Dr Miriam

Dr Miriam Bankovsky

Senior Lecturer & Australian Research Council DECRA fellow

College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce

Humanities and Social Sciences

Department of Politics and Philosophy

SS 314, Melbourne (Bundoora)

Qualifications

BA with honours in philosophy (ANU 2002), DEA/ Masters II (Paris-X 2006), PhD (Paris-X 2009) and (UNSW 2009).

Role

Academic

Membership of professional associations

Australasian Society of Continental Philosophy, Australian Political Studies Association, Australian Society for Heterodox Economists, History of Economic Thought Society of Australia, FEAST-France

Area of study

International Relations
Philosophy
Politics

Brief profile

Miriam Bankovsky is a Senior Lecturer and Australian Research Council DECRA fellow, in the Politics program at La Trobe University (CV at bottom of page).

Unified by a sustained interest in socio-economic justice, her research crosses three disciplines (philosophy, politics and economics), two philosophical sub-disciplines (continental and analytic) and two languages (English and French). With a French-Australian Cotutelle PhD in philosophy (2009), Miriam's work initially focused on analytic and continental conceptions of justice in a broadly Kantian tradition. Now an Australian Research Council DECRA fellow (with a grant of $371,931), Miriam’s current project extends this plural approach into economics. Entitled Revisiting the foundations of mainstream economics: A cooperative account of well-being and moral improvement, her research challenges the standard conception of well-being as the satisfaction of rational preferences, and instead explores untapped resources in orthodox economics for an alternative non-utilitarian account of cooperative interpersonal well-being. It does this, in part, by analysing how orthodox economists from Alfred Marshall to Gary Becker have made sense of family based preferences (perceived to be ethical in nature), discovering unacknowledged commitments to an ideal of social good that cannot be reduced to an individual’s altruistic preference function.

Prior to this work, Miriam published Perfecting justice in Rawls, Habermas and Honneth: A deconstructive perspective (Hardback Continuum 2012, Paperback Bloomsbury 2013). This book explores the promise and shortcomings of ‘constructive’ approaches to justice, drawing attention to concrete experiences of injustice that Rawls, Habermas and Honneth tend to overlook, and elaborating the need to cultivate a form of 'deconstructive citizenship' to supplement the constructivist’s account of civic duties. With Dr Alice Le Goff (University of Paris V), Miriam co-edited Recognition Theory and Contemporary French Moral and Political Philosophy: Re-opening the Dialogue (Manchester UP 2012 and CNRS Editions Alpha, Paris 2012), which also includes her interview with Axel Honneth, the director of the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt.

A decision to work a mixture of part- and fulltime fractions following the births of her two sons allows her to aspire to a work-life balance.

Work in progress

Miriam is co-writing a paper with Dr Tim Thornton and Emeritus Professor John E. King, which deals with the question of how concern for the well-being of others is conceptualised by Alfred Marshall and Gary Becker, with a particular focus on parental concern for the family unit, and its effect on resource distribution within the family, human capital investment in children, and inheritance.

Miriam also has two other articles under review. The first identifies the range of methodological and ethical values that drives the theoretical justification of cost-benefit analysis, by means of a critical reconstruction of the failed attempts by New Welfare Economics to avoid the "subjective values" that ground interpersonal comparisons of utility. The second argues for a neo-Hegelian reading of Alfred Marshall's account of household economics.

Research interests

Political Theory and Political Philosophy

- Please contact me to discuss a topic.

- Approaches to justice in continental and analytic philosophy

- Contemporary European philosophy

- Contemporary French philosophy

- Critical theory

- Economics and ethics

- Political theory and Australian politics

Social theory

- Contemporary French social theory

- Cooperative well-being

- MAUSS – Mouvement anti-utilitariste dans les sciences sociales

- Theories of recognition

Teaching units

  • POL2/3PID - Political Ideas and Ideologies
  • POL2/3HMP - History of Modern Political Thought
  • POL2/3LAC - Justice, Freedom and Difference, co-taught with Dr Nicholas Barry
  • ECO3EAE - Economics and Ethics, co-taught with Professor John King
  • POL4PRD - Politics, Rights and Democracy

Recent publications

Books

  • Bankovsky M. (2012), Perfecting Justice in Rawls, Habermas and Honneth: A Deconstructive Perspective. Hardback: Continuum. Paperback: Bloomsbury 2013.
  • Bankovsky, M. and Alice Le Goff, (eds) (2012 ), Recognition Theory and Contemporary French Moral and Political Philosophy: Reopening the Dialogue. Manchester UP.
  • Bankovsky, M. and Le Goff, A. (eds) (2012), Penser la reconnaissance, entre théorie critique et philosophie française contemporaine. CNRS Editions Alpha.

