Dr. Michael Walzer, professor emeritus of social science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ, and one of America’s foremost political thinkers, will be the featured speaker at a Glocal Society Series Lecture on Thursday, September 27 at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. Dr. Walzer’s lecture, entitled “Social Justice: Local and Global,” will begin at 8 p.m. in the Whalley Chapel. The event, which is being held in conjunction with Pitt-Johnstown’s 85th anniversary celebration, is free and open to the public.
A native of Johnstown, Dr. Wazler will explore the issue of social justice and how people can work to achieve it by examining obstacles that are encountered both locally and globally. From the “Little Steel Strike” that affected Johnstown in 1937 to the years following World War II, Dr. Walzer will describe how the nation-state once provided the crucial political space for arguing about social justice and discuss the many things that were accomplished ranging from ending child labor to providing medical care for everyone. He will then pose the question, “Where is the comparable political space in the age of globalization?” and talk about the role of the European Union and non-government organizations (NGOs) that act across international borders.
As a professor, author, editor, and lecturer, Michael Walzer has addressed a wide variety of topics in political theory and moral philosophy: political obligation, just and unjust war, nationalism and ethnicity, economic justice and the welfare state. His books (among them Just and Unjust Wars, Spheres of Justice, The Company of Critics, Thick and Thin: Moral Argument at Home and Abroad, and On Toleration) and essays have played a part in the revival of practical, issue-focused ethics and in the development of a pluralist approach to political and moral life. Walzer is a Contributing Editor for The New Republic, and co-editor of Dissent, now in its 57th year. His articles and interviews frequently appear in the world’s foremost newspapers and journals. He is currently working on the toleration and accommodation of "difference" in all its forms, and also on the third volume of The Jewish Political Tradition, a comprehensive collaborative project focused on the history of Jewish political thought.
This event is being held in partnership with the Johnstown Area Heritage Association and the Beth Sholom Congregation as part of the year-long Johnstown Jewish Community Heritage Project.
About the Glocal Society Series
The Glocal Society Series, established in 2009, focuses on pressing global and local (GLOCAL) issues of our time. In a world where global and local are increasingly and sometimes vexingly intertwined, the GLOCAL Society Series brings focus on how the pressing global issues of our time are affecting our communities, as well as how the latter can leverage the positive aspects and mitigate the negative features of the processes of globalization. Past speakers in the GLOCAL Society Series have included representatives of the World Health Organization, the American Red Cross International Services, the Peace Corps, and the Honduras-based Project Global Village. The series addresses topics including, but not limited to:
- global economic conditions and international development,
- international conflict, violence, terrorism and intercultural strife,
- sustainability, global resources, energy and environmental governance,
- population, migration and international refugees,
- world religions,
- human rights and the protection of vulnerable persons,
- international trade,
- technology and globalization, and
- other international political and economic issues.
Celebrating its 85th anniversary this year, Pitt-Johnstown is located in the Laurel Highlands of Western Pennsylvania and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. The University offers a high-quality educational experience in a supportive living-learning environment designed to prepare students for the real world of the 21st century. Pitt-Johnstown is recognized by the Princeton Review as a “Best in the Northeast” college, by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School,” and Pennsylvania Business Central as a "Top 100 Organization." Additionally, Pitt-Johnstown has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the past three years.