VIU will hold the fourth edition of the Venice Multidisciplinary World Conference on Republics and Republicanism on May 24-26, 2024. This three-day edition will include research papers and multidisciplinary roundtables.
The conference will primarily reflect on armed conflicts in the republican tradition, with a special attention to four main areas:
- War and the Republic: from the role of war in providing conditions for class struggle in ancient republics, to the art of war of the Renaissance and the role of the military in the formation, dissolution, and maintenance of ancient, modern, and contemporary republics. Of special interest is the political economy of wars and its impact on republican orders.
- Republican Rebellion and the State: from modern revolutions invoking republican principles and rhetoric, to contemporary forms of republican-inspired movements and their relation to the State. Of special interest are the memorialization of republican leaders and events as well as the dismantling of imperial and oligarchic symbols.
- Empires and Republics: from wars between empires and republics and the different principles and objectives that emerge in conflict, to the international architecture necessary to foster republican government. Of special interest are historical accounts of clashes between empires and republics and their depiction in works of fiction and science fiction, as well as theoretical engagements with Pettit’s ‘republican law of peoples.’
- War and Peace: challenges to democratic republics coming from the negative effects of war, from debt and the increasing power of the financial-military complex to forced migration, the rise of nationalism, the restriction of rights, and environmental destruction. Of special interest are theories of republican transitional justice, historical accounts of forced migration into ancient and modern republics, and republican analyses of contemporary challenges within the EU and other regional and/or national systems.
Research papers might also reflect the main themes of the 60th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, curated by Adriano Pedrosa: Stranieri Ovunque – Foreigners Everywhere.
Richard Whatmore, Director Institute of Intellectual History, University of St. Andrews
Sophie Wahnich, CNRS-PACTE, Laboratoire des Sciences Sociales, Grenoble Alpes
HOW TO APPLY
Any scholar interested in participating in the Conference is invited to send a paper title with an abstract of approximately 250 words plus their CV and full contact address (including email) to email@example.com and in CC firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deadline extended: December 30, 2023.
Notifications of paper acceptance/rejection will be sent by January 10, 2024.
Registrations will be open in mid-January.
Registration fee is 50 Euro.
It is possible to book a room in the island where Venice International University and the conference are based.
If your paper has been accepted and you wish to book a room, please fill out this form and send it to email@example.com.
The availability of rooms is limited.
The deadline to book your accommodation on the island is February 29, 2024.
THE AIM OF THE CONFERENCE SERIES
The aim is to meet every two years to discuss Republicanism in a broad, multidisciplinary and worldwide perspective.
During recent decades, Republicanism has become a central concern in political theory and history. This body of thought emerged as the main alternative to Liberalism, when Marxism lost this role after the fall of the Berlin Wall. There is a renewed interest today, while searching for solutions to mounting populism and personalization of power; the issue of inequality and the crisis of democracies. Republicanism - as a study of classical Athens and Rome and then Renaissance Florence, Venice and other self-governing units - has been branded as ‘a shared European heritage'. Its distinguishing feature has been to focus on the diverse political mechanisms to avert tyranny, on balancing power and attaining mixed government, and on ensuring forms of participation in the process of law-making, protecting from constraints and conceiving liberty as non-domination. Such practices have been key for experiments in democratic rule all over the world.
The conference wants to promote further theoretical and historical reflections on such experience, broadening the focus to non-European case-studies and perspectives, to late modern and contemporary times, opening to every possible discipline. Republicanism is not a dead body confined to the studies of the past: rather it is about rediscovering the past to offer novel solutions for the problems of today. The idea, hence, is to convert it into a frame in which to discuss and clarify contemporary issues and concerns and even, if possible, into a common background theory for existing empirical political practices, including eco- democracy, participatory budgets, the defense of the commons and public space, communal practices and rights, and resistance to domination.
Scholars from all disciplines, from the Venice International University consortium and beyond, are invited to join in. The aim is to consolidate a network of people interested in the project. The objective is to have biennial conferences in the field and convert this event into a permanent workshop. Given our commitment to gender, racial, ethnic, and territorial inclusion, we especially welcome submission from women and non-binary scholars as well as from underrepresented minority groups and academics from the Global South.
A WORLDWIDE AND MULTIDISCIPLINARY PERSPECTIVE
The main groups of themes we wish to cover:
1) Political theory and philosophy of Republicanism. This is an area of contributions which is most conceptual. It has to do with meta-historical considerations. Its main concern would be to define what the republican tradition is all about, and what are the republican aims and forms of life. If a coherent theory of republicanism is possible, then how does it differentiate itself from its rivals (including populism and liberalism)? Are there different regional or national models of the classical republican tradition? This section could include also issues like Feminism and Republicanism, and a discussion of Republican theory of private property/ownership and the commons.
2) The historical manifestations of Republicanism in ideas, movements, regimes, urban spaces, and the arts. This includes all the approaches which involve rigorous historicization and historical circumscribing: from Greek and Roman Republicanism to the Italian Republics in the Middle Ages and the Venetian, Florentine and Genoese polities and then on to the Dutch and English revolutions; free cities in medieval and early modern Europe – from the Hansa experience to Ragusa; from the American founding fathers and the generation before them to the French revolution and the French and Italian 19th century versions of Republicanism. The US context could be also crucial to understand how republicanism transformed itself into populism. Art forms of Republicanism fall in this area too; including Republican rituals in specific time and place; and manifestations of Republicanism in literature too. A major target is to consider also the manifestation of Republican forms and values in Asia and other parts of the world in specific periods.
3) The study of contemporary political and legal practices which are explicitly or implicitly republican and their future prospects. This area could include both institutional and social practices from below. It could include the study of EU as manifestation of a republic in making. It could involve the study of eco-republicanism, gender issues, participatory budgeting, citizens assemblies, participatory planning, welfare and workplaces, forms of co-management, urban and other commons, movements for the defense of public water, of internet accessibility, of a public space, practices in contemporary arts.
More on the theme of the Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition: Stranieri Ovunque – Foreigners Everywhere.
For the program of the 2023 edition, please see here.
For the program of the 2021 edition, which took place virtually, please click here.
For the initial 2019 edition program and photo gallery please see here, and on Flickr.
Selected papers of the first edition were published in: Towards World Multidisciplinary Studies of Republics and Republicanism, Ian Hampsher-Monk and Luca Pes (ed.), “History of Political Thought”, special issue, Volume 43, Number 5, December 2022, 149 pages
Sara De Vido (Ca' Foscari University of Venice), Oleg Kharkhordin (European University at St. Petersburg), Luca Pes (Venice International University), Camila Vergara (University of Essex), Giovanni Zanalda (Duke University)
Elisabeth Crouzet-Pavan (Sorbonne Université, Paris), Cécile Laborde (Oxford University), John Jeffries Martin (Duke University), Quentin Skinner (Queen Mary University of London), Ananya Vajpeyi (Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi)