The Centre for Citizenship, Civil Society and Rule of Law (CISRUL) at the University of Aberdeen is offering funding for speakers to participate in an inter-disciplinary workshop on 'Political Community' to be held on Tuesday 25 - Wednesday 26 June 2013. Confirmed speakers include Margaret Somers (Sociology and History, Michigan), Ajay Gudavarthy (Politics, JNU), Sian Lazar (Anthropology, Cambridge), John Perry (Theology, Oxford), Nigel Dower (Philosophy, Aberdeen) and Tamas Gyorfi (Law, Aberdeen).
Notions of political community are implicit in many or most contemporary debates – academic and public – of citizenship, civil society and rule of law, as well as of democracy, multiculturalism and human rights. But they are seldom made explicit and subject to analysis and reflection. That has also been our experience at CISRUL. Having debated and discussed aspects of citizenship, civil society and rule of law in a series of events since our founding in 2009, we have identified political community as a topic that crosscuts the three but which we have yet to comprehend fully, and are seeking papers that address the following questions:
1. When “political community” has been the explicit topic of debates, in particular times and places, what is meant by “political” and what is meant by “community”? What is not considered political and what is not community? To give just two examples, how is political community distinguished from religious community? And community from society?
2. What notions of political community have been caught up in citizenship, civil society and rule of law? Does citizenship, for example, always entail political community?
3. Can we identify political community beyond citizenship, civil society and rule of law? For example, are universities political communities? How about families, businesses and churches? Is multitude, as Hardt and Negri suggest, an emergent form of political community? What other emergent political communities might there be?
The workshop will be followed by a PhD summer school, which will be announced separately.
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