CfP: MANCEPT-Workshops 2015

Die MANCEPT-Workshops in Manchester gehen in eine neue Runde und finden dieses Jahr vom 1. bis 3. September statt. Einen Überblick über die insgesamt 27 Panels gibt es auf der Webseite der Konferenz, hier wollen wir gesondert noch auf zwei CfPs hinweisen, die uns erreicht haben:

Resistance and Power beyond Foucault‘
Convener: Guilel Treiber, Institute of Philosophy, KU Leuven (Guilel.Treiber@hiw.kuleuven.be)
The nature of political power is changing. The state is no longer the only, or even the main player in the complex mechanisms of power structures at the beginning of the 21st century. Foucault’s oeuvre has a crucial role in analyzing these changes and emphasizing the productive element of power against the idea that power (and the state as its embodiment) fulfills a merely repressive function. Resistance, as a counter-part to power, is changing as well. However, the academic analysis of resistance has remained constrained within the framework of strike and protest, both essentially practices of resistance to repressive state power. What would be a resistance to a productive power, and what could the relation between the two be?
Resistance seems to refuse clear-cut conceptualization. This may be due to the plurality of possible ways in which one can conceive the term, but also to the contextual and practical character of resistance. In fact, resistance is always specific; it is, in other words, always resistance to something, within a certain historical framework. This has led to the development of a series of competing notions, from ‚deconstruction‘ to ‚performativity‘, from ‚counter-hegemony‘ to ‚counter-conduct‘, all of which aim at theorizing resistance and clarifying its relation to power. Additionally, empirical analysis of different forms of resistance remains painfully descriptive, avoiding a critical analysis and appraisal of its multiple new forms and practices.
Power and resistance are not two separate phenomena. If we accept Foucault’s analysis of power, even in its most basic intuition, that power is historically bound, then we will need to re-conceptualize resistance as a counter-power. This may mean that power and resistance do not stand in a merely ‚action-reaction‘ relation to each other, whereby power is repressive and resistance liberating; or whereby power is predominant and resistance happens in the restrictive space that a totalizing form of power leaves. If we agree with Foucault, that resistance is as productive as power, what would be the implications on our understanding of politics, what forms would resistance then take?
This workshop aims at encouraging discussion between different perspectives on resistance and power (not exclusively limited to a Foucauldian perspective). Propositions engaged with one of the two following themes (or other related issue) are encouraged :
1) Resistance beyond the state: Protest and strike are heavily state-centered forms of resistance. They focus mainly on demands put to sovereign power. Can power be resisted in such a way? What would a resistance that does not focus on power as though it is emanating from one fixed point look like?
2) Different forms of resistance to power: Civil disobedience, whistle-blowing, ‚illegal‘ forms of digital resistance such as Pirate Bay or Anonymous, veganism are all examples of contemporary resistance: are they inherently different from previous forms of resistance? Do they embody different ways to resist to different forms of power? What do they require from the individual or communities resisting?
Call for abstracts: Abstracts of about 400-600 words on all topics mentioned above for the MANCEPT workshops should be sent to Guilel.Treiber@hiw.kuleuven.be The deadline for submitting abstracts is JUNE 1st, 2015. Applicants will be informed about acceptance by JUNE 07, 2015. Final papers should be sent by August 2015 (date to be specified later), so that they are circulated between the workshop’s participants.

‘Political Theory and the European Union‘
Conveners: Giulia Bistagnino (University of Milan),  Pamela Pansardi (University of Pavia).

The workshop aims at bringing together scholars interested in the normative dimension of the European Union.

Political theory has traditionally been concerned with nation-states and their institutions, while more recently its scope has been widening by tackling questions about the global world. The EU, understood as a sort of intermediate entity of a distinctive nature, has become a prominent object of research to reflect on political problems. Today, the financial and political crises taking place in Europe have shown not only the vulnerability of EU’s institutions, but also the urgency to provide conceptual and normative tools to assess the EU and evaluate its decisions. Indeed, since the creation of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and the establishment of the Maastricht Treaty, the focus of EU integration has been set on legal and economic aspects only and academic discourses have been trapped into technical and economical debates with little attention for normative issues. A reflection on the nature and scope of the EU and an assessment of its problems and dilemmas is thus pressing and represents a fundamental task for normative political theory.

We welcome contributions aimed at addressing one or more of the following questions or related ones:

1) Market efficiency vs. Solidarity: 

– What norms and duties of social and economic justice should apply to the EU?
– Which values should inform the political foundation of EU?
– How and to what extent common efforts and resources should be devoted to assist the countries which suffered the most from the effects of the economic crisis?
– How and to what extent should citizens of a member state contribute in providing the same social benefits to citizens of other member states who exercise their right to free movement across the EU?

2) Supranationalism vs. National Sovereignty: 

– Should the EU be a supranational democracy, a transnational demoi-cracy, a federation of nations, or simply an international organization?
– Which principles should inform the process of European integration?
– How should EU relate to non-member states and their citizens?

3) Legitimacy vs. Efficiency: 

– Which conception of legitimacy applies to the EU?
– Is there a democratic deficit in EU institutions and why?
– What are the limits and the legitimate role that knowledge and expertise should play in democratic decision-making?

Abstracts (500-1000 words) should be sent to giulia.bistagnino@unimi.it and pamela.pansardi@unipv.it by June 5, 2015. We warmly welcome earlier expressions of interest.

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