CfP Workshop on the German Revolution and the Radical Democratic Imaginary


Call for Papers: Workshop on the German Revolution and the Radical

Democratic Imaginary

Centre for Political Thought, The University of Exeter, 24 May 2018

In the wake of the First World War, workers and soldiers across Europe

organised into democratic councils in order to challenge existing social

hierarchies and strive towards self-government and workers’ control over

production. During the 1918 German Revolution, a number of institutions and

practices were proposed from within the German council movements to create

a more participatory, democratic and worker-controlled society. Although

there was much disagreement over specific proposals, council delegates were

strongly in favour of deepening and extending existing forms of democracy

beyond the limits of the bourgeois liberal state. Yet a hundred years on and

political theory has drawn little from the discourses and practices of this

significant historical era. Our aim with this workshop is to rejuvenate interest

in political theorists and actors of the German Revolution and to place them in

dialogue with conversations in radical democratic theory. We pose the

question of how these political experiences should be theorised and what

significance they hold for political practices today.

The workshop will be an opportunity for scholars from a variety of disciplines

to form ongoing research networks based on shared areas of interest.

Through the workshop, we will organise a number of research groups in which

scholars will be asked to pre-circulate papers and provide feedback to another

member of their group. The idea of the conference is to cultivate a space for

in-depth discussion and collaborative research. We are open to scholars

engaging with the German Revolution from a variety of perspectives including

council communism, libertarian socialism, anarcho-syndicalism and radical

democracy, among others. Papers could also contribute to broader debates in

political theory on questions of democracy, agency, representation and power.

We welcome papers from both a theoretical and historical perspective and

anticipate the conference to spark discussion between political theorists and


A limited number of bursaries will be available for postgraduate students to

cover transportation costs. Please include a request with your abstract if you

are a postgraduate student who would like to apply for such a bursary.

Deadline for submission of abstracts for conference papers (up to 300 words):

5PM, 26 January 2018. Send abstracts to

Workshop Date: 9:30AM – 6:00PM, 24 May 2018.

Workshop website:

Organised by James Muldoon and Martin Moorby, University of Exeter

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