Friday, 30 November 2012

Call for Papers - extended deadline, 7 Dec 2012

Extended deadline, December 7, 2012

Democracy Promotion: Hegemony, Resistance and the Shifting Discourses of Democracy in International Relations
February 1, 2013
Senate House, University of London

The School of Advanced Study’s Institute for the Study of the Americas and the University of Westminster’s Department of Politics and International Relations are jointly hosting an international conference on democracy promotion at Senate House, University of London on February 1, 2013.

Despite the backlash against democracy promotion and the crisis of liberalism, including the current world financial crisis, democracy in international relations has demonstrated remarkable staying power. While the times of grand declarations of the spread democracy in the world seem to have passed, democracy has remained integral to international policy concerns. It is inextricably linked with policy areas such as development, conflict management and state-building. Recently, events in the Arab world seem to have reinvigorated debates on democracy as an international policy concern. These developments, therefore, provide a unique moment in time to revisit the discursive and political aspects of democracy promotion.

This conference critically examines contemporary conceptions of democracy in discourses and practices of major international actors and examines shifts and continuities in the rationalities as well as modalities of its promotion. It wishes to explore what current and historical perspectives on foreign-induced democratization reveal about world order, state-society relations and the exercise of power in international relations.

The keynote address will be by Professor Laurence Whitehead (University of Oxford). Professor Whitehead will be discussing what conception of democracy is implied when it is claimed that democracy can be “exported”. He considers that if such “exports” persist, regardless of the outcomes, this will affect how democracy is imagined and evaluated.

The conference is supported by the Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding. Potential publication options of selected papers will be considered, such as a special issue or an edited volume.

Paper proposals
We invite paper proposals on any topics related to the conference theme (see below). Please submit paper proposals of 350 words to Matthew Alan Hill at and Jessica Schmidt at Any questions about any aspects of the submission process should also be directed to the academic convenors.

The deadline for abstract submission is December 7, 2012. An earlier submission is encouraged. Successful submissions will be notified by December 10, 2012. The deadline for paper submission is January 18, 2013.

The conference will evolve around the following topics and questions:

Democracy Promotion: Continuity and Change
· How do past experiences with promoting democracy, such as the Marshall Plan reconstruction of Europe or the third wave of democratization in Latin America, affect contemporary approaches?
· How is democracy promotion historically related to US and Western interests more broadly?
· How has the conceptualization of democracy promotion shifted in the post-Cold War era?

Institutional Differences in Democracy Promotion
· Which conceptualisations of democracy underpin the policy and practices of major actors in the field such as the US, EU, IOs and IFIs?
·  What is the role of the ‘governance turn’ for the promoters’ understanding of democracy and how has the rise of governance affected the vision of democracy and the modalities of its promotion?
· How has the shift away from conditionality affected the discourses and practices of democracy promotion, and how has it affected power relations between donors and recipients?

Resistance and Challenges to Democracy Promotion
· What accounts for past and present difficulties in externally-induced democratization?
· Does the Arab Spring constitute new limits or opportunities to democracy promotion?
·  How have resistance and challenges to democratization affected its practices as well as the understanding of democracy?

The Future of Democracy Promotion?
·  Is the emblematic phrase “no state, no democracy” (Linz & Stepan 1996) still – or again – valid for the promotion of democracy today?
· How have the perceptions and/or construction of state-society relations changed, and what are their effects on the role and understanding of democracy and its implementation?
·  Do (new) approaches and concepts such as empowerment, participation and local ownership have emancipatory potential?
· Are there links between narratives of resilience and sustainability and contemporary democracy promotion? If so, how can we conceptualise these links? How do they manifest themselves?
· What has been the impact of the recent backlash against democracy promotion on the democracy agenda of Western countries?

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