BIAPT prizes 2024

Britain and Ireland Association for Political Thought Prizes 2024

Nominations are invited for two prizes:

  1. The BIAPT Early-Career Prize 2024
    Open to political theorists within eight years of award of their PhD or equivalent on 1st January 2024.
  2. The BIAPT Mid-Career Prize 2024
    Open to political theorists who are more than eight years from award of their PhD or equivalent on 1st January 2024 but who are not full Professors.
  • Each prize will be awarded to the nominated candidate who, in the judgment of the Executive Committee, has made the greatest overall contribution to research and teaching in political thought, as well as to the life of our intellectual community and service to the profession, understood broadly and in line with BIAPT’s mission at https://www.associationforpoliticalthought.ac.uk/about-us/
  • Candidates must be academic political theorists or political philosophers employed at universities or HE institutions in Britain or Ireland; casual, fixed-term, and zero-hours employment included.
  • Time limits for eligibility will be adjusted where necessary to make allowances for time out of academia (non-academic careers, caring leave, illness, etc.). Nominations should make clear if this adjustment is being sought and time away should be indicated on the CV.

Procedures for nominations

  • Entry for each of the prizes will be via nomination. Entrants may not nominate themselves.
  • The nominator must supply 1) a supporting statement of no more than one page, setting out the entrant’s contribution to political thought research, teaching, and service; as well as 2) the entrant’s CV.
  • The BIAPT Executive Committee will be responsible for choosing the prize winners.
  • Current Executive Committee members, and persons who have served on the Executive Committee in the last three years, are not eligible to make nominations, to be nominated for, or to win either prize.
  • Each prize, which will consist of a certificate and a £50 book token, will be awarded at the Political Thought Conference to be held in York in January 2025. Prize winners will also be announced on the Association’s website, Facebook page, and other social and mainstream media. Acceptance of either prize will be taken as consent to publicity of this sort.
  • Nominations should be sent to Maxime Lepoutre, Secretary of BIAPT, at m.c.lepoutre@reading.ac.uk with “BIAPT prizes” as the subject header.
  • The deadline for nominations is 24th May 2024.

Call for Papers

CALL FOR PAPERS: Spring Conference of the Section for Political Theory and the History of Ideas (GPSA) University of Rostock, Germany; 13–15 March 2024

We are delighted to announce that BIAPT 2024 will be hosting a panel convened by our German sister organisation Sektion für Politische Theorie und Ideengeschichte at our January conference. This is a call for papers for the reciprocal panel at their next conference in Rostock next March.

Spring Conference of the Section for Political Theory and the History of Ideas (GPSA)

University of Rostock, Germany; 13–15 March 2024

Convenors: Dennis Bastian Rudolf (University of Rostock), Valerian Thielicke (University of Rostock), Rieke Trimcev (University of Greifswald), Alexander Weiß (University of Rostock)

Political Theory after Eurocentrism: Resources of Non-Western Thinking for Contemporary Political Challenges

Given the ongoing processes of globalization and the emergence of a multipolar world, our sub-discipline plays a crucial role in accompanying these transformations with critical, analytical, interpretive, normative, hermeneutic as well as deconstructive analyses. For this task, it is increasingly implausible to rely unquestioningly on European or Western theories, their problem agendas, arguments, and norms. It is essential for political theory to overcome Eurocentrism. Comparative Political Theory (CPT) has been addressing this concern for more than 30 years by examining non-Western ideas and expanding the canon of political theory and thought globally (Dallmayr 1997, 2004; Jenco et al 2020). The Spring Conference of the GPSA Section for Political Theory and the History of Ideas proposes to further advance this still relatively young program by revisiting the contents, methodologies, and concepts of CPT. The convenors welcome paper proposals that address one of the following four topics:

I. CPT as a research field

Since its inception, CPT has developed in three major strands:

1. Research on non-Western political thought has produced studies and readers on Islamic, African, Indian, Japanese, and Chinese political thought (e.g., Singh/Mohapatra 2010; Dallmayr/Zhao 2012; Martin 2012; Watanabe 2012; March 2015; Dübgen/Skupien 2015; Jenco 2016).