Refereed journal articles and refereed conference papers

  • Bankovsky, M. (forthcoming), "Alfred Marshall on Cooperation: Restraining the Cruel Force of Competition", History of Political Economy. Accepted April 2017.
  • Bankovsky, M. (2016), "Excusing Economic Envy: On Injustice and Impotence", Journal of Applied Philosophy. (Awarded the Australasian Association of Philosophy's Annette Baier Prize 2017).
  • Bankovsky, M. (2015), "Alfred Marshall on Cooperation". Society for Heterodox Economists Conference - Refereed Proceedings, 1-18.
  • Bankovsky, M. (2015), "On the philosophy and politics of envy". Australian Political Studies Association Conference - Refereed Proceedings, 1-16.
  • Bankovsky, M. (2014), "The failure of New Welfare Economics to insulate itself from ethics: on the need for standards permitting interpersonal comparison". Society for Heterodox Economists Conference - Refereed Proceedings, 1-14.
  • Bankovsky, M. Toula Nicolacopoulos and George Vassilacopoulos (2014), “The Times of Our Lives: Contexts and Critique”. Thesis Eleven: Critical Theory and Historical Sociology, Vol. 120, 3-9.
  • Bankovsky, M. (2014), “The Future of Critical Theory: Reply to Amy Allen”. Thesis Eleven: Critical Theory and Historical Sociology, Vol. 120, 26-42.
  • Bankovsky, M. (2011), “Social Justice: Defending Rawls’ Theory of Justice against Honneth’s Objections”, Philosophy & Social Criticism 36(1): 95-118.
  • Bankovsky, M. (2009), “La Justice sociale: défendre Rawls contre les objections de Honneth”, Le Temps philosophique 13 (La reconnaissance: perspectives critiques), 275-300.
  • Bankovsky, M. (2005), “Derrida brings Levinas to Kant: The Welcome, Ethics and Cosmopolitical Law.” Philosophy Today 49(2), 156-170.
  • Bankovsky, M. (2004), “A Thread of Knots: Jacques Derrida’s Homage to Emmanuel Levinas’s Ethics.” Invisible Culture 8, 1-19.

Book chapters

  • Bankovsky, M. (2015), "Portée et pertinence morale de l’envie excusable chez Rawls : questions critiques”. In John Rawls : Le sens de la justice : une utopie réaliste? Rawls et ses critiques, Sophie Guérard de Latour, Gabrielle Radica et Céline Spector (eds). Classiques Garnier.
  • Bankovsky, M. and Alice Le Goff (2012), “Deepening critical theory: French Contributions to Theories of Recognition.” In Recognition Theory and Contemporary Moral and Political Philosophy: Reopening the Dialogue. Manchester UP, pp. 3-22.
  • Bankovsky, M. (2012), “Justice-to-come in the work of Axel Honneth and Nancy Fraser.” In Recognition Theory and Contemporary Moral and Political Philosophy: Reopening the Dialogue. Manchester UP, pp. 208-225.
  • Bankovsky, M. and Axel Honneth (2012), “The Relevance of Contemporary French philosophy for a Theory of Recognition: An Interview.” In Recognition Theory and Contemporary Moral and Political Philosophy: Reopening the Dialogue. Manchester UP, pp. 23-38.
  • Bankovsky, M. (2012), “La justice deconstructive comme reconnaissance transformatrice ou souci d’autrui: Questions à l’intention de Fraser et de Honneth”, Aude Plontz and Alice Le Goff (trans.). In Penser la reconnaissance, entre théorie critique et philosophie française contemporaine. CNRS Editions Alpha.
  • Bankovsky, M. and Alice Le Goff (2012), “Théorie de la reconnaissance, théorie sociale et philosophie françaises contemporaines”. In Penser la reconnaissance, entre théorie critique et philosophie française contemporaine. CNRS Editions Alpha.
  • Bankovsky, M. (2010), “Lyotard sur l’incommensurabilité de l’éthique lévinassienne et l’impératif catégorique kantien.” In Lyotard à Nanterre. Claire Pagès (ed.). Paris: Klincksieck, “Continents philosophiques”, pp.63-77
  • Bankovsky, M. (2006), "Judaizing Ethical Politics: Levinas, Difficult Freedom and the Messianic City." In Re-ethnicizing the Minds? Cultural Revival in Contemporary Thought, Thorsten Botz-Bornstein and Jurgen Hengelbrock (eds). Rodopi, pp. 357-378.

For further details, see Resume (below).

Resume

Download Resume

Research projects

1. Discovery Early Career Researcher Award: "Revisiting the foundations of mainstream economics: A cooperative account of well-being and moral improvement". Awarded by: The Australian Research Council (part-time 2013-2017, including two bouts of maternity leave of a duration of 21 months FTE). Amount: $AUS 371,931

2. “The realisation of money: Global markets, economic citizens and democratic politics” (Lead CI: George Vassilacopoulos, Partner CI: Miriam Bankovsky, Carol D’Cruz, Toula Nicolacopoulos and Jasmine-Kim Westerndorf). Awarded by: Transforming Human Societies, La Trobe University (2015). Amount: $AUS 14,216