• 1st International Conference on Aporophobia and Human Development


IQS School of Management - Universitat Ramon Llull
June 18-19, 2020 | Barcelona, Spain

Call for papers

Aporophobia is a neologism created by the renowned Spanish philosopher Adela Cortina to describe “rejection of the poor”. It articulates a wide range of social phenomena that shapes the interaction between the poor and the non-poor, such as aversion, antipathy, contempt, disgust, disregard, fear and hate. Aporophobic speeches select their victims not for their personal features but for “being poor” (however one might measure their poverty). As such, aporophobia thrives on inequality and social asymmetric relations. Cortina argues that much of what is contemporaneously understood as xenophobia (in particular, but not only, in the European context) is in fact aporophobia, because while rich foreign tourists are welcome, poor immigrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea are despised. Current controversies, she argues, are not about immigrants but about poor immigrants.

The roots of Cortina’s thought can be found in Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments. The arguments that she puts forward in her book “Aporophobia, the rejection of the poor” (2017) provide a strong critique of Rawls’s social contract and question current measures of poverty centred only on the poor. Her book has been amazingly influent in Spain. Indeed, aporophobia was elected the word of the year in 2017. It was also included as a new word in the Dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy. The Ministry of the Interior in Spain has started producing preliminary statistics of aporophobia. Similarly, there is currently a reform of the Spanish Criminal Code that is considering the inclusion of aporophobia as a crime. Overall, there is no other concept in the recent history of social and human sciences that has produced so much impact in such a short period of time in a country.

This conference has two main objectives. The first is to invite researchers all over the world to explore several questions related to aporophobia. What are the main features of aporophobia? How to distinguish between the different dimensions of aporophobia? How to measure aporophobia? What is the relation between aporophobia and other kinds of phobia, such as xenophobia? Can aporophobia be classified a hate crime? Are our brains aporophobic? What is the link between neuroscience and aporophobia? Can we develop anti-aporophobic social policies? Do individuals learn to be aporophobic? Can aporophobia indicators be used by companies to monitor what happens to their poor employees? Can institutions, such as health systems, be aporophobic? Can countries be aporophobic? Needless to say, the conference invites participants from a wide range of disciplines such as philosophy, economics, sociology, political science, business administration, education, health, legal studies, criminology, among others, to submit paper proposals for this conference. The second objective of the conference is to put together an international network of researchers interested in the theme of aporophobia for future collaboration. The conference will include a full day of paper presentations followed by a second day of working groups and a plenary session with Professors Adela Cortina y Jesús Conill.

We invite submission of papers. To be considered for the Conference, an abstract in English (500-800 words) must be sent no later than March 23, 2020 to aporophobia@iqs.edu. All final papers accepted for presentation must be submitted to the conference by June 10 so that discussants will have sufficient time to prepare.

Announcement of submissions accepted for the Conference will be published by April 3.

There will be a conference fee of 65 euros to cover meals and coffee breaks (reduced fee of 35 euros for students, subject to confirmation). Accommodation arrangements will be left to participants but a limited number of rooms will be made available at cheaper rates to the first to register.

Organizing Committee

  • Flavio Comim, Universitat Ramon Llull
  • Albert Florensa, Universitat Ramon Llull
  • Pedro Pérez, Universitat de València
  • Mihály Borsi, Universitat Ramon Llull
  • Octasiano Valerio, Universitat Ramon Llull
  • Oriol Quintana, Universitat Ramon Llull
  • Marina García-Granero, Universitat de València