Working Groups

Working groups stimulate intellectual activity within the Center for Social Concerns and beyond; they are hosted by the Center but invited colleagues from throughout the University and external speakers as well; in this sense they serve as meeting points and bridges. Led by Center for Social Concerns faculty working groups draw together an interdisciplinary mix of faculty members, visiting fellows, graduate students, and even undergraduates to further inquiry on emerging research themes and or focus attention on topical, interdisciplinary issues.

“Catholic Social Tradition and Human Development”

A working group jointly organized by the Center for Social Concerns and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies

This working group will provide a forum for resident faculty, graduate students, and outside scholars to systematically discuss the insights of Catholic Social Tradition (CST) for questions of development. With “integral human development” as a defining commitment of Notre Dame’s Keough School, a discussion of the roots of this term in Catholic Social Teaching is timely, as well as an exploration of the connections between the concept of integral human development and key CST principles such as human dignity, common-good orientation, option for the poor, solidarity, and subsidiarity.

A signature event organized by this working group will be a Workshop on February 3, 2017 on: “Catholic Social Tradition and the Capabilities Approach.”

Convenors: Rev. Paul Kollman, C.S.C.Paolo Carozza

“Being a good neighbor”

A working group organized by the Center for Social Concerns

This working group discusses the question of what it mean to be a good neighbor; this question is, of course, linked to the question of: who is my neighbor? With a focus on the local context and experience in community-based work the group is aware of structural and political implications as well. There are certain attitudes and particular skills that make a person a good neighbor; it may even be seen as a vocation. There are also structural issues that foster “enabling environments.” Interactions, collective organizing, and local knowledge are important factors to consider. Topics such as “trust,” “social ties,” “connectedness,” “conflict resolution skills,” “commitment,” “reciprocity,” “sustainability,” “hospitality,” “community-building,” “family” will also play an important role. The overall concern could be described as “enacting neighborhood.” The question is timely, in times of migration, the ethics of authenticity and the challenge of family life.

A signature event organized by this working group will be a panel on “Neighborhood and Being a Neighbor” at the Catholic Social Tradition Conference, organized by the Center for Social Concerns, March 23–25, 2017.

Convenors: Susan Sharpe, Ph.D.; Michael Hebbeler, M.A.

"Just Wage"

A working group organized by the Higgins Labor Program

This interdisciplinary “Just Wage” working group provides a forum for resident faculty, graduate students, undergraduates, and outside scholars to systematically discuss the key factors in determining the justice of wages. The group intends to explore—based on the normative foundations of Catholic Social Tradition (CST)—the criteria by which wages can be called “just” or “unjust.” Next to the task of establishing a list of criteria is the challenge of prioritizing and weighting of those criteria, with the aim of creating a “tool” for the assessment of the ethical status of a particular wage.

A signature event organized by this working group will be a Workshop on March 31, 2017 on: “Just Wage.”

Convenors: Daniel Graff, Ph.D.; Clemens Sedmak, Ph.D.