CFP: The importance of creditor-debtor relationships for making sense of current challenges to liberal/capitalist democracies

Submission deadline: March 6, 2017

Conference date(s):
April 21, 2017

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Conference Venue:

PPL, University of East Anglia
Norwich, United Kingdom

Topic areas


The importance of creditor-debtor relationships for making sense of current challenges to liberal/capitalist democracies

Creditor-debtor relationships in which creditors exert a high level of control over politics are perhaps the most powerful legacy of neoliberalism. Even if neoliberalism may be on the retreat, these relationships – which occur in different shapes, e.g. between individual consumers and lenders, states and bondholders, banks and states, states and states – will arguably shape the politics of capitalist democracies for the foreseeable future.

We invite contributions from political and social philosophers/theorists on how creditor-debtor relations relate to current political dynamics – the change of the party landscape, the prospects of a populist “debtor revolt”, the displacement of debtor grievances by parties and media (in favor of e.g. nationalist/exclusionary themes). We are particularly interested in how we can better integrate the importance of creditor-debtor relations into our normative conceptualization of democracy and democratic legitimacy.

Focal themes of papers might include, but are not limited to, the following:

Do we have to go beyond the toolkit for analyzing liberal democracy to understand the importance of creditor-debtor relationships for the current challenges? Do we need to draw on forms of political inquiry developed in response to non-democratic forms of rule?

(How) do we need to go beyond liberal-egalitarian approaches to democratic justice and legitimacy which struggle to view debt relations as deeply political, not merely as a resource distribution problem? Should we seek to recover a (non-Marxist) route to the rejection of the compatibility of privately owned large wealth and democracy via republican theorists like Machiavelli or Rousseau?

In what ways (if at all) are we seeing a new reckoning with creditor-debtor power relations in politics or rather their displacement?

What kind of debtors’ revolt, if any, are we witnessing in the populist surges? How do recent political discourses that centre on the border rather than on markets relate to against creditor-debtor relations? How are identity aspects of politics mediated through creditor-debtor relationships today?

Considering the “post-truth politics hypothesis”, how do creditor-debtor relationships shape the understanding of truth in public discourses?

Papers should be no longer than 20 minutes to leave ample time for discussion. The workshop will run approximately from 10 am to 5 pm and will take place at UEA. Sandwich lunch and refreshments provided. Please submit short abstracts of no more than 500 words to Janosch Prinz at until 6 March 2017.

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