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  • Writer's pictureMaria Cahill

Webinar: First Conversation between Law and Social Ontology on Freedom of Association

Webinar on Friday 3 November, 15:00 – 16:30 (Irish time)


The research team working on the IRC-funded project “Societās: Exploring the Value of Freedom of Association” is happy to announce the first interdisciplinary conversation between law and social ontology on the topic of freedom of association.

This online event will be an occasion to introduce the research project to the social ontology community and to start a dialogue which will hopefully pave the way for fruitful collaboration between philosophy and law on the still little explored topic of freedom of association.

Theme for Discussion

The right to freedom of association is peculiar because it protects individuals in their sociality rather than in their individuality. As revealed by the comparative legal study carried out as part of the project, the specificity and potential of freedom of association is often underdeveloped and undervalued. In fact, freedom of association is mainly protected for the sake of other fundamental rights such as freedom of expression or for the sake of values such as democracy and social order. It is unusual for court decisions to defend sociality as such.


Therefore, we believe that social ontology can make a major contribution to the articulation of the collective dimension that the right of freedom of association is meant to protect, both in terms of how individuals interact in group contexts (we-mode/role-mode intentionality, joint commitment, shared values, etc.) and how associations as organised social groups are constituted (membership, rules, roles, etc.).


Friday 3rd November from 15:00 until 16:30 (Irish time)

Webinar Agenda

  • The first 20-30 minutes will be devoted to a brief introduction of the project by (a) presenting the content and specific nature of the right to freedom of association; (b) illustrating the main theoretical challenges with examples from case law; and (c) raising some points where we think social ontology can make a significant contribution to law.

  • The next 60 minutes will be devoted to an open discussion with the participants. Participants are not asked to prepare a talk but to join the conversation and offer their inputs based on their expertise. As we begin a dialogue between the two disciplines on freedom of association, we would like to keep the exchange of ideas going and to discuss research directions and topics rather than fully developed papers and ideas.

We envision that this first conversation will be a precursor to future academic collaborations taking the form of a workshop and collection of papers.

For the meeting link, please email glasagni@ucc.ie by 1st November.



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