Visions of Democratic Europe under Debate

Call for Papers
Visions of Democratic Europe under Debate
Second Workshop of the COST Action RECAST Working Group 4: Debates
29-30 May 2019
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Sociology and Social Work
Sos. Panduri no. 90-92, Bucharest, Romania

COST Action Reappraising Intellectual Debates on Civic Rights and Democracy in Europe (RECAST) has as its task to show the plural argumentative uses of the relations between civic rights and democracy in European public debates and to study the dissensual features of their conceptual and institutional relationship as well as their national legal and political traditions. This will be done by bringing together policy-makers, journalists and NGOs with scholars to provide new insights into the links (theoretical, political and institutional) between civic rights and democracy in Europe, illustrating the controversies, often underlying and diverse, behind them.

The aim of the RECAST Working Group Debates is twofold: To study, firstly, the argumentative links connecting practices with concepts and arguments in debates on civic rights and democracy in Europe and, secondly, the practices and procedures of historical, moral, political and legal debates on civic rights and democracy, with special attention to the ways in which they are addressed in parliamentary democracies.

Debating democracy can never be an exhaustive exercise. Democracy cannot exist without controversy. There are multiple and occasionally contradictory visions of democracy at any given point of time, in past, present and future. Democracy is a concept, a vision, as well as a practice by being a form of government. It is under debate on all these levels, formed by interpretations of various actors and institutions that do not always share the same principles and values. The current challenges in Europe are related to the ways in which the fundamental principles of parliamentary democracies are questioned and re-interpreted. They are put under pressure as much by the rise of nationalism and lack of trust in political representatives as by social media driven movements for equality and representation.

These examples articulate both liberal and anti-liberal, novel and re-salvaged meanings and expressions of what a democratic Europe should look like. As a result, key ideas, including human rights, democracy and peace, that formed the basis of the political alliance between western European countries after World War II do not seem as solid and fixed as they might have a few decades ago.

Debates are crucial research material for the analysis of the argumentative links between the ideas and practices related to them. They do not only constitute the arenas for public controversies but also can be seen as a fundamental means for politics. Debate differs from ordinary dialogue in that it involves a presentation of the pros and cons of an issue in which both sides actively aim at persuading to come to their side. Whenever there is debate on a topic, it necessarily shows the controversies embedded. Therefore, debates often provide crucial information of the visions of various actors involved, and the concepts and the practices related to them.

The WG Debates invites scholars from various academic disciplines in the humanities and the social sciences and practitioners in broader society (educators, journalists, policy-makers, activists) to contribute to this interdisciplinary workshop.

We invite submissions of abstracts for oral or poster presentations and/or extended academic papers in matters engaging with future visions of democracy, including:
Ø Dominant, underlying (and/or counter) discourses and strategies that feature in current scholarly and public debates on civic rights and democracy in Europe;
Ø Discourse engagement and manifestation at European Union, national, transnational and social movement levels;
Ø Strategies that can be implemented to broadly disseminate the knowledge on scholarly and public debates on civic rights and democracy in Europe.

Submission Information
Submissions are invited from academics and non-academic stakeholders who share interest and commitment to contribute to the RECAST Working Group Debates agenda. Submissions’ format can comprise of oral appearances (particularly from non-academics) as well as academic papers and poster presentations.
Due to budgetary limitations, COST Action can fund a limited amount of travel expenses. Kindly inform the convenors if funding is required at the time of submission. Self-funded presenters are also welcome to submit and stand an equal chance of acceptance.
Abstracts should be of maximum 200 words in length, with 3-4 keywords and a 50-word bio of the author. Kindly use the form provided here to submit your abstract: (This form should be submitted by Monday, 8 April 2019.)

Key Dates
Ø Final date to submit abstracts: Monday, 8 April 2019
Ø Communication re confirmation / rejection and funding (if applicable): Wednesday, 17 April 2019
Ø Workshop dates: 29–30 May 2019
Ø All queries should be addressed to:

Working Group Debates, COST Action CA 16211 RECAST Reappraising Intellectual Debates on Civic Rights and Democracy in Europe &
The Research Institute of the University of Bucharest (ICUB), Social Sciences Division
Bucharest Center for Political Theory,
Institute for Interdisciplinary Research, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Department, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iași,

Dr Taru Haapala, University of Jyväskylä, RECAST Working Group 4: Debates Leader
Dr Maria Brown, University of Malta, RECAST Working Group 4: Debates Vice-Leader
Dr Alexandru Volacu, National University of Political Science and Public Administration (SNSPA) / The Research Institute of the University of Bucharest,
Dr Laura Pricop, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iaşi, RECAST Science Communication Manager,

The final event program is available here.

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