institutions: A Philosophical Analysis. Cambridge: CUP, 2010. [online via Solo]

Week Three, Friday 3 Feb

Prof. Mathias Nebel (Profesor / Investigador de Ética Social y DSI, SNI I; Director académico del Instituto Promotor del Bien Común (IPBC), Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla (UPAEP), Mexico): Institutions of Local Government and their Common Good

Co editor of: A Common Good Approach to Development (openbookpublishers.com)

Nebel, Mathias, Luis Ignacio Arbesu-Verduzco. A Metric of Common Goods Dynamics. In: Rivista internazionale di scienze sociali, 4, 2020, 383-406.

Week Five, Friday 17 Feb

Dr Patrick Riordan SJ (Campion Hall): Institutional Corruption

Miller, Seumas. Institutional Corruption: A Study in Applied Philosophy. Cambridge: CUP, 2017. [online via SOLO]

Riordan, Patrick. Global Ethics and Global Common Goods. London: Bloomsbury, 2015.

Week Seven, Friday 1 Mar

Mr Edward Hadas (Blackfriars, University of Oxford): Financial Institutions

Hadas, Edward. Human Goods, Economic Evils: A Moral Approach to the Dismal Science. Wilmington, Del.: ISI Books, 2007.

------ Counsels of Imperfection: An Introduction to Catholic Social Teaching. Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2021.

------ Money, Finance, Reality, Morality: A New Way to Address Old Problems. By UK: Ethics International Press, 2022.


Enquiries and Registration

Please contact Dr Patrick Riordan (patrick.riordan@campion.ox.ac.uk)

Registration per email required for inclusion on circulation list for distribution of materials.

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