Motivations and Social Justice
Dr. Neil Hibbert’s research focuses on contemporary political theory. He examines the demands of social justice and the motivations behind it, such as social solidarity and empathy. Increasingly diverse political communities can pose a challenge; it is necessary to strike a balance between achieving social unity and respecting differences that are present in a democratic society.
Dr. Hibbert recently completed a journal article for the Journal of International Political Theory that studies competing views- the cosmopolitan view of all people being moral equals with the view that the world consists of bounded entities, being states. He questions what view should prevail – basic human equality that transcends borders or special regard for others, bound to each other by material obligations due to belonging to a common state.
Currently, Dr. Hibbert’s research focuses on a topic that he recently presented on at the Canadian Political Science Association Annual Conference in Victoria in June 2013. His paper entitled “Are Human Rights the Rights of Social Justice?” looks at the conceptual relationship between social justice and human rights.
Specializing in political philosophy but nestled in the Political Studies department, Dr. Hibbert’s research is important in contributing to understanding the moral and ethical problems that underlie much Social Science research. For example, both economic policies and multicultural policies require clarity to guide an empirical focus. Essentially, political philosophy bridges the College of Arts & Science Humanities and Social Science divisions, providing the necessary tools and asking important questions for researchers in both pillars. Giving researchers the instruments to question moral problems provides the applied normative study to proactive inspired work.