CfP: "Democracy: Historical and Semantic Transformations"


“Democracy: Historical and Semantic Transformations”
Panel at the 8th ECPR General Conference, University of Glasgow, 3-6 September 2013
Chairs: Dirk Jörke (Greifswald) and Anthoula Malkopoulou (Jyväskylä/Uppsala)

Deadline: February 10, 2014

If a prize was awarded to the survival artists in the history of political concepts, democracy would be very far upon the list of nominees. Until today, the concept has successfully resisted every attempt to relegate it to a dusty museum shelf. As a matter of fact, it did survive exactly because it has been so vehemently contested. In a rapidly changing world, this contestability seems to be rather extensive these days, as there are plenty of adjectives that suggest alternative conceptualizations of democracy: deliberative, procedural, liberal, republican, radical, informal, global, constitutional etc.

But what makes the language of democracy so enduring? Is there besides all different conceptualizations a semantic core of democracy? Through which linguistic changes do different conceptualizations of democracy try to reshape the meaning as well as the practice and institutional design of democracy? What is the relation of democracy to concepts such as representation, equality, liberty, rule of law, reason and civil-society and through which semantic moves have political theorists tried and still try to reshape these relations?

The panel will explore historical as well as contemporary conceptualizations of democracy, with a special focus on the broader semantic as well as specific rhetorical moves, by which the meaning of democracy is recast. Therefore we welcome papers that highlight any type of change in the meaning and the evaluation of the concept of democracy, which build on a historical, philosophical, linguistic and/or comparative point of view.

Please send your proposals for individual papers (max. 150 words) with a short CV to PD Dr. Dirk Jörke ( ) and Dr. Anthoula Malkopoulou ( ) by February 10, 2014.


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