CFP: Extended deadline -Democracy and Legitimacy: Dealing with Extremism

Democracy and Legitimacy: Dealing with Extremism.
22nd -23rd July 2010
Central European University,
Budapest, Hungary.
(Extended deadline, 15th May 2010)
Please submit a 400 words abstract, suitable for blind review to or to by the 15th May 2010. The conference is free of charge, but participants will need to provide for their own travel costs.

Twenty years after the fall of Communism we witness an important rise in support for right wing political parties across Europe. In the last European elections the vote shifted to the right dramatically. Worryingly, far right political parties have fared well recently in the UK, Bulgaria, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands and Hungary. All of these countries have representatives from far right wing parties in the European Parliament. Many analysts suggest that people are turning to the far right groups as a reaction to (what they perceive as) shortcomings in democratic regimes.

In the face of these developments several questions arise: what resources does democracy have to resist far right parties? And more generally how should liberal democracy respond to illiberal groups? In many cases, these groups challenge the limits of free speech, making necessary to reflect once again on to what extent and why even “hate speech” ought to be protected against legal restrictions. On a related note, some governments have reacted against some groups by restricting the scope of free association or by interfering with the entry policies of some groups. Are there any limits to private association?
Meanwhile, the rise of the extreme right, together with heightened discrimination and segregation of disadvantaged minority groups give rise to another set of related questions about what governments may do to protect and assist these groups which might not be able to protect themselves, which might not be able to respond to prejudice against them. Is it permissible to restrict privacy rights by registering ethnic data in order to help fight against discrimination? Is it permissible to use such data for the purpose of reverse discrimination?

The conference is motivated by two sets of reasons: on the one hand we aim to discuss how the recent ‘turn to the right’ might affect liberal democracy and what can be done about it. On the other hand, we plan to do this by bringing together experts in both political theory, legal studies, public and social policy. We believe that cross-fertilisation is beneficial for all camps of enquiry. Therefore, we invite contributions both from a theoretical and a practical perspective.

We invite papers including, but not limited to, the following topics:
Freedom of expression, regulation of “hate speech”
Discrimination (both negative and positive)
Freedom of association
Freedom of assembly
Political campaign regulations
Media regulations
Protection of privacy, protection of personal data
State neutrality

Invited speakers:

Matthew Clayton (University of Warwick).
Thomas Christiano (University of Arizona)
Andrew Williams (University of Warwick)
Nils Holtug (University of Copenhagen)
Nikolai Sitter (Central European University)
Emanuela Ceva (University of Pavia)

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