CFP: Partisanship and Public Reason: Philosophy and Public Issues, vol. 11, 2021

Submission deadline: July 31, 2020

Topic areas



Special Issue: Partisanship and Public Reason

This special issue will include a discussion of Matteo Bonotti’s Partisanship and Political Liberalism in Diverse Societies (Oxford University Press 2017), with commentaries by Enrico Biale (Università degli studi del Piemonte Orientale), Giulia Bistagnino (Università degli studi di Milano), Chiara Destri (Science Po), Steven Wall (Arizona University), Fabian Wendt (UNC Chapel Hill), Fabio Wolkenstein (Aarhus University), followed by Bonotti’s replies.


Submission Deadline

Long Abstract (1,000 words max):  July, 31, 2020

Full paper (9,000 words max, upon acceptance):  December, 31, 2020

Guest Editors: Giulia Bistagnino (Università degli studi di Milano) and Enrico Biale (Università degli studi del Piemonte Orientale)

Aims and Background

Despite having been the “orphans of political philosophy” for a very long time, parties and partisanship are at the centre of a growing interest in normative political theory. Indeed, if the history of political thought is dominated by an antiparty disposition, in the past years many scholars have defended the idea that political parties are necessary and indispensable for the good functioning of democracy. But are parties also relevant to the justification of political authority and, thus, to the liberal understanding of legitimacy? Moreover, is partisanship compatible with the ideal of public reason and the project of finding a consensus among citizens who endorse different comprehensive doctrines and deeply disagree about matters of value?

In Partisanship and Political Liberalism in Diverse Societies (Oxford University Press, 2017), Matteo Bonotti answers these questions from a Rawlsian perspective, by arguing that political parties are crucial and vital to the project of political liberalism. According to him, not only Rawls’s ideal of public reason allows significant scope for partisan advocacy and partisan pluralism, but political parties also greatly contribute to reaching an overlapping consensus, which grants stability for the right reasons in democratic societies.

There is a growing and rich discussion on these topics, which this issue of Philosophy and Public Issues intends to capture and explore. We encourage submissions of original papers that philosophically explore aspects of partisanship, public reason, and their relation from a normative perspective and possibly engage with Bonotti’s work.

We expect original contributions discussing problems such as (but not limited to):

– the place of political parties in liberal politics;

– public reason and partisan advocacy;

– populist parties and public reason;

– normative theories of partisanship;

– partisans’ political obligations and duties;

– free speech, partisan speech and hate speech;

– … or any other relevant topic, subject to the Editors’ approval.

Submission Details

Please send a (.odt, .doc or .docx) file containing a long abstract (1,000 words max) and a title, prepared for blind review with all revealing references to the author removed. All personal information (name, affiliation, and contact) must be submitted separately, along with a short abstract (200 words max). Deadline for abstract submission is June, 30, 2020. Decisions will be made within a month.

All material should be submitted sending an e-mail to special issue’s editors [email protected] and [email protected] and PPI’s managing editor [email protected]

Upon notification of acceptance, you will be invited to submit the full paper (9,000 words max) no later than December, 31, 2020. The volume will be published in 2021.

Further Inquiries

Please direct any queries about this call for papers to PPI’s Editor at [email protected]. More information on the Philosophy and Public Issues can be found at

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