Undergraduate and Graduate, 4 Units, Spring 2013, Mondays and Wednesdays 4:15 PM-6:05 PM (Chiara Cordelli)

Offered: Spring Quarter 2013

The practice of associating with others is a fundamental part of human existence. We cultivate friendships, we grow up in families, we work for nonprofit associations or businesses, we join social movements and sport clubs, and we participate in political associations with our fellow citizens. This seminar explores the ethical dimensions of association. What grounds a right to freedom of association? Do we have, beyond a right, also a duty to participate in associational life? Do we have special obligations towards our friends, family members, or fellow-citizens that we do not have toward strangers? To what extent should the internal life of private associations, such as families or churches, be regulated by the state? Should the state support, through tax-exemptions and subsidies, the nonprofit associations of civil society? Can a state exclude non-citizens, such as immigrants, in the same way in which a private club excludes non-members? These questions have wide-ranging implications for contemporary political and legal debates.