International Workshop: Empirical Research of Balancing Rights and Public Interests

Paris, France

An international workshop in Paris, as a part of the "Proportionality in Public Policy" project, funded by a research grant from the European Research Council.

From March 6–7, 2016, IDI held an international expert workshop entitled, "Empirical Research of Balancing rights and Public Interests" in Paris. This workshop took place under the auspices of IDI's "Proportionality in Public Policy" project, which is funded by a research grant from the European Research Council (ERC).

This project revolves around the context of situations of conflict in the policy making process, between the promotion of public goals and the protection of constitutional rights. This research is approaching these conflicts from the perspective of policymakers and applying experimental tools to investigate the behavioral and empirical questions that arise from decision-making in such situations.

Considering the innovativeness of applying empirical methodologies to this context, the goal of the workshop was to bring together a variety of experts from different countries and academic disciplines whose research has implications on understanding the balancing process required of policy makers in such situations of conflict.

The workshop discussion revolved around the following themes:

  • The concept of normative and moral expertise
  • Possible paradigms for a behavioral theory of political and administrative decision making
  • Framing effects in conflicts between public goals and rights
  • The creation and consideration of alternatives in the policy making process
  • The challenges of measurability in evaluating the comparative weight of different considerations

Participants from the United States, Australia, Germany, Switzerland and Israel attended the conference. Areas of expertise include social psychology, behavioral economics, political science and law.

(Back row, from left): Andreas Glockner, Raanan Sulitzeanu-Kenan, Yuval Feldman, Christoph Engel, Mordechai Kremnitzer and Tomas Lejarraga; (front row, from left): Moshe Hoffman, Talya Steiner, Keith Dowding, Anne van Aaken

This workshop was put together by IDI professionals Professor Mordechai Kremnitzer, Professor Yuval Feldman, Dr. Raanan Sulitzeanu Kenan and Adv. Talya Steiner.

IDI's Proportionality in Public Policy project is supported by
a five-year grant awarded to Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer by
The European Research Council

Introductory Remarks: Mordechai Kremnitzer and Talya Steiner

Session 1: Christoph Engel, Max Planck Institution: "Agents holding Authority over a Principle: A Behavioral Think-Piece"

Session 2: Anna Van Aaken, University of St. Gallen: "The Framing Effects in Conflicts between Public Goals and Individual Rights in Proportionality Analysis"

Session 3: Keith Dowding, Australia National University: "Moral and Political Expertise"

Session 4: Raanan Sulitzeanu-Kenan: "Expert Judgment of Proportionality in War"

Session 5: Yuval Feldman and Raaanan Sulitzeanu-Kenan: "Overview of the Empirical research agenda in the 'Proportionality in Public Policy' Research Program"

Monday, March 7th

Session 6: Tomas Lejarraga, Max Planck Institute: "Encouraging the Creation and Consideration of Alternatives"

Session 7: Andreas Glockner, Gottingen University: "Challenges of Measurability in the Context of Policy Making Involving Rights Limitations"

Session 8: Moshe Hoffman, Harvard University: "Why Our Moral and Political Debates often Ignore the Other Side, and Other Puzzles of Moral and Political Ideologies"

Concluding Discussion: Empirical study of Balancing Rights and Other Interests