2. A methodological strand explores conceptual and methodological questions regarding units of comparison (e.g., ‘cultural spaces’, ‘cultural areas’, cultures, regions) and, within this strand, the problematic of universalism and relativism remains central, since all contributions are obliged to address this issue (e.g., Dallmayr 2004; March 2009; Godrej 2009; Euben 2010; Freeden/Vincent 2012; von Vacano 2015; Tully 2016; Ackerly/Bajpai 2017; Little 2018; Rollo 2018).

3. Systematic studies exploring global variations in the formation and theorization of concepts such as sovereignty, legitimacy, cosmopolitanism, or democracy (March 2012; Chan/Shin/Williams 2016; Shapcott 2016; Schubert/Weiß 2016; Weiß 2020).

II. CPT as an approach to the history of ideas

Regarding the study of non-Western ideas and their relation to familiar Western sources, studies in CPT advance our understanding of three crucial processes:

1. Mirroring: Throughout history, practices of mutual observation and commentary have helped to construct images of the ‘Other’. These mirrorings, from ancient Greece’s ‘barbarians’ to the reception of Confucianism in the European Enlightenment, provide insights into the content and function of theoretical treatments of the ‘Other’ across a

divided globe. This may include views of Europe and the West in Arab, Persian, African, Indian, Chinese, and Latin American thought, as well as European projections onto Asia (Edward Said’s critique of Orientalism) – and vice versa.

2. Transfers/Travelling ideas: Ideas, positions, and ideologies have migrated across contexts, creating hybrids, and influencing existing ideas. The history of the travelling of concepts such as freedom, legitimacy, harmony, shura, tian xia, swaraj still remains largely unexplored.

3. Translations: Both linguistic and conceptual translations have shaped intellectual history. Examples include At-Tahtāwī’s translation of the French Constitution of 1814 or the transmission of concepts by Japanese delegates during the Meiji Restoration.

III. CPT and its contents

Three thematic areas of CPT will receive special attention, as they allow for fruitful dialogue with other strands within political theory and political science in general:

1. Overcoming Eurocentrism: The goal of ‘historical justice’ challenges the claim of exclusive European authorship for concepts such as democracy, human rights, and other terms central to the contemporary political lexicon. Understanding theoretical positions outside the West allows for contributions to the analysis and interpretation of non-Western regions in conjunction with empirical and area studies. Addressing problems of Eurocentrism in theory raises questions about its historical and contemporary plausibility.

2. The colonial constellation: Postcolonial and decolonial critiques highlight the embeddedness of European conceptualization and ideology within the context of imperialism and colonialism. Examining entanglements of European liberalism with imperialism and its skewed level of justification for colonialism sheds light on the connection between European concepts and non-Western discourses.

3. ‘Democracy’ beyond the West: Non-Western theoretical debates critically engage with Western concepts of democracy by highlighting autochthonous variants and critical reflections on meritocracy, the relationship between constitution and religion, or democratic innovations. Comparative democratic theory and its response to the diversity of meanings and conceptions of democracy are of particular interest.

IV. 30 Years of CPT: Does Political Theory Need to be Transformed?

CPT’s aim is not to delineate its own new field from political theory, but to transform existing research and teaching practices. Accordingly, the conference will inquire into CPTs potential to redefine and to augment political theory. Where can we already identify such redefinitions as a result of CPT? What further steps are necessary and which effects on the sub-discipline can be expected? How can CPT productively transform teaching practices in terms of canon formation, text, and source selection as well as didactic methods?

The conference welcomes contributions from all addressed strands and topics. Researchers of non-Western thought and colleagues exploring general questions within these thematic areas are encouraged to submit proposals. To ensure an international perspective, one of the three conference days (presumably Thursday) will be held in English, allowing for the inclusion of participants with non-German and non-European backgrounds. We particularly encourage emerging researchers to apply. We also aim to provide childcare during the conference.

Please submit proposals (approximately 300 words) for the BIAPT panel to David Owen, dowen@soton.ac.uk, by 30th October 2023. Please note that only on 3 papers can be accepted.

BIAPT 2023 Early-Career Prize winner: Dr Camila Vergara

We are very happy to award the 2023 Early-Career Prize to Dr Camila Vergara, who at the time of selection was Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the University of Cambridge and is currently Senior Lecturer at University of Essex Business School. Dr Vergara is originally from Chile, where she established a successful career in journalism before pursuing academic political theory further, undertaking postgraduate degrees at New York University (MA), New School for Social Research (MA), and Columbia University (PhD).

