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Wed, 5 Oct 2016 09:36:50 +0000
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  |  Ethics and Social Welfare


 Special Issue on 

 Technology-driven unemployment: dilemmas for ethics and social welfare 


Guest editors:  Antonio Marturano (University of Rome, TorVergata, Italy)

 Jana Vizmuller-Zocco (YorkUniversity, Canada)

Rationale: InPraise for Idleness (1935), BertrandRussell claimed that “We have the technology and infrastructure to greatlyreduce the forced workload of the average human, and that should be our goal—toliberate people from excessive work so that they can freely pursue the thingsthat bring them intrinsic joy and happiness.” Russell’s optimistic visionregarding the role of technology, advocates for work reduction which wouldincrease human welfare and liberate people to be able to devote their time to cultureand leisure. Ironically, his optimism does not seem to be justified in light ofrecent economic and technological developments which lead to seriousunemployment rather than cheerful work reduction. The loss of jobs due to technologicalinnovations is starting to reach crisis proportions as many scholars (such asDavid F. Noble, Progress Without People:New Technology, Unemployment, and the Message of Resistance, Between theLines, 1995) and popular press warn (for ex., Eduardo Porter, “Jobs Threatenedby Machines: A Once ‘Stupid’ Concern Gains Respect”, The New York Times, June 7, 2016).  There are indeed many voiceswhich decry the unemployment situation exasperated by the replacement of humansby machines, and apparently no job is likely to be immune. The World TechnologyNetwork forecasts that “Accelerating technological unemployment will likely beone of the most challenging societal issues in the 21st Century”. Although thescholarly work published on the topic focuses mainly on the technical,technological, and market side, assessments which consider the ethical andsocial welfare implications of technological unemployment are still to beaddressed in detail. The submissions to the special issue will contribute tosetting the agenda for this serious and timely discussion. Topics to be explored fromtheoretical as well as practical perspectives include, but are not restrictedto, the following:

        Therole of governmental institutions in technological unemployment 

        Joblessfuture: is unconditional basic/universal income the answer?

        Social,political, and economic approaches to welfare in a jobless future

        Newethical dimensions of work originating from the technological unemploymentcrisis

        Politicaland social inequality created by a jobless future

        Strategicplans for skills, education, re-deployment for the technologically jobless

        Thepolitical control of technological unemployment

        Welfare,leadership and jobless future

        Technologicaldisplacement vs technological innovation from the perspective of social welfare

        Historicalvisions on the ethical impacts of workload reduction

        Creatingnew values for a jobless future

        Politicalvalues in welfare and technological disruption in the job market

        Workas human value 

        Religiousvalues and technological unemployment 

        Lockeargument for private property in a jobless world

        Conflictingvalues in a jobless world (for ex., the refugees crisis in the EU)

Brief for contributors: In line with the editorial aims ofthe journal, this call for papers focuses specifically on the relationshipbetween ethics, welfare, and valuesimplicated in the policies and political strategies on the one hand andtechnologically-driven unemployment on the other. The editors welcome academicpapers which are interdisciplinary in character. Contributions may combinewider ethical and theoretical questions concerning technology-drivenunemployment with practical considerations leading to social policies andprofessional practices (especially the existing and future policies oflocal/national governments and international institutions, such as EU, UN, WTOto cope with the problems of technological joblessness). The special issue, aswith other issues of the journal, welcomes material in a variety of formats,including high quality peer-reviewed academic papers, reflections, debates andcommentaries on policy and practice, book reviews and review articles. Academicpapers should be up to 6000 words, and practice papers, review articles, andother material should be between at a shorter length. Please consult the stylerules laid-out on the journal’s website: All academicpapers will be double-blind peer- reviewed in the normal way. Practice papers andother material will be considered for publication by the editors.  

Procedure and timelines

1)     You may wish to submit anabstract of no more than 500 words to  [log in to unmask] and to [log in to unmask] by the 19th of March 2017.Author’s instructions for academic and practice papers can be found on thejournal website at:
Submitters will be informed about the outcome as soon aspossible after this date.Abstracts should include A. Theessential content, argument, and methodology of the submission, b. The submission’saims and conclusions, 3. The relationship of the submission to the aims andscope of the journal.2) Completed first drafts ofpapers are due by the 23rdJuly 2017 and must be submitted to

3)     Final (revised) versions mustbe submitted by the 18th ofJune 2018.

4)     Final confirmation ofpaper acceptance by the 30th September2018.

5)     Papers published in the first issue of Volume 13, 2019.




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