2017 Call for Papers

We are delighted to announce the call for papers for the 8th Annual London Graduate Conference in the History of Political Thought. The conference keynote address will be delivered by Annabel Brett (Cambridge), and the closing roundtable features Valentina Arena (UCL), Richard Bourke (QMUL), Nicola Miller (UCL) and Quentin Skinner (QMUL).



Fractured States in the History of Political Thought

Eighth Annual London Graduate Conference in the History of Political Thought

University College London (UCL)
29-30 June 2017

Keynote speaker: Dr. Annabel Brett (University of Cambridge)

The imminent centenaries of the Russian Revolution and the enactment of the Mexican Revolutionary Constitution, the quincentenary of the Reformation, as well as the heightened sensitivity in contemporary political discourse towards the politics of inclusion and exclusion, remind us of the extent to which division has been an enduring characteristic of political life. The motif of fractured territories, commonwealths, and states of being has been a feature of political writing since ancient times, with authors both warning against sliding into tyranny and anarchy, and theorising the conditions necessary to mend the many fault lines along which mankind has been divided. Political thinkers have long probed the question of which divisions have been the most challenging to overcome and reckon with, reflecting on the possible socio-economic, environmental, cultural, and psychological barriers that drive wedges between citizens and subjects of, or participants in various political spaces and institutions. Indeed, under what circumstances do states fracture, and what features are symptomatic of their fracturing? Why do members of various polities and lands experience such vastly divergent states of being? How have cracks within and between societies been healed or exploited by various historical actors? In light of these considerations and their resonance with contemporary complexities of globalisation, new nationalist politics, and the movement, rejection, and demonisation of peoples, our conference therefore invites proposals for papers and panels on Fractured States in the History of Political Thought.

We welcome proposals for papers and panels from any period and discipline, with ‘states’ construed as widely as possible. Applicants may wish to consider some of the following themes:

  • Revolutions, revolts, civil wars, and other social upheavals
  • Schisms and secessions within societies and religions
  • Haves and have nots: inequality and discrimination
  • Imperia in imperiis: orders and corporations
  • Divisions within the self, e.g. reason vs. the passions
  • (De)colonialisation and empire
  • Political, social, economic (dis)unions
  • Reconstituting and overcoming disunities

To submit a paper or panel proposal, please email a CV and abstract of no more than 500 words for presentations of 20 minutes per paper to hptconference2017@gmail.com by 28 February 2017, 23:59 GMT. Panel proposals should also include titles of individual papers. Successful applicants will be notified by 31 March 2017.