Department of Politics, University of York
Rethinking Civil Society: History, Theory, Critique
RL-2016-044, Leverhulme Trust Research Leadership Award
First Part: Civic Virtue to Civil War (20-21 May)
Second Part: Between Civil War and Revolution (23-24 May)
The two workshops explore the ubiquitous and generic vocabularies of civil society from the early modern period up to the twentieth century in both a European and global context.
Here the workshops aim to explore how a breakdown in unity and concord within different political communities placed ideas of civic virtue under intense pressure; and how this came to reshape ideas of civic participation, which became increasingly violent and confrontational. The workshops also look to explore how the vocabularies of civil society operated differently in different cultural and linguistic contexts, as well as across time. We are asking how we might construct “global genealogies” and whether there is a common set of vocabularies associated with civil society?
The first workshop looks at different moments in early modernity when growing religious division, a humanist reengagement with republican thought and citizenship, alongside the emergence of ‘statist’ thought and European colonial expansion, challenged the vocabularies of civil society. The second workshop continues this story up to the twentieth century, when those vocabularies which had emerged out of the early modern period met with the new legitimating forces of populism, democracy and revolution.
Thursday, 23 May
9:15-9:30 Registration and Welcome
Humanism in Strife
9:30-11:00 John McCormick (Chicago)
Machiavelli on Conflict and Virtue: Historical Reflections, Contemporary Implications
11:00-11:30 Coffee Break
11:30-13:00 Murad Idris (Virginia)
Re-Orienting Luther: Soldiers, Missionaries, Second-Comings
In the Shadow of Revolutions
14:00-15:30 Georgios Varouxakis (QM London)
John Stuart Mill on revolution and civil war
15:30-16:00 Coffee Break
16:00-17:30 Liisi Keedus (Talinn)
“The snake biting its own tail”: Karl Barth on revolution, war and civil society
Friday, 24 May
The Question of Civility
9:30-11:00 Zsofia Lorand (Lichtenberg-Kolleg, Göttingen)
Intellectual Women and Post-WWII Reconceptualisation of Democracy and Civil Society in East Central Europe. Case Studies from Hungary and Yugoslavia
11:00-11:30 Coffee Break
Liberalisms of Fear
11:30-13:00 Aishwary Kumar (Stanford/Göttingen)
The Logic of Political Cruelty: Ambedkar, Arendt, Shklar (and the New Civil War)
14:00-15:30 Martin van Gelderen (Lichtenberg-Kolleg, Göttingen)
Where There is God: Fear and Desperation in the Diaries of Anne Frank.