CFP: 13th Braga Meetings on Ethics and Political Philosophy

Submission deadline: April 3, 2023

Conference date(s):
June 15, 2023 - June 16, 2023

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Conference Venue:

Center for Ethics, Politics, and Society , University of Minho, Portugal
Braga, Portugal

Topic areas


Major event: 13th Braga Meetings on Ethics and Political Philosophy (Braga, Portugal)

Keynote Speakers: DANIELE ARCHIBUGI (CNRS (Italy) and Birkbeck College (University of London)) /// HELEN FROWE (Stockholm University) /// HELEN FROWE (Stockholm University) /// MIHAELA MIHAI (University of Edinburgh) /// NADIA URBINATI (Columbia University) /// RICHARD BELLAMY (University College London) /// SILJE LANGVATN (University of Bergen) /// STUART WHITE (University of Oxford)

Call for Abstracts: (RE-)CONFIGURING THE LEFT: Theoretical Approaches to Left-Wing Populism and Radical Democracy

Convenors:Juana Lorena (Institut für Sozialforschung - Frankfurt University) and Pedro Pinheiro (CEPS - University of Minho) All inquiries about the panel should be sent to [email protected] and [email protected]    

In the last decades, there was a growth of interest in left-wing populism approaches. In this context, Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, who proposed a discursive approach to populism, emphasizing emotions, have been particularly influential in shaping the discussion, creating a line of thought that significantly developed their original insights (e.g. Stavrakakis, Panizza, Katsambekis, and other theorists of the so-called Essex School). Other more recent contributions to the debate on left-wing populism have pointed instead towards ‘plebeian’ theories of democracy along materialist and institutional lines (e.g., Vatter, McCormick, Vergara, or also Fraser).

In this sense, theory and practice of inclusionary left-wing populism mutually impact each other, as we see in the cases of Podemos in Spain and Syriza in Greece, bringing hope to the left.   However, considering the (empirical) developments of left-wing populism, some critical considerations should be made about left-wing populism. Although left-wing populism demands horizontality and equality, the possibility to accomplish these goals has been disputed, for instance, by theorists like Müller or Urbinati, who question the very democratic core of populism. Furthermore, the recently nationalist turn of left-wing movements like Aufstehen! (“Stand Up!”) in Germany has also provoked a reflection on the limits of left-wing populism, to the extent that, as Celikates has argued, it shows that populism can easily turn against those excluded from the demos (especially migrants). More deeply, for Celikates, it is the very ontology of populism that hampers the radicalization of democracy toward the left.

Considering these debates, this panel aims to explore possible paths for the left to expand and radicalize democracy, focusing on two possibilities: left-wing populism and radical democracy.

Questions to be addressed include, but are not limited, to the following:

  • Is populism a suitable instrument for the radicalization of democracy, or is it structurally contradictory to left principles?
  • Does populism – left and right – inevitably entail a nationalist logic?
  • Or rather than populism, is radical democracy a better way for the left?
  • And relatedly, what are the possible synergies and contrasts between them?
  • Which approaches in radical democratic theory are the most appropriate to address the present challenges for the left?
  • Which role should the mobilization of affects and emotions play in left-wing politics?

If you are interested in participating on this panel, please read the entire call and submit your proposal at: .    

If you want to apply, please submit an abstract, of 400-500 words along with five keywords, of your paper prepared for peer review by 3rd April 2023. We will respond by 17th April 2023. All proposals must be submitted online through our website using the Abstract submission Form (please, click “Submit Abstract” and fill the form).

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Custom tags:

#Populism, #Radical Democracy, #Emotions, #Left, #Rationality, #Discourse, #Nationalism