Conference 2011

Call for Papers:

Human Nature and Diversity in the History of Political Thought

London: 9-10 May 2011

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Call for Papers

The phenomenon of human diversity has long been a potent issue in the history of political thought. Diversities of race, religion, morality, gender, sexuality, cultural customs and so on have posed, and continue to pose, vitally important questions regarding how humans govern themselves and each other. Such questions are often in tension with debates about what constitutes ‘human nature’, or indeed if there is such a thing as human nature.

The 2011 conference will aim to address some of the following themes:

  • Universalism and relativism
  • Historical moments of encounter
  • Conflict and resolution
  • Governing diversity and self-government
  • Theories of natural law and humanism
  • Scientific theories of human nature and diversity
  • Colonialism and post-colonialism
  • Diversity and territory
  • Assimilation and homogeneity
  • Globalization, localization and the nation state
  • Religion, secularization and spirituality
  • Toleration, freedom of speech and the public sphere
  • Citizenship, participation and inclusion

The goal of this year’s conference is to establish a dialogue between the variety of approaches to this subject and to create a space for a constructive discussion of ideas about human nature and diversity. We are now inviting proposals from graduates working in the history of political thought, political theory, philosophy, literary studies, anthropology, classics and other related fields. Authors will be encouraged to address the themes listed above, but we also invite submissions on other topics that explore the development of, and interaction between, the ideas of human nature and diversity.

As well as at least three postgraduate panels, there will be a keynote address by Dr Noel Malcolm (All Souls College, Oxford), and comments from Professors Jeremy Jennings (QMUL) and Quentin Skinner (QMUL).

Participants in the conference will also have the opportunity to be included in our online, peer-edited publication: the Journal of Intellectual History and Political Thought. More information will follow upon acceptance to the conference. For those unable to attend, we encourage submission of review articles (between 500 and 1000 words) to the Journal for publication.


To register for the conference, please complete the form on the right of this page. We will email back with details of how you can log onto the site and view abstracts from the papers in the lead up to the conference. Registration is free.


If you would like to apply to speak at the conference, please email an abstract of no more than 300 words for papers of 25-30 minutes, along with a CV to the address below no later than 31st January 2011.