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. 


We are currently offering two PhD positions and one Post Doctoral position on 'Good Integration'

For more information, click here

Workshop 'Enduring injustices and Truth and Reconciliation Commissions for Indigenous peoples'

The presentations and discussions of this workshop now can be found here.

NFR funding for project Good Integration (GOODINT)

The project "Good Integration (GOODINT): Goals and Bottlenecks of Good Integration and Social Cohesion" (2021-2025) has received funding by the Norwegian Research Council. It is hosted by PDJ and is led by Annamari Vitikainen and Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen. More info here.

Michael Morreau is key researcher in the newly funded NORDFORSK project Grappling with Uncertainty in Environments Signaling Spurious Experiential Decisions (GUESSED). More info here.

Attila Tanyi is co-editor of the newly published Minding the Future. Artificial Intelligence, Philosophical Visions and Science Fiction.
Have a look at the book here.

Kerstin Reibold defended her thesis on Indigenous rights, supersession, and moral status equality on December, 7th, 2020. For more info and a link to the thesis, look here.

CEPDISC new collaboration partner of PDJ

The Centre for the Experimental-Philosophical Study of Discrimination - CEPDISC - is a centre of excellence devoted the experimental-philosophical study of discrimination. The centre is headed by Professor of Political Science Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen.


New podcasts from the Indigenous Land Rights and Reconciliation conference available

For more information, click here