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Institute of Criminology


One-day Symposium - Tuesday 24th of September 2024

‘Care’ and ‘Love’ in Public Services: Place, Ethics and Potential
Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge

This symposium invites scholars across disciplines with an interest in ‘care’ and ‘love’ in public services.

Growing scholarship across the humanities and social sciences attests to the place and critical importance of ’caring’ practices in ethical (and effective) public services, including social work, prisons and courts. Related work has considered the role and dynamics of ‘professional love’ and ‘altruistic love’ in such contexts. However, these bodies of knowledge are critical of poor and absent care, institutional cultures that undermine or are suspicious of care and the marginalization of ‘care’ in society. Against this backdrop, this symposium seeks to bring together scholars for interdisciplinary dialogue about ‘care’, the ethics of care, and the potential for cultivating caring institutions. Scholars are welcome from across disciplines (e.g., criminology, law, sociology, philosophy, anthropology, youth and community work, social work, education, health) and at all levels (including PhD students). Topics might include (but are not limited to):

• The conceptualisation of ‘care’ and ‘love’ in public services.

• The ethics of care and its application to public services.

• Building caring institutions and structures.

• Emotions and emotion management in caring (including in research).

• The ‘dark side’ of care, such as harm and exploitation.

Contributors are invited to submit a title, 250-word abstract, and contact details (including details of your institution and position). The conference will be in-person and is free to attend. There is a small budget available to cover travel and accommodation costs where needed.

Please submit abstracts to Ali Wigzell at by Monday June 24th 2024.

Tuesday, 24 September, 2024 - 14:00