Democracy in Global Perspective:
Globalization, Neo-liberalism, and Resistance
Third Oxford Graduate Conference in Political Theory
University of Oxford | 28th-29th April 2014
Contemporary processes of neo-liberal globalization present significant challenges for democratic politics: notably , the concentration of power in multinational corporations and financial capital, the growing influence of international political and financial institutions, and widening inequalities within and between states. The past few decades, however, have also been characterized by a range of radically democratic practices of resistance, encompassing the ‘alter-globalization’ movement, the so-called ‘pink tide’ in Latin America, and protest movements against austerity in more recent years.
This conference aims to advance discussion on core elements of democratic theory—popular sovereignty, citizenship, and human emancipation—and what they might mean in a global perspective, beyond the nation-state. It seeks to explore the challenges and possibilities facing contemporary democratic politics by addressing, for example, global structures of power that escape popular control.
In an era of neo-liberal capitalist globalization, whither democracy? When more and more areas of public life are being subjected to the demands of the market rather than the democratic forum, are we necessarily consigned to a de-politicizing, technocratic mode of governance? What avenues still remain for democratic politics, and what role do grassroots resistance movements have to play in this respect? This conference encourages papers addressing such concerns, and related issues, from a range of approaches within political theory.
Two keynote addresses will be given by Professor Wendy Brown (Berkeley) and Dr. Rahul Rao (SOAS).
We invite proposals for papers from graduate students working in diverse theoretical traditions, including critical social theory, philosophy, political economy, geography, history, and international relations. Practitioners and scholar-activists are also encouraged to attend and participate. Accepted papers will be arranged into themed panels, including discussion by Oxford graduate students and faculty members. There will also be a roundtable discussion involving Oxford faculty and the keynote speakers.
Relevant topics may include, but are not limited to:
- Global governance, global capital, and state sovereignty
- Global financial and economic crisis
- Austerity, debt, and structural adjustment
- Feminist perspectives on global political economy
- Gender, agency, and resistance
- Empire, neo-imperialism, and Third World resistance
- Uneven development, international trade, and the world system
- Commodification of the global commons
- Global supply chains and organized labour
- Land, ecology, and indigenous resistance
- Globalization from below: local and global citizenship
- Space, place, and migration
- Transnational social movements and global solidarity
- Neo-liberal governance and the democratic subject
Proposals should be no longer than 500 words for papers of approximately 20 minutes. We welcome proposals that address the intersections of multiple topics. Submissions are due by 31st January 2014 and accepted papers must follow in full by 31st March 2014. Please submit abstracts formatted for blind review, along with your name and a brief academic CV, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration details to follow shortly.