Author Archives: Christian Rostbøll

Call for Papers: “Compromise and Representation”

An International Conference at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark
December 12-14, 2017

Keynote Speakers
Eric Beerbohm (Harvard University)
Sofia Näsström (Uppsala University)
Simon May (Florida State University)
Melissa Schwartzberg (New York University)

We live in times that are haunted by profound disagreements over what counts as democratic politics. Some people believe that democracy does not deliver on its promise to give “the power to the people.” But what some regard as giving the power back to the people and taking back control, others regard as undermining the fundamental principles of democracy. How can we, as political theorists and philosophers, make sense of these disagreements? How do we combine the necessity and value of representation and compromise with fundamental democratic principles of equality and freedom? read more...

Posted in Notices | Leave a comment

CFP: Putting Truth in the Second Place: On Compromise, Religion and Politics

International conference hosted by the research project COMPROMISE, University of Copenhagen.

6th-7th December 2016.

Keynote Speakers: Cécile Laborde (University College London), Lorenzo Zucca (King’s College London) and Julie E. Cooper (Tel Aviv University).

Invited Speakers: Todd Weir (Queen’s University Belfast), Yolande Jansen (University of Amsterdam) and Carlo I. Accetti (The City College of New York).

Discussions on religion and politics have intensified in recent years and most of them have been as controversial as difficult to resolve. Examples include the exposure of religious symbols in public spaces, tensions between various human rights and religion (such as Western promotion of religious freedom abroad), and historical and current compromises between political and religious actors (for instance public funding of religious communities). read more...

Posted in Calls for Papers, Conferences | Leave a comment


Call for papers

Conference on “Compromise and Disagreement”

27-29 May, 2015

Department of Political Science

University of Copenhagen, Denmark


Eric Beerbohm (Harvard)

Richard Bellamy (UCL)

Michael Freeden (Nottingham)

Alin Fumurescu (Yale)

Lea Ypi (LSE)

Modern society is characterised by disagreement and pluralism, and it is largely this fact that makes politics necessary. In the contemporary world, political institutions and laws must coordinate the actions of millions of people who disagree at many different levels. Liberal theory has traditionally focused on disagreement between different conceptions of the good and more recently on disagreement about justice. But disagreement might also concern facts: Is global warming caused by human activity? Or the means: Which institutions best secure freedom of religion? What are the best means for protecting the climate? And when we agree on fundamental issues, e.g. human rights or protecting the climate, we often disagree on which institutions at the national and international level ought to promote them: How should the three branches of government relate to each other? Which role should international or global institutions play? Thus, a political theory that aims to be realistic in terms of beginning from the fact of disagreement cannot merely see disagreement as a result of human self-interest, nor should it see disagreement merely as a matter of disagreement on ends or justice. Citizens disagree in good faith at many different levels – and so do political theorists and philosophers. read more...

Posted in Conferences | Leave a comment

Autonomy, Respect, and Arrogance in the Danish Cartoon Controversy

Autonomy, Respect, and Arrogance in the Danish Cartoon Controversy

Hi everyone,

I have been working for a while on a paper, which was provoked by the cartoons of Muhammad that were published in Denmark in 2005 and created an international uproar. In the Danish public debate about the cartoons there were a number of dividing lines, but the one I find of particular interest from the perspective of political theory is one drawn between standing firm on Enlightenment values (freedom of expression and democracy) versus giving in to the demand for respect for religious feelings. In my paper I relate this contrast to Galston’s contrast between Enlightenment and Reformation Liberalism, autonomy and diversity. In short, I reject Galston’s dichotomy and argue that the Enlightenment value of autonomy is not the culprit; it is not this principle that is to blame for the lack of respect for Muslims in the Danish cartoon controversy. To make this argument I distinguish different ways in which “autonomy” may be used. In particular, I am concerned with how autonomy is used in justifications for freedom of expression and whether these uses are incompatible with respect for diversity. I argue that if we understand the autonomy that freedom of expression is justified with reference to not as a character ideal that has to be promoted but as a capacity we presuppose everyone has, then this principle rather than creating hierarchies among forms of life is an indispensable principle for grounding equal respect. Properly understood, a commitment to autonomy is not a threat to respect for difference but its precondition. read more...

Posted in Posts, Working Papers | 6 Comments