In 2020, shortly after completing her PhD, Dr Vergara’s first book, Systemic Corruption: Constitutional Ideas for an Anti-Oligarchic Republic was published by Princeton University Press. In this book, Dr Vergara offers a genealogy of political corruption and theorizes the contemporary crisis in democracy in structural terms. She argues that representative governments suffer decay because of constitutional deficits, analyses the absence of properly popular institutions to ensure democratic accountability, and reveals the unfettered oligarchies of power that emerge as a result. Dr Vergara draws on insights from Niccolò Machiavelli, Nicolas de Condorcet, Rosa Luxemburg, and Hannah Arendt to advance her critique and put forward her own understanding of plebian republicanism. Systemic Corruption has been subject to much scholarly discussion – such that it can be said already to have made a genuine imprint on political theory – while her other research has appeared in international journals that reflect the breadth of its reach, including History of Political Thought and Journal of Political Philosophy.

Dr Vergara has demonstrated as impressive a global commitment to teaching, having delivered lectures on four different continents on a variety of topics that show the breadth of her expertise. Her international outreach is evident not only her teaching and research, but also in her prominent work in political advocacy and activism, which exemplifies a unity of theory and practice often discussed and aspired to but rarely achieved by academic political theorists.

In addition to her many professional achievements, the BIAPT judges were especially struck by the significant energy and time Dr Vergara has invested in contributing to, and organising, events that include and engage junior and emerging scholars. That she has been able to make such an impact on the community of political theorists in Britain, Ireland, and beyond, while engaging in path-breaking policy work prior to the securement of a permanent university appointment, is particularly remarkable and commendable.

Dr Vergara said: “In a world in which recognition is denied to so many, it is a privilege to be seen and valued by those you admire. I am grateful to the members of the Executive Committee for taking the time to read my work and for their appreciation of my efforts to develop political theory ‘from below’ in times of crisis. I am truly honoured by this award.”

BIAPT 2023 Mid-Career Prize winner: Dr Alfred Moore

We are delighted to award our 2023 Mid-Career Prize to Dr Alfred Moore of the University of York, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the discipline of political theory. Since defending his PhD at the University of Bath, Dr Moore has held academic positions at University College Cork, the University of British Columbia, as well as Cambridge University, before joining the University of York, where he is currently Senior Lecturer in the Department of Politics.

Dr Moore’s research showcases political theory at its very best: philosophically rich, thoroughly interdisciplinary, and driven by the desire to address some of the most pressing problems of our times. In his monograph Critical Elitism: Deliberation, Democracy, and the Politics of Expertise (CUP, 2017) Dr Moore grapples with the fraught relationship between democratic inclusion and expertise, arguing that the democratic public play a crucial role in contesting expertise. This work brings together insights from democratic theory and science and technology studies.

 

Dr Moore’s work has also deeply enriched our understanding of online political discourse in a polarized age. Perhaps most notable here is his groundbreaking work on pseudonymity, which has appeared in the Journal of Political Philosophy and Political Studies. Using an impressive combination of philosophical and empirical analyses, Dr Moore persuasively shows how architects of online discursive spaces can use pseudonymity to avoid the pitfalls associated with both anonymous and real-name online environments.

Dr Moore’s work is remarkable not just in virtue of its philosophical rigour and interdisciplinarity, but also in virtue of its relevance to, and engagement with, non-academic actors and audiences. During the COVID-19 pandemic, for instance, Dr Moore (with Dr Michael MacKenzie) offered key lessons for policymakers, published in the prestigious British Medical Journal, outlining the importance of being open about disagreement between expert advisers.

Beyond his research, Dr Moore has consistently contributed to political theory in Britain and Ireland through extensive professional activities (for example, as co-convenor the 2022 PSA Conference, and co-convenor of the PSA specialist group on deliberative and participatory democracy); and as a dedicated teacher, whose specialised module “Knowledge and Democracy” remains a popular choice amongst students at York. For all of these reasons, the BIAPT judges considered Dr Moore a worthy winner of this year’s Mid-Career Prize.

