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Intersectionality and Sphere Pluralism: An Unlikely Dialogue About Equality and Liberty in a Global Space

April 10, 2020

On April 10, the school hosted a virtual discussion on Intersectionality and Sphere Pluralism with Adam K. Webb, Co-Director of the Hopkins-Nanjing Center and Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins SAIS.

During the discussion, Webb offered insights on two very different currents of thinking: intersectionality and sphere pluralism. Intersectionality comes out of social movements on the left and deals with overlapping axes of oppression, such as race, sex, and class. Sphere pluralism has conservative, libertarian, or religious undertones and laments the modern dominance of the state over other institutions in society. While these two camps are not generally on speaking terms, the discussion mapped out some provocative ways in which their ideas about human nature and the world's problems mirror each other despite some profoundly different assumptions. Webb also drew out implications for thinking about equality, liberty, and strategies for bringing about a more just world in this century.