The events of the year 2016 have led many critical observers to doubt the stability and longevity of democracy. Ideally, democracy effectuates the rule of reason. Debates in elected assemblies and in society as a whole should serve the process of finding best reasons for political decisions. However, the mechanisms that currently produce such decisions are vulnerable to misuse. Arguably, they need to be redesigned in an attempt to make them “foolproof” - i.e., to design them in a way to make misuse inherently impossible or to minimize its negative consequences.


Empirical evidence suggests that political agents may generally lack the required competence for deliberation and debate. Even very intelligent people systematically tend to focus on information that confirms what they already believe and dismiss information that contradicts it. Instead of seeking rational debate, people often cling to forms of modern tribalism. In addition, modern communication networks are swiftly replacing traditional print and broadcast news media. This shift presents deliberative democracy with opportunities but also risks, as these communication networks neither encourage a balanced exchange of information nor systematically check its quality.


In view of these developments, the question of the desired relation between democracy, deliberation, and truth looms large. Moral Philosophy and Politics invites contributions that seek to articulate this relation from the viewpoint of philosophy and political science. Suitable contributions may address such questions as:

  • How, if at all, can we improve public opinion formation?
  • Is deliberation the best way to generate political decisions in modern democracy?
  • How can we make democracy more resistant to populism and other forms of mass manipulation? Should politics be allowed (and perhaps even obligated) to exert influence on opinion formation in society?
  • Is there a way to methodically and impartially check the quality of debate in the public sphere?
  • Are political polarization and “echo chambers” a problem for democracy? And, if so, how can we guard against their formation and maintenance?
  • What ought to be the role of science and the humanities in the democratic process?


Papers should be submitted before June 30, 2018 and should not exceed 8000 words; shorter articles will also be accepted for review.


All submissions will undergo MOPP’s double-blind refereeing process.

Please note that this process is not organized by the guest editors but by the journal’s founding editors who will also have the final word on publication decisions.


The journal’s manuscript submission site can accessed here:


Guest editors:

David Lanius (Karlsruhe)

Ioannis Votsis (London)



Moral Philosophy and Politics invites contributions to a special issue focusing on problems of demandingness and overdemandingness in practical ethics.


Demandingness and overdemandingness are primarily discussed in the context of metaethical objections to moral theories. But the idea that particular moral obligations can be deferred by reference to their excessiveness is also relevant to quite a number of debates in practical ethics. It is plainly not self-evident or deducible from a general principle that — and at what point — moral obligation reaches its limits, say, when it comes to the demand to reduce one’s carbon footprint, to pay for the pensions of the young, to donate a liver, to risk one’s job or more over whistleblowing, to testify against a loved one, or even share one’s apartment with a stranger in need. The variety of these problems across different practical domains call for a reflection on the limits moral demands in terms of individual — and possibly also collective— (over-)demandingness: a reflection on real life problems that bridges the concern of metaethical, normative reflection with practical ethics.


The special issue on „Demandingness in Practice — The Limits of Moral Obligations in Social, Political, Legal and Economic Contexts“ aims at unfolding a fine-grained picture of demandingness-objections in practical ethics, and thus at linking the meta-ethical debate with concrete ethical problems that deserve more detailed and often interdisciplinary studies. Submissions for the special issue may be dealing with questions such as:

  • In which particular fields (law, economics, ecology, personal relations, etc.) do problems of demandingness appear? How do these contexts differ from each other?
  • Which social or legal norms can be understood to pose limits to individual obligations by reference to demandingness?
  • Does the metaethical debate on demandingness adequately represent widespread intuitions about the phenomenon in common morality?
  • How are conventional limits regarding the demands on agents related to the moral debate on demandingness?
  • Is demandingness a socially and politically relative notion? 
  • Can excessive demands on individuals be compared to excessive demands on groups or collectives?
  • Is the debate on the demandingness of ethical theories (to be) linked to the debate on ideal and non-ideal theories in political philosophy? 


Papers should be submitted before March 15, 2018 and should not exceed 8000 words; shorter articles will also be accepted for review. 


All submissions will undergo double-blind refereeing. 

Note that the refereeing process of MOPP is not organized by the guest editors but by the journal’s founding editors who will also make the final decision on publication.


The journal’s manuscript submission site is:


Guest editors:

Marcel van Ackeren  (Oxford) 

Simon Derpmann (Münster)






There will be a workshop on the topic of the special issue held at the Centre for Advanced Studies in Bioethics, University of Münster (June 27-29, 2018).


Confirmed speakers include:

Matthew Kramer (Cambridge)

Ingmar Persson (Oxford/Gothenburg)


If you wish to participate in the workshop, please send a separate abstract (100-200 words) of your envisaged contribution for the workshop to the guest editors by January 15, 2018. You may submit both an abstract for the workshop and an article for MOPP. Invitations to the workshop will be sent out by March 31, 2018. Travel expenses of up to 500 € can be covered by the Centre for Advanced Study in Bioethics. There is funding for accommodation and meals.





Moral Philosophy & Politics invites contributions to a special issue focusing on the normative aspects of international trade agreements. Mega-regional trade deals such as TPP, TTIP, CETA and TISA have become the focus of intense public debate as well as a central theme in populist politics. The US 2016 elections have created further uncertainty about the fate of some of the proposed deals. There is however an undiminished necessity to address enduring normative questions concerning the current infrastructure of world trade. Many advocacy groups’ criticisms of trade deals such as TTIP are not founded on fundamental opposition to free trade. They support free trade but insist that trade agreements must be made consistent with democratic regulation, the reduction of economic inequalities, and effective consumer, labour and environmental standards. This special issue will bring together empirically informed normative perspectives to determine whether and how such goals could be achieved through international trade institutions. Contributors are invited to approach this topic from different angles. Theories of democracy and justice within and beyond the state, as well as normative philosophy of economics, might be used to concretely tackle questions such as the following:

  • Which procedural standards should be met in the negotiations on international trade agreements before their implementation?
  • How should the influence of different stakeholder groups, such as consumer protection and environmental groups, worker representations, and businesses, be balanced and made transparent in the negotiation stages?
  • How can corporate expertise be taken into account in this process without giving corporate interests too much weight?
  • How could EU institutions make trade deal negotiations with other trading partners more democratic?
  • Would bilateral and multilateral trade deals necessarily undermine democracy after their implementation, or could this be avoided by removing certain controversial elements such as investor-state-dispute-settlements?
  • Would the reduction of trading restrictions necessarily undermine normative standards (concerning e.g. health, data protection, labour standards, financial regulation, the environment)? How could this be avoided?
  • How might mega-regional trade agreements outside of the WTO either undermine or promote social justice within and across nations? Which role can the WTO play?
  • Is there a trade-off between economic integration and national sovereignty, and where should the balance lie?
  • Which measures could be used to evaluate the effects of trade agreements on the least-advantaged individuals in states excluded from the agreements?
  • Which responsibilities do different agents (states, companies, NGOs, consumers and citizens) have concerning international trade deals?


Papers should be submitted before (NEW DEADLINE) January 31, 2018 and should not exceed 8000 words; shorter articles will also be accepted for review.


All submissions will undergo double-blind refereeing.

Note that the refereeing process of MOPP is not organized by the guest editors but by the journal’s founding editors who will also make the final decision on publication.

The journal’s manuscript submission site can be found under: 

Guest editor:

Valentin Beck (FU Berlin)