Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy (FCRI) is pleased to announce the winner of CRISPP Essay Prize for best article published in the 2017 volume.
The judging panel consisting of editorial board members Peter Jones, Albert Weale and Richard Vernon awarded the prize to Nick Martin for his article: “Conceptions of the good, rivalry, and liberal neutrality”, Vol 20, Issue 2, 2017 143-162.
This paper seeks to use the idea of rivalry to derive an extensive privatization strategy by which the role of the state is minimal with respect to promoting any conception of the good. It distinguishes three sorts of rivalry: incompatible, intra-domain and state power, which may be relevant to the idea of neutrality. Its key claim is that the form of rivalry that it particularly important is that there can be rivalry in the use of state power between any two goods. Using an expansive definition of the good, the paper shows that neutrality of justification and neutrality of treatment lead to a minimal state with respect to the good. As soon as the state uses common resources, like land, it is pre-empting resources from other conceptions of the good. A notable and prize worthy feature of this paper is that, although there is a large literature on neutrality, the article is sustained by its own arguments rather than relying on the ideas of others. As a result, the author’s argument is remarkably independent, a virtue possessed by rather few articles.
The committee also gave an honorable mention to Jakob Huber, for his article “No right to unilaterally claim your territory: on the consistency of Kantian statism”, Vol 20, Issue 6, 677-96.
This points out a justificatory gap in Kantian thinking on how states acquire rights over territory and over regulation of lives of those who are in that territory. It criticises three efforts to close the gap: Waldron, Stiltz, and Ypi. It finishes by suggesting how arbitrariness of state boundaries should affect out thinking about states relations to one another and globalism, but does so in the spirit of Kant and from thinking within states. This is a very well thought through and cleanly argued piece of work. It shows considerable independence of thought throughout.
The winning article by Nick Martin is currently free to access until end of June, 2019.