Freedom: At What Cost and to Whom?

deadline for submissions: 
October 28, 2016
full name / name of organization: 

Freedom: At What Cost and to Whom?

1st Global Meeting

Call for Participation 2017 

A Human Rights and Active Citizenship Project 

Friday 7th April – Sunday 9th April 2017

Lisbon, Portugal


As world events unfold, individual freedom is under threat in many regions, nations and contexts.

When people vote and express their views freely without working out the implications of their actions, are individuals free to exercise their choices and are they free to change their minds? The case in point is the Brexit vote. A great number of British people voted to exit the EU, but following the result they want to reconsider their vote: this is an example of questioning freedom. When is one free to choose? How many times can individuals choose to be free? What are some of the fall out effects of people exercising their choices? Are people really free to choose? Or are they overly influenced by the media or by other circumstantial forces?

As bombs go off in restaurants, cafes, shopping centres, mosques, airports and, other common spaces, many are raising the question ‘what do we need to do when freedom is under threat?’.

To answer these questions and others, one needs to have informed conversations about Freedom. This is a proposal for a conference under the auspices of on Freedom.

The call for presentations (please note this is not a call for papers, because it is much more than an academic conference) at the international and interdisciplinary conference on Freedom is made to address Freedom: at what cost and to whom?

The conference is open to individuals who are directly dealing with, as well as are front-line staff in, a number of contexts: border security, prison officers, patrol and probationary officers; emergency officials: police, doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, and other allied health staff, fire services men and women officials; government officials, advisers and managers; academics of several disciplines including economists, psychologists, historians, philosophers, sociologists, just to name a few; local, national, regional and international representatives working in non-governmental organisations .

This conference is aimed at anyone who is interested in issues related to Freedom. Some of the suggested discussion topics are:

Conceptual questions:

What does one mean by freedom? Is anyone ever truly free? In what ways?

How much of freedom is an illusion? Conversely, how much is the absence of freedom an illusion? (For example, the Christian Right in America is fond of arguing that equal rights for LGBTIQ people deprives Christians of their freedom of religion, but does it?) How are arguments about the provision or denial of freedoms useful in a purely rhetorical context where the factual nature of the claim is either irrelevant or a secondary consideration?

What is – or should be – the price of freedom? Must freedom always entail sacrifice (self-sacrifice or sacrifice of others)? Is freedom always at the expense of another’s freedom?

What elements or features best describe freedom?

When we think about freedom, do we do consider primarily in positive or negative terms: ‘freedom to’ or ‘freedom from’?

Is freedom a right or a privilege? That is, is freedom an innate right or something that is earned, gained or lost? What are the mechanisms and processes of how these are achieved?

What differences are there between freedoms that one is born with and freedoms that one has earned?

Freedom promises: are there agents who promise freedom? Who bears the costs of such promises?

Questions in context:

When freedom is lost, how does this occur? How does one become aware of its loss?

How does behaviour change when freedom is lost or curtailed? What psychological differences can be noted between those who are born free and those who have fought for their freedom?

What effects freedom, either from within or from without: the family, society, values, media and other institutions; how do they manipulate essential aspects of freedom?

Freedom in the workplace: how free are any of us when it comes to making decisions? All of us are hemmed in by laws, norms, regulations, “health and safety”, “best practices”, commitments we have undertaken, and so on. If all of these factors are taken into consideration, what freedom is left?

Freedom in medical contexts: What freedom exists with regard to ownership of one’s body? What freedom do children have, since all decisions regarding their care are made by adults?

How does one experience or manage any of the following types of freedom in their own context – either personally or professionally? Where has one seen or experienced infringements of these freedoms?

Economic freedom

Intellectual freedom

Freedom to follow your conscience

Freedom of expression

Freedom in the voting booth

Sexual freedom

What impact does technology have on one’s freedom? One might think of CCTV cameras on motorways, body cams on police officers, surveillance of internet usage by employers or advertisers, identity theft by cyber-hackers, and so on.


Further details and information can be found at the conference website:


Details about our reviewing policy can be found here:


What to Send

300 word abstracts, proposals and other forms of contribution should be submitted by Friday 28th October 2016.

All submissions be minimally double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Team and the Advisory Board. In practice our procedures usually entail that by the time a proposal is accepted, it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed.


You will be notified of the panel’s decision by Friday 11th November 2016.

If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 3rd March 2017.


Abstracts may be in Word, RTF or Notepad formats with the following information and in this order:


a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.

E-mails should be entitled: Freedom Abstract Submission


Where to Send

Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs:


Organising Chairs:


Sivaram Vemuri:  

Rob Fisher:


This event is an inclusive interdisciplinary research and publishing project. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting.


All papers accepted for and presented at the conference must be in English. Selected papers will be developed for publication in a themed hard copy volume(s). All publications from the conference will require editors, to be chosen from interested delegates from the conference.


Conference Outcomes and Outputs

The conferences we organise form a continual stream of conversations, activities and projects which grow and evolve in different directions. The outcomes and ‘outputs’ which can productively flow from these is a dynamic response to the gatherings themselves. And as our meetings are attended by people from different backgrounds, professions and vocations, the range of desirable outcomes are potentially diverse, fluid and appropriate to what took place.

All accepted papers presented at the conference are eligible to be selected for publication in a hard copy paperback volume (the structure of which is to be determined post conference and subject to certain criteria). The selection and review process is outlined in the conference materials. Other publishing options may also become available. Potential editors will be chosen from interested conference delegates.


Additional possible outputs include: paperback volumes; journals; open volume on-line annuals; social media outputs (Facebook pages, blogs, wikis, Twitter and so on); collaboration platforms; reviews; reports; policy statements; position papers; declarations of principles; proposals for future meetings, workshops, courses and schools; proposals for personal and professional development opportunities (cultural cruises, summer schools, personal enrichment programmes, faculty development, mentoring programmes, consultancies); and other options you would like us to consider.



Inter-Disciplinary.Net believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract for presentation.


Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.