Dr Moore said: “This award is a really wonderful surprise. I am hugely grateful to the BIAPT judges, to my excellent colleagues in the Department of Politics at the University of York, and to everyone who has supported my work over the years.”

BIAPT conference 2024 in Cambridge: Call for Papers

4-6th January 2024 – Jesus College, University of Cambridge

Academic Convenors: Rebecca Buxton (Bristol), Helen McCabe (Nottingham), and David Owen (Southampton)

Local Organisers: Clare Chambers (Cambridge) and Duncan Kelly (Cambridge)

The BIAPT conference is the flagship event of the scholarly community of political theorists across Britain and Ireland. Taking place annually since the 1970s, it brings together scholars working across the whole field of political thought.

This year’s plenary speakers are: Liam Kofi Bright (LSE), Chiara Cordelli (Chicago), Peter Niesen (Hamburg), Jennifer Saul (Waterloo), Bernardo Zacka (MIT), and the Women in International Political Thought team (Patricia Owens, Kimberley Hutchings and Katharina Rietzler)

We invite proposals from political theorists, philosophers, and historians of political thought in the following formats:

(1) Panel proposals of three papers per panel (please include panel title, authors and their contact details, plus paper abstracts, up to 1000 words for complete panel proposal);

(2) Individual paper proposals (please include paper title, author, and abstract up to 300 words; accepted proposals will be organised into panel sessions by the Academic Convenors);

(3) ‘Author meets critics’ roundtables (please include book title, publisher and year, and description, including provisional list of critics and their affiliations, up to 500 words). Please note that it is expected that only up to 3 proposals will be accepted in this format.

(4) First book manuscript workshop, where monograph manuscripts of an author’s first book will be presented and discussed with selected respondents (please submit a description of your manuscript and a list of up to 4 provisional respondents, up to 1000 words. At least one respondent should be confirmed; the Academic Convenors are happy to contact other prospective respondents if desired). Please note that it is expected that only up to 2 proposals will be accepted in this format.

We look forward to a conference that represents a diverse set of intellectual traditions, including analytic and normative political philosophy, the history of ideas, all traditions of critical theory, as well as comparative/global political theory. Panels that cut across traditional disciplinary boundaries and submissions from graduate students are welcome.

Please submit proposals to conference@associationforpoliticalthought.ac.uk: the final deadline for submission is Friday June 30, 2023.

We look forward to seeing many of you at the conference!

BIAPT 2022 Early-Career Prize winner: Dr Alasia Nuti

The judges are delighted to award the BIAPT Early-Career Prize 2022 to Dr Alasia Nuti, University of York. Originally from Italy, Dr Nuti took a BA and an MA in Philosophy from the University of Genoa. She then moved to the UK to take an MSc in Gender Studies at the London School of Economics, followed by a PhD in Political Theory from the University of Cambridge. After a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at Justitia Amplificata (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt and Freien Universität Berlin), in 2015 Dr Nuti joined the University of York as a Lecturer in Political Theory.

Dr Nuti excels in political theory research, teaching, and service.  Her research, starting with her prize-winning PhD, has contributed to a reshaping of the field of historic injustice, bringing the insights of critical theory, feminist theory, and historical analysis to bear on analytical accounts of justice. This is an innovative and exciting interaction, one which pushes forward political theorising and understanding. Dr Nuti’s first book, Injustice and the Reproduction of History: Structural Inequalities, Gender and Redress (Cambridge University Press, 2019) argues powerfully that women should be recognised as a paradigmatic example of a group that has suffered historical injustice, and that this historical injustice must be redressed. Injustice and the Reproduction of History has been enthusiastically received and reviewed, was the subject of a critical exchange in Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, and received an Honourable Mention in the 2021 European Consortium of Political Research Political Theory Prize.

Dr Nuti’s sole-authored research is complemented by joint authorship and collaborative projects. In addition to that first book Dr Nuti has published many excellent single- and co-authored articles on pressing issues: how to theorise marriage, the need for reparations for complex past injustices such as slavery and colonialism, counter-speech and the duty of pressure, the rights and ethics of migration in a post-colonial context, the normative challenges of temporary labour migration, and the relationship between unjust history and present emancipatory politics. She has also taken her work in new directions, and is presently working, with Gabriele Badano, on a book on political liberalism (under contract with Oxford University Press). Dr Nuti is also notable for her distinctive contribution translating and editing the work of Simone Weil.

