CFP: "The dilemma of democracy. Freedom, equality and safety: is a balance among them possible?"

Serena Mocci's picture
Type: 
Call for Papers
Date: 
June 4, 2020 to June 5, 2020
Location: 
Italy
Subject Fields: 
Atlantic History / Studies, Contemporary History, European History / Studies, Intellectual History, Political Science

THE DILEMMA OF DEMOCRACY. FREEDOM, EQUALITY AND SAFETY: IS A BALANCE AMONG THEM POSSIBLE?

Democracy is a polysemic term, an idea that has taken on different meanings and contents in space and time. Theorists, regardless of the history contexts (classical, medieval or modern world), have identified freedom, equality and safety as main elements of democracy and have variously defined the borders limits, mutual relations and their reciprocal pre-eminence, either clear or implied. This dialectical scheme is not even removed by the contemporary theory of democracy, whose authors are called to face a dilemma that has engaged a lot of their predecessors: is it possible to conceive a model of democracy that can really give equal political dignity to freedom, equality and safety?


The conference aims to analyze democracy - from the perspectives of both the history of ideas and political theory as a whole - by focusing particularly on five articulations of the debate concerning it:
1. the relationship between freedom and equality, a problematic pair of ideas on which several threads of the history of political thought have been developed;
2. the relationship - even potentially antinomy - between freedom and safety, which calls into question the dimension of fundamental individual rights, in relation both to the demand for protection and order addressed by citizens to political power, and to the political-constitutional repercussions coming from the need to face wars and terroristic phenomena;
3. the transformations of democracy in the global age, an age characterized by the lessening of the centrality of the nation-state in favour, on the one hand, of regional and territorial political-identity claims and, on the other hand, of institutions and actors placed in the inter/over/transnational spheres, partially or totally devoid of democratic elements;
4. the crisis of the conventional ideas of political representation as a decisive resource for 20th-century democracies, and the search for possible alternative models (direct, participatory, deliberative, digital, etc.);
5. the decisive impact of the scientific and technological innovation arisen at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries on the traditional forms of democratic political action and on the institutional structures, with a consequent reconsideration of the following opportunities and critical issues.


The conference will be held at the University of Cagliari on 4-5 June 2020. Proposals related to all historical periods will be accepted.
Paper proposals (an abstract of about 250-300 words and a short bio-bibliographical note) should be submitted by March 2nd, 2020, to the following address convegno.cagliari2020@gmail.com. Acceptance of the proposals will be announced by March 16th, 2020.
Please note that the organization will not cover the speakers' travel and accommodation expenses. Instead, it is planned to publish in volume the papers presented at the conference, which must be sent in their final version by 1 September 2020.


Organizing Committee:
Giorgio Barberis (University of Piemonte Orientale), Andrea Catanzaro (University of Genova), Federica Falchi (University of Cagliari), Carlo Morganti (University of Genova), Stefano Quirico (University of Piemonte Orientale), Andrea Serra (University of Cagliari).

Contact Info: 

Giorgio Barberis (University of Piemonte Orientale), Andrea Catanzaro (University of Genova), Federica Falchi (University of Cagliari), Carlo Morganti (University of Genova), Stefano Quirico (University of Piemonte Orientale), Andrea Serra (University of Cagliari).