CFP: Cosmopolitanism and Deliberative Democracy: Norms and Justifications
Submission deadline: Sunday, September 2 2012
Friday, December 7 2012 - Saturday, December 8 2012
New Europe College
The core idea shared by all cosmopolitan views is that all human beings belong to a single community and the ultimate units of moral concern are individual human beings, not state or particular forms of human associations. Nevertheless, a political theory of cosmopolitanism should confront questions regarding the possibility of a cosmopolitan project in the alleged post-metaphysical and post-universalistic theoretical framework: How can one justify cosmopolitan values without falling back on some conceptions of a fixed human nature or a shared system of belief? How are the cosmopolitan norms legitimated by those envisaged by these norms? How is the authority of the cosmopolitan norms created and maintained?
In the most influential recent political theories with an incontestable cosmopolitan potential, the metaphysical objectivity of the alleged universal values has been replaced by the intersubjective validity attainable through discursive practices and dialogue, which involves “reasoning from the point of view of other”, and reasonable agreement. This approach finds its clearest elaborations in J. Rawls’s public reason, J.Habermas’ ideal speech situation and communication action, D. Held’s layered cosmopolitanism as a mix of regulative principles and hermeneutic complexity, S. Benhabib’s cosmopolitanism as ‘democratic iterations’, in J. Bohman’s “global democratic minimum”, J. Dryzek’s ‘discursive practices’ and others. Concomitantly, the intersubjective validity attainable through discourse and deliberation attempts to offer solutions to the legitimacy questions through public justification, which is the key idea in contemporary liberal-democratic political theory, and which means that no regime is legitimate unless it is reasonable from every individual's point of view. In addition, public deliberation is considered to be an effective tool for promoting transparency, enabling those affected by decisions to see why and how they were made, contributing to greater accountability.
Therefore, from the perspective of legitimating cosmopolitan norms, deliberative practices and cosmopolitanism could be considered as being complementary. Agents of deliberation can be state representatives, NGOs (including corporations and civil society groups), and, mainly, individual citizens. Potentially, deliberative democracy includes, in a deliberation, all persons, ‘all those affected’, irrespective of the place. This focus of individual citizens constitutes the ‘hard core’ of both cosmopolitanism and deliberative democracy. Nevertheless, with its emphasis on “reasonable agreement”, “overlapping consensus” “reasons that all can accept”, the discursive justification of norms risks either to postulate a global consensus through the attempts to justify the universality of cosmopolitanism or to re-affirm the importance of the nation-state, where the conditions for deliberation could be more easy obtained, thus falling back into ‘methodological nationalism’ (U. Beck), which assumes that humanity is divided irrevocably into a given number of nations.
The aims of the workshop are to examine the cosmopolitan potential of deliberative democracy and to see if the cosmopolitan political theory and deliberative democracy are interrelated approaches in conceiving post-universalist, non-metaphysical cosmopolitanism. Our main purpose is to see if deliberative democracy helps to elaborate a non-foundationalist concept of cosmopolitanism, which will not rely on the assumptions of global agreement and consensus, but which will explore the dynamics of disagreement and the cosmopolitan potential of critique.
- What are the defining features of deliberative approach to global governance? How does deliberation along cosmopolitan lines differ in content from deliberation in a domestic democratic society? Is deliberative democracy the most suitable model of democracy for a cosmopolitan political theory? Is deliberative democracy better suited for the global arena?
- Are there any prerequisites for a cosmopolitan/global deliberation, like a shared culture, language, or demos, or is rather a ‘shared problem’ (Dryzek) sufficient for global deliberation?
- Is global deliberative democracy a comprehensive and self-sufficient model of global governance or it is a means of democratizing the global governance – a necessary complement to global institutions and and/or global representative bodies? Is deliberation itself part of the process of cosmopolitisation? Do the spread of deliberative practices transform and re-shape the space of public deliberation?
- Who are the agents of global deliberative democracy? How does cosmopolitan deliberative democracy increase the number of participants in deliberation? How does it include all those affected by a decision? How do we tackle the demanding requirement that sufficient levels of political equality should be achieved in order to assure the access of all interested/affected to the deliberative process?
- What would be the outcomes/results of the global deliberation: a global consensus? A global disagreement? Or the results are unpredictable, shaped by the very process of deliberation? Could the deliberative outcome accommodate both plurality and consensus through a meta-consensus? What are the conditions that would make a meta-consensus possible and plausible? Will a meta-consensus have a legitimating value?
- Is the ‘legitimating power’ of deliberative democracy a sufficient ground for constructing a theory of cosmopolitanism? Does deliberation guide us towards a ‘negative cosmopolitanism’ (Beck) of shared problems and risks or towards an ‘ideal theory’ of cosmopolitanism?
Please submit an abstract (300-500 words) no later than September 2, 2012 to firstname.lastname@example.org> or/and email@example.com>. Please also include a separate cover sheet indicating your name, professional status (faculty, graduate student, independent researcher, etc.), and institutional affiliation. Papers may be of a length suitable for a peer-reviewed journal article. Decision notices will be emailed by September 16, 2012. The deadline for submission of full paper is November 2, 2012. The organizers provide accommodation and meals. In exceptional cases, travel expenses may be reimbursed. For further details or questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org> or/and email@example.com>.
This activity is part of the project Critical Foundations of Contemporary Cosmopolitanism supported by a grant of the Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research, CNCS-UEFISCDI (code: PN-II-RU-TE-2011-3-0218, contract nr. 98/05.10.2011): http://www.nec.ro/fundatia/proiecte/p98.htm