Call for Papers: Workshop on the German Revolution and the Radical Democratic Imaginary

Centre for Political Thought
Call for Papers: Workshop on the German Revolution and the Radical
Democratic Imaginary
The University of Exeter, 24 May 2018
In the wake of the First World War, workers and soldiers across Europe
organised into democratic councils in order to challenge existing social
hierarchies and strive towards self-government and workers’ control over
production. During the 1918 German Revolution, a number of institutions and
practices were proposed from within the German council movements to create
a more participatory, democratic and worker-controlled society. Although
there was much disagreement over specific proposals, council delegates were
strongly in favour of deepening and extending existing forms of democracy
beyond the limits of the bourgeois liberal state. Yet a hundred years on and
political theory has drawn little from the discourses and practices of this
significant historical era. Our aim with this workshop is to rejuvenate interest
in political theorists and actors of the German Revolution and to place them in
dialogue with conversations in radical democratic theory. We pose the
question of how these political experiences should be theorised and what
significance they hold for political practices today.
The workshop will be an opportunity for scholars from a variety of disciplines
to form ongoing research networks based on shared areas of interest.
Through the workshop, we will organise a number of research groups in which
scholars will be asked to pre-circulate papers and provide feedback to another
member of their group. The idea of the conference is to cultivate a space for
in-depth discussion and collaborative research. We are open to scholars
engaging with the German Revolution from a variety of perspectives including
council communism, libertarian socialism, anarcho-syndicalism and radical
democracy, among others. Papers could also contribute to broader debates in
political theory on questions of democracy, agency, representation and power.
We welcome papers from both a theoretical and historical perspective and
anticipate the conference to spark discussion between political theorists and
A limited number of bursaries will be available for postgraduate students to
cover transportation costs. Please include a request with your abstract if you
are a postgraduate student who would like to apply for such a bursary.
Deadline for submission of abstracts for conference papers (up to 300 words):
5PM, 26 January 2018. Send abstracts to
Workshop Date: 9:30AM – 6:00PM, 24 May 2018.
Workshop website:
Organised by James Muldoon and Martin Moorby, University of Exeter

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