The New School for Social Research's Seventh Annual Radical Democracy Conference: 


New York City, April 27-28, 2018.

Keynote speaker: Professor Martin Breaugh (York University)

Deadline for abstract submission: February 15, 2018

The Department of Politics at The New School for Social Research is sponsoring its 7th Annual graduate student conference on the concept, history, practices and implications of radical democracy.

If the preconditions for the rise of the far-right, xenophobia, white supremacy, ethno-nationalism, right-wing populism, religious fundamentalism and fascism can be found within liberal democracy and neo-liberalism, laying bare the violent foundations of the liberal democratic project, then what hope can theories of radical democracy offer toward re-founding society on democratic principles? How have the rise of social movements such as Occupy, the Arab Spring, Rojava, Black Lives Matter, Standing Rock, 15M, AntiFa, and the emergence of left alternatives such as Podemos, MAS and Syriza both exposed the contradictions of institutionalism, capitalism, rule of law, deliberation and other aspects of liberal democracy, and also illuminated the need for radical democratic alternatives? How can we draw inspiration from movements of resistance and networks of solidarity from those being organized inside prisons and detention centers to those occurring from Ferguson to Palestine? How can radical democratic theories help us to (re)imagine strategies of resistance and beyond, opening up new prospects of what is to be done?

We invite abstracts and panel proposals that deal with these questions or other themes dealing with the implications or critiques of radical democracy in our current historical conjuncture. We welcome papers that engage with the myriad of radical democratic theories, from a historical perspective investigating its salience in the history of political thought to more contemporary formulations like Abensour, Brown, Castoriadis, Davis, García Linera, Laclau, Mouffe, Negri, Rancière and Wolin among others. Proposals should not be limited to this list, on the contrary, we are particularly interested in papers and panels utilizing or critiquing the concept of radical democracy itself from the point of view of feminism, post- anti- or de-colonialism, queer theory, indigenous studies, disability studies, critical race theory, or social movements.

Our keynote speaker is Martin Breaugh, Associate Professor of Political Theory at York University (Toronto). His research focuses on the theory and practice of emancipatory politics and radical democracy. He is the author of The Plebeian Experience. A Discontinuous History of Political Freedom published in Paris in 2007 and translated in 2013 at Columbia University Press. He is also the author of the co-edited volume, Thinking Radical Democracy: The Return to Politics in Post-war France, published in 2015.

For individual paper proposals, please submit a one-page abstract (max. 300 words) that includes institutional affiliation, academic level and contact information. Complete panel proposals with up to four papers are strongly encouraged. Please submit your paper or panel abstracts by February 15, 2018 to Selected participants will be notified early March. Full conference papers are due by April 15th, 2018.



Hello RD friends!

Due to the various complications of conference planning, we were not able to pull off the Sixth Annual RD Conference in 2016 as originally planned, so we decided to push it back a bit to the spring of 2017. The CFP is now out, so please consider submitting something for this year's conference. We look forward to seeing all of you in New York City in May of 2017!

Sixth Annual Radical Democracy Conference
May 5-6, 2017 | NYC


The Department of Politics at the New School for Social Research embraces the occasion of the 6th Annual Radical Democracy Conference to ask what’s the matter? As a springboard into the material, practical, historical, lived, aesthetic, discursive and theoretical manifestations of Radical Democracy, and the constellation of claims with which it is associated. As preceding conferences have done, RD#6th will consider the theory and practice of radical democracy in its historical and contemporary settings.

This year’s theme is galvanized by an attention to the mattering happening all around us, and the ways these matters make radical claims upon the demos — popular sovereignty, demagoguery and tyranny, fascism and anti-fascist uprisings, racial justice, freedom struggles, declarations of defiance, resistance to oppression and colonial violence, and ongoing grassroots organizing; from Palestine to Ferguson, Aleppo to Charlotte, London to New York, Oaxaca to Athens, Dhaka to Rio de Janeiro; people rise up in defense of water, land and democratic sovereignty; create migrant spaces of refuge, and enact critical multi-species with-standings around the world. As always we urge submissions of panel and paper abstracts that take up the theme of Radical Democracy in all its global resonance.

You can read the (updated) full CFP here.


Please submit your panel or paper abstracts by March 5, 2017 - March 17th to Full conference papers are due by April 9, 2017 - April 21, 2017.

We have received some questions about the livestream videos from the 2015 conference. Sadly we only had a free Livestream account, so they do not provide dedicated storage, so they videos were only up for about a month. We have low-res copies of the stream sessions, as well as some better quality of the keynote with Michael Hardt and others, which we are working on uploading and will post here once done. Sorry to everyone looking for those videos at the moment...please bare with us!

We want to thank everyone that came out for the 5th Annual Radical Democracy conference at The New School for Social Research. Once again, we had a great series of panels and discussions, as well as a great roundtable and keynote talk. If you missed something, the event videos can be watched either on our youtube channel, or the livestream archives. We are slowly adding higher quality versions of some of the main events to our YouTube channel, but all the events can be seen in the two livestream archived, all of which is posted under our Videos link the main menu (also here). As a special thank you, here's a solidarity photo which we took during the afternoon of one of the event to support the Maagdenhuis student occupations.

Maagdenhuis_Solidarity_2015We look forward to seeing all of you, and even more new folks, at the 6th Annual Radical Democracy Conference in 2016!

2015 posterWe're excited to announce the final schedule is now ready for our 5th Annual Radical Democracy Conference at The New School for Social Research (NSSR). Below is the schedule for Friday and Saturday. You can also download a pdf copy here [Schedule PDF].

(* Schedule was updated on 4/7)

Friday, April 10

10am: Registration (Wolff Room)

10:30am: Opening Remarks - Andreas Kalyvas, NSSR (Wolff Room)

11am: Panel I (A & B)

Session A: Councils, Commune(-ism) and Radical Democracy (Wolff Room)

  1. Radical Democracy in the French Revolution” - Nicolai Von Eggers Mariegaard, Aarhus University

  2. Inaugural Investigations: Revolutionary Councils and Radical Democracy” - Benjamin Ask Popp-Madsen, University of Copenhagen

  3. The concept of politics in Badiou and Castoriadis” - Gerasimos Karavitis, NSSR

  • Discussant. Andreas Kalyvas, NSSR

Session B: Embodying Discarnate Narratives (Room: 1108) ...continue reading

The CFP is now closed for submissions. The RD review committee is evaluating all proposals, and will be in touch in the coming month with responses to all submissions. Once we have a final schedule of the panels, and a draft conference agenda, we will post both here. Thanks to everyone who submitted a paper or panel proposal.

We are also considering the possibility of live-streaming the keynote talk by Michael Hardt, and possibly other sessions, depending. Stay tuned for more updates.