Dr Nuti makes significant service to the discipline via journal work: as an Associate Editor of Ethical Theory and Moral Practice and through a large amount of reviewing for approximately 35 journals. Dr Nuti also took on the role of Academic Convenor of BIAPT very early in her career, and performed that task with efficiency and diligence. Dr Nuti has also won a teaching prize for promoting equality and diversity.

Dr Nuti said, “It is an honour to be awarded the BIAPT Early Career Prize. I am grateful to the judges for this recognition and to my colleagues at the University of York for having created a vibrant and supportive community over the years.”

BIAPT 2022 Mid-Career Prize winner: Dr Robin Douglass

The winner of the BIAPT mid-career prize is Dr Robin Douglass of the Department of Political Economy, King’s College, London. Since defending his PhD at the University of Exeter in 2011, Dr Douglass has made a huge contribution to the community of political theorists in Britain and Ireland, through his outstanding research and teaching, as well as his broader professional activities, his work as journal editor and energetic presence in numerous scholarly associations.

Dr Douglass published his first monograph with Oxford University Press in 2015. Rousseau and Hobbes: Nature, Free Will, and the Passions offers an illuminating exploration of the intellectual relationship between these two titanic figures, showing how Rousseau wrestles philosophically with the legacy of Hobbes’s concepts as he develops his own account of political order. Dr Douglass now has a second monograph forthcoming in 2023 with Princeton University Press, entitled Mandeville’s Fable: Pride, Hypocrisy, and Sociability, which advances an innovative re-reading of Bernard Mandeville’s ‘The Fable of the Bees’ as a serious and important work of political philosophy.

In addition to these two books, Dr Douglass’s rigorously researched and carefully argued scholarship has appeared in several articles, published in leading international journals, that have pushed political theorists to rethink how various historical writers understand and contest the key concepts of modernity. The quality and focus of Dr Douglass’s research is such that it immediately makes its way onto undergraduate reading lists. Dr Douglass has taught a variety of modules at King’s, where he has shown how crucial consideration of the history of political thought can be as part of the study of political economy.

Dr Douglass has also played an important role within the broader scholarly community. Though at the time only five years into his position at King’s, he took on the role as co-editor of the European Journal of Political Theory in 2017, served also as five years as President of the European Hobbes Society (of which he was co-founder), and undertook the role of academic convenor for the BIAPT annual conference in 2017. In deciding the award, the BIAPT judges were especially impressed that Dr Douglass was able to combine such committed work for the scholarly community alongside his extraordinary research output.

Dr Douglass said, “I am delighted to be awarded this prize. I am very grateful to the BIAPT judges, and especially to the many people who have supported my academic career and made this achievement possible.”

Note: In August 2022, after being selected as the winner of the Mid-Career Prize, Robin Douglass was promoted to Professor of Political Theory at King’s, reflecting his many achievements.

 

Professor Tracy Strong (1943-2022)

BIAPT is very sad to note the death of Professor Tracy B. Strong, Professor of Political Theory and Philosophy at the University of Southampton and Distinguished Emeritus Professor at UC San Diego. He authored several books including Friedrich Nietzsche and the Politics of Transfiguration, Jean-Jacques Rousseau: The Politics of the Ordinary, The Idea of Political Theory: Reflections on the Self in Political Time and Space, and Learning One’s Native Tongue: Citizenship, Contestation, and Conflict in America. Tracy was the recipient of the David Easton Prize 2013 for his book, Politics Without Vision: Thinking without a Banister in the Twentieth Century (Chicago, 2012) and held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Rockefeller Foundation. He was the Editor of Political Theory from 1990 to 2000.

We had the privilege of hosting him as a keynote speaker at the 2015 Conference when he delivered a lecture on “Christ, Antichrist and Christianity: on morality, religion, politics and love in Nietzsche”.

 

2022 Conference is moving on line

Because of the UK government advice, December 8 2021, that from Monday Dec 13 individuals should work from home if possible, we are cancelling the PHYSICAL conference in Oxford, and are moving ALL sessions on line.  Registration is still open;  registered participants will have on line access to all panels and plenary sessions.  If you have already booked accommodation and/or meals at St Catz you will be refunded.