Call for papers: Disagreement, (in)tolerance and political discourse

Call for papers

Disagreement, (in)tolerance and political discourse

September 12–14, 2019


Workshop organised by the Centre for Ethics as Study in Human Value, University of Pardubice, Czech Republic.


Keynote speakers:

Andrea Sangiovanni (King’s College London)
Anna Durnová (Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna)
Anna Elisabetta Galeotti (University of Eastern Piedmont)


The recent global rise of populism goes hand in hand with an increasing polarisation of society. The radicalisation of disagreeing parties is sharpened not only by ever-more diverging political opinions, but also by underlying negative emotions. These developments are having a direct impact on the public sphere. Discussions that could have ended in fruitful exchange of arguments only two decades ago end now with irreconcilable conflict, mutual repulsion or contemptuous avoidance. Instead of embracing tolerance, understanding, openness and curiosity in view of difference, presumably open and pluralist liberal societies are instead filled with distrust, suspicion and enmity. Contrary to democratic respect for the other’s opinion and openness to reason and argument, we see escalating negative emotions and a lack of honest discussion. Are we witnessing the decline of deliberative democracy? Has the populist demagoguery, conspiracy theorising and scapegoating crippled public discourse?

In this workshop, we would like to consider possible attitudes to political disagreement and difference and the ways in which they are influenced by negative political emotions. We invite contributions from researchers working in the fields related to the theme, including political philosophy, but also political science (the study of populism and democracy), moral psychology (the study of emotions, attitudes and relationships), rhetoric (the study of demagoguery), epistemology (the study of disagreement and belief polarisation), social science and social psychology.


Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

- attitudes to difference: intolerance, dogmatism, ideology, prejudice vs. tolerance, respect and acceptance
- political vs. religious disagreement
- public reason, its limits and use
- Habermas's Discourse Theory and its application in contemporary societies
- negative political emotions and their effect on the perception of the other
- social bubbles, partisanship and ingroup/outgroup mentality
- rhetoric, demagoguery and political emotions
- the boundaries of reasonable disagreement
- the role of dialogue, discussion and discourse in political societies
- the epistemic value of conflict and confrontation
- populist demagogical strategies: enemy creation, conspiracy theories, scapegoating
- polarisation, extremism and the mechanisms of escalation
- new media and their effect on contemporary political discourse
- socially conditioned resentment (poverty, stress, alienation)
- polarisation and identity politics
- disagreement and polarisation as a threat for the idea of EU project


If you are interested in presenting a paper, please submit an abstract of around 300 words to The deadline for submission is June 1, 2019. Notices of acceptance will be sent by approximately June 15, 2019.

For further information please see our Centre website or facebook page, or contact the organisers, Matej Cíbik ( or Kamila Pacovská (