There is a growing interest in the emergence and development of a special group of policy issues called morality issues, such as gambling, pornography and prostitution, same-sex couples, biotechnology and organ transplantation, euthanasia and death penalty. Morality issues have achieved a great political importance across Western countries and have launched political conflicts over non-economic and personal values, often regarding broad questions such as the beginning of life, religious beliefs and personal orientations.
The workshop will focus on three mains questions in the field of morality politics and policy:
1) Dynamics of issue attention: How are morality issues politicized? What are the hot issues and for which reasons? What can account for variation in the politicization of morality issues across countries, sectors and time?
2) How are morality issues regulated? Why and under which conditions governments decide to decide to regulate morality issues? Does the redistribution of values, which is implied by morality issues, lead to a specific type of policy process and/or policy outcomes?
3) From a normative stance, which policy instruments are the most adequate and effective to regulate morality issues? How to solve a controversy with a moral dimension? How should and could policies be designed in order not to impose a particular set of values?
The workshop intends to attract (1) empirical studies analyzing morality politics and/or policies, as well as (2) theoretical studies discussing the regulation of morality issues from a normative perspective. Comparative studies, across countries, sectors and/or time, are particularly welcomed.