Place: Freiburg Institute of Advanced Studies, Albertstr. 19, 79104 Freiburg
Date: 20.10 - 22.10.2022

Update July 7th ‘22: Hybrid Format

Due to the high demand for the limited on-site spots in Freiburg and the frequently expressed wish for online participation, we swith to hybrid format and offer participation through Zoom (registration necessary, see below).

Organizers: Dr. Karsten Schubert (University of Freiburg), Georg Spoo (University of Freiburg), Dr. Lucas von Ramin (Technical University of Dreden), Dr. Vincent Gengnagel (University of Flensburg)

The conference aims at the critical revision of theories of the political and a re-actualization of radical democratic approaches for the 2020s. Right-wing populism and authoritarianism, cleavages over “identity politics”, the digitalization of public debate, and the power of conspiracy theories are leading to processes of profound social, cultural, and political transformation in liberal democracies. For understanding these transformations, the “theories of the political” and the related concept of “radical democracy” are particularly suitable, as they analyze the fundamental fragility of the liberal order. In view of escalating conflicts, however, it has become questionable whether the radical democratic call for a disruption of the liberal order is the right response to the transformations described above. The conference addresses four thematic fields: 1. Revision of the Basic Concepts; 2. Normativity, Institutions, Law; 3. New Political Movements and Identity Politics; 4. Digital Transformations of the Public Sphere.


In principle, 50 minutes are available for each presentation, including time for discussion. The presentations should last 30 minutes. Coffee and snacks will be provided during the breaks. The titles are priliminary.


14.30 - 15.00
Karsten Schubert, Georg Spoo, Lucas von Ramin, Vincent Gengnagel: Radical Democracy for the 2020s: New Problems, New Interdisciplinary Theory?

Panel 1: Revision of Basic Concepts (Chair: Vincent Gengnagel)

15.00 - 15.50
Regina Kreide: Radical Democracy. Between Power and Reason?

15.50 - 16.20 Coffee Break

16.20 - 17.10
Oliver Marchart: Does Postfundamentalism Need to Be Adapted for the 2020s?

17.20 - 18.10
Frieder Vogelmann: The Limits of Control. What Should Radical Democratic Theories Achieve?

18:20 - 22:00 Welcome Reception


Panel 2: Normativity, Institutions, Law (Chair: Karsten Schubert)

09.00 - 09.50
Oliver Flügel-Martinsen / Franziska Martinsen: Normativity of Radical Democratic Theory

10.00 - 10.50
Jennifer Brichzin: Democracy as a Conundrum. Epistemic Problems of the Present and the Case of Chemnitz

10.50 - 11.15 Coffee break

11.15 - 12.05
Manon Westphal: Reform and Innovation of Radical Democratic Institutions

12.05 - 13.15 Lunch break

Panel 3: New Political Movements and Identity Politics (Chair: Lucas von Ramin)

13.15 - 14.05
Martin Nonhoff: Critique of Domination - Not Theory of Institutions

14.15 - 15.05
Dagmar Comtesse