Author Archives: Rebecca Reilly-Cooper

CFP: ‘Liberalism and the Family’, MANCEPT Workshops in Political Theory, 31 Aug – 2 Sept 2011

MANCEPT Workshops in Political Theory, 8th Annual Conference

Manchester, 31 August – 2 September 2011

Call for papers: Liberalism and the Family

The particular difficulty that liberals have in dealing with the internal affairs of families is now well established and remains a contentious and vibrant area of debate. This broad-based workshop is designed to bring together those who are working on any question related to how liberalism ought to view, and deal with, relationships within the family. We invite any papers, or suggestions for roundtable discussions, related to liberalism and the family.  Here are some suggested questions, although we will consider any proposals and papers related to the broader theme. read more...

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CFP: MANCEPT Workshops in Political Theory 2011

Eighth Annual Conference: August 31-September 2nd 2011

Final Call for Convenors – Deadline for Submission: 28th February 

From 2011, the Manchester Centre for Political Theory (MANCEPT) in Politics at the University of Manchester will be organizing the annual Political Theory Workshops. Over the last seven years, participants from over twenty countries have come together in a series of workshops concerned with issues in political theory/philosophy widely construed. This note is a call for convenors for the 2011 workshops.

Workshop Structure  

Convenors organize a workshop which can have between 3 and 12 paper-givers.  The reading of these papers takes place over four sessions, each lasting three and a half hours. For workshops with just 3 paper givers this normally requires only one session, with 6 papers 2 sessions and so on. In most cases, paper-givers will be asked to speak for 30 minutes, and will then field questions and comments for a further 30 minutes. However, workshop convenors are free to organize the length of the presentation and question time as they see fit.  In short, a workshop can last for one session, or it may extend through all four sessions. For example, some may find it convenient to squeeze four paper-givers into one session or use 2 sessions with 2 papers read per session. Also, if a workshop has, say, 5 paper-givers, the second session can finish an hour early. On occasion workshop convenors in the past have had a ’round table’ discussion about a particular topic. This could have up to six speakers and would normally last for only one session.

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Final Call For Papers – 14th Brave New World Graduate Conference in Political Theory

Brave New World 2009, the Fourteenth Annual Postgraduate Conference organised under the auspices of the Manchester Centre for Political Theory (MANCEPT), will take place on Tuesday 23rd and Wednesday 24th June 2009 at the University of Manchester.

We are pleased to announce that our guest speakers this year are:
Professor Chandran Kukathas (London School of Economics)
Dr Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen (University of Copenhagen)

Deadline for submission of abstracts: March 31st 2009

The Brave New World conference series is now established as a leading international forum exclusively dedicated to the discussion of postgraduate research in political theory. The conference offers a great opportunity for postgraduates from many different countries and universities to share experiences, concerns and research interests, to exchange stimulating ideas and to make new friends – all in a financially accessible and highly informal setting.

Participants will also have the chance to meet and talk about their work with eminent academics, including members of faculty from the University of Manchester as well as our guest speakers, who will deliver keynote addresses at the event. Guest speakers in previous years have included Brian Barry, Simon Caney, G.A. Cohen, Cecile Fabre, Jerry Gaus, Peter Jones, Susan Mendus, David Miller, Onora O’Neill, Michael Otsuka, Bhikhu Parekh, Carole Pateman, Anne Philips, Thomas Pogge, Henry Shue, Quentin Skinner, Adam Swift, Philippe Van Parijs, Andrew Williams, and Jonathan Wolff.

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Estlund Reading Group Chapter 10

[David’s response to Harry on chap. 9 is now below this post, so don’t miss it — SCM]


In this chapter, Estlund seeks to identify the correct role played by an ideal deliberative situation in democratic theory. He argues that while in practice, democratic communication should not aim to resemble ideal deliberation, nonetheless the idea has an important function as a template through which to examine real-life instances of democratic communication and identify deviations from the ideal. Real deliberative practices and institutions should not aim to mirror the model deliberative situation because when epistemic distortions arise as a result of deviations from the ideal, it may be justified to employ further deviations to remedy these. This leads him to defend a model of wide civility for the informal political sphere, which makes room for sharp, disruptive and even suppressive forms of participation under certain circumstances. This wide version of civility is appropriate only for the informal public sphere, however. In formal political institutions such as the courts and legislatures the norms of narrow civility still apply. In summary then, it seems that there are three main arguments at work in this chapter: (1) that the appropriate way to think of the ideal deliberative situation is not as a set of prescriptions for citizens to aim at, but rather as an analytical tool for diagnosing and remedying failures; (2) that there might be good epistemic reasons to reject the narrow civility inherent in model deliberation in favour of a wider version; and (3) that while the use of countervailing deviations from the ideal might be appropriate in the informal political sphere, formal instances of political deliberation ought still to be governed by the requirements of narrow civility.

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