Call for Papers “Liberal Responses to the Twin Challenge of Populism”

The current challenge for democrats that subscribe to some form of classical liberalism is to walk the tight rope between two types of populism: while the populists on the street proclaim that the truth in political matters is manifest to common sense, the silent buzzling technocratic offices of the commanding heights proclaim that there is no alternative to their vision of social progress. Classical liberals may have contributed to the ideological superstructure of both developments. By issuing this Call for Papers, the NOUS Network aims to provide an open platform for scholars to discuss and engage with this challenge in a format that encourages speculative and broad-strokes reasoning. 

We plan an online (or possibly in-person) academic workshop with around 10 papers in the fall of 2022. The selected scholars will receive a honorarium of 800 euros after attending the workshop and contributing, up to 10 months later, a piece to a collected volume, to be published at De Gruyter.

We invite contributions that respond to the twin challenge of populism against three particular sets of questions: a) Does classical liberalism need to re-think its relationship to democracy? In particular, we invite scholars to take up the challenge posed by left-wing cosmopolitans that urge classical liberals to reexamine their relationship towards democratic governance schemes in the political sphere. Moreover, we invite scholars to b) reflect on the potential benefits and threats of the digital transformation to democratic governance in the future. Finally, we c) encourage the submission of probing, early-stage research proposals that aim to develop classical liberalism at the conceptual or institutional level in the face of the twin challenge of populism.

Scholars should submit a 500-word abstract for a paper until the 31 December 2021. For the submission form and further information see here.