CfP: Political Theory on Refugees

Call for Papers

University of Augsburg, 17-18 November 2016


Working Groups: Democracy and Flight: Political Theories on Refugees and the transcultural and comparative political theory group

Convenors: Sybille De La Rosa (Heidelberg University), Melanie Frank (University of Augsburg) and Viktoria Hügel (University of Brighton)

Keynote speaker: Matthew Gibney, Oxford University

Political exclusion and the resulting struggles for inclusion have been in the focus of political theory in general and of democracy theory in particular for a long time. Hence, the aim of this conference is to identify theoretical concepts which focus on the problem of inclusion and exclusion and could, thereby, be an important contribution to refugee studies. Even when these concepts do not genuinely refer to refugees, they could certainly help to address the problems linked to flight and exclusion accurately. Thus, the possibilities of a beneficial argumentative exchange on the topic of refugees can be enhanced.

Participants are invited to “use” political theories in order to transcend the empirical question about ‘what is’ and rather ask ‘what should be’. Doing so, it will be possible to criticize our perception of the problem and, thus, also brings in new consequences for the problem solving. For instance, if one understands refugees as a characteristic feature of a more and more globalized world and, hence, as an inevitable challenge for modern societies and their ability to integrate, one quickly exceeds the perception of refugees as a short-term administrative problem. In consequence, questions are raised about proper integration and representation modi as well as about our responsibility towards strangers and ways of transcultural communication. Hence, it gives us new perceptions and narrations for a new, global and maybe even cosmopolitan self-understanding.

Contributions may consult concepts of representation theory, democracy theory as well as hegemony theory, postcolonial theory, work on transcultural conceptions and communitarianism order to successfully apply them to refugee studies or address questions like: Does the democratic idea call for the representation of refugees and why? Which kind of representation theoretical and empirical could be best to include refugees’ demands? Which democratic practices and institutions could be extended or opened for refugees? Which level of representation would be best, local, regional, European, or global? Which are the transcultural challenges that can emerge when refugees are integrated in modern democracies?

Please send abstracts (250 – 300 words) for twenty-minute papers (in English) along with the name of your institution to no later than January 15, 2016.

Depending on the composition of participants, the conference will be either held in German or English. We expect every participant to be ready to present his or her paper in English

Categories: Conferences, Diaspora, Diversity & Difference

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