CfP: Democracy, Rights and Reason(s) 13-14 February 2014, London

Democracy, Rights and Reason(s)

Call for Papers

Sponsored by the EU COST Action IS1003 and the Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster

Thursday/Friday 13-14 February, Board Room, 309 Regent Street

Keynote presentation: Luc Boltanski (tbc)

Liberal modernist regimes of democracy and rights were grounded on assumptions of universal reason which increasingly appear to be problematic and outdated. Liberal assumptions of ‘reason’ are undermined both from the inside – the denial of the possibility of representational frames of understanding – and from the outside – in a fluid, complex and interconnected world, the linear Cartesian assumptions of the rule of reason are no longer considered to hold. At the same time, controversies and disputes about democracy and rights have been underpinned by both justificatory reasons and particular modes of reasoning. This two-day workshop, consisting of a key note presentation and a number of panels seeks to consider the impact which different understandings of the role of reason, epistemic regimes and modes of reasoning have upon the operation of and disputes over regimes of rights and democracy. The questions that we are interested in exploring include (but are not limited to):

·      Can democracy survive in its current form of liberal representation?
·      How does our material and social embeddedness impact upon the operation of rights?
·      Can law rule over or against complexity or only through it and what are the implications of this?
·      How do new modes of scientific reasoning reshape disputes over rights and democracy?
·      How is legal reasoning affected by algorithmic or complexity reasoning?
·      Can new forms of democracy be developed involving non-human actors?
·      What are the implications of changing understandings of democracy for the legal form?
·      Does material participation provide more possibilities than liberal representational forms?

We have limited funding available for travel, accommodation and subsistence. Please send abstracts for consideration of not more than 300 words to the organisers by November 15th at the latest. Oliver Kessler; Claudia Aradau; and David Chandler

David Chandler, Professor of International Relations, Research Director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster, 32-38 Wells Street, London, W1T 3UW. Tel: ++44 (0)776 525 3073.
Journal Editor, Resilience: International Policies, Practices and Discourses:
Book series Editor, Routledge Studies in Intervention and Statebuilding:
Book series Editor, Routledge Advances in Democratic Theory:
Amazon books page:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s