Pluralism, Democracy, and Justice (PDJ)



Pluralism, Democracy and Justice (PDJ) – Research strategy
PDJ specializes in contemporary, normative political philosophy. Taking a problem-oriented approach, PDJ emphasizes the role that political philosophy can and should play in dealing with the real world challenges and conflicts of our time, such as rising economic inequalities, cultural and political polarization, distrust of democratic procedures, extremism and radicalization, the marginalization of minorities and vulnerable groups. Our research covers issues of democratic theory, cultural and religious pluralism, human rights, legal theory, human welfare and welfare policies, capabilities and human flourishing, global justice and distributive justice. Currently, we give special priority to two areas: global justice and democratic theory.

1 Global Justice: Globalization processes redefine the ways in which different political, civic, economic etc. actors relate to one another, and how their roles as agents and contributors of justice are conceived. This also applies to minority rights, and the ways in which different types of minorities (including indigenous, ethnic, religious, linguistic, and sexual minorities) are protected in local, societal, regional, and global settings. In connection to this research focus, PDJ is currently hosting a research project “Globalizing Minority Rights: Cosmopolitanism, Global Institutions, and Cultural Justice” , funded by the Norwegian Research Council/ SAMKUL program 2016-2020. GMR aims to develop cosmopolitan approaches to the Conceptualization, Justification, and Implementation of minority rights in global settings, and test these theoretical frameworks on three case studies: Minorities in the developing world, Indigenous peoples, and Refugees.

2 Democratic theory: Democratic institutions (and their associated checks and balances on power) are under threat, many voters feel disenfranchised from political processes that are supposed to represent their interests, and reasoned political debate increasingly seems supplanted by political populism and ‘alternative facts’. Which cultural, technological and political developments have led to this situation? How should policies and institutions respond to these challenges? How can we reassert the virtues and procedures of democratic decision-making? How, finally, can we make the arguments that support democratic decision-making over other forms of government more accessible to a wider audience? In 2018, the group will work towards external funding based on a research application within democratic theory.

To date, PDJ has 18 members composed by senior staff, young career researchers, and students. PDJ has also national and international associate members. With core funding provided by the HSL for basic research, PDJ is able to develop long-term and broad-based research strategies, and deploy groups and expand partnerships for short-term funding-driven research according to specific calls


Group leader: Annamari Vitikainen

Vice leader: Kerstin Reibold

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Last updated: January 2020. 


New PhD position in political philosophy and feminist philosophy, More information here!

The position is for a researcher who works at the intersection of feminist and political philosophy . The thesis should relate to one or more of the research areas of FEMPHIL and PDJ: democratic theory, migration and integration, and structural injustice.

PDJ recognized as Top Research Group

PDJ has been awarded the status of top research group (niveau 2) by the faculty of humanities and social sciences (HSL) at UiT.

We thank all members for contributing to make PDJ an outstanding research group and look forward to continued research and cooperation!

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New podcasts from the Indigenous Land Rights and Reconciliation conference available

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New leader of PDJ 01.01.2020

Associate Professor Annamari Vitikainen will be leading the PDJ research group from 01.01.2020. As a leader of PDJ, Vitikainen hopes to solidify PDJ’s status as one of the leading research groups in political philosophy in Norway, and to increase the group’s exposure and impact internationally.

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Call for Papers: Global Structural Injustice and Minority Rights

Dates: Friday, March 13 – Sunday, March 15, 2020

Location: Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA

Deadline Extended: August 1, 2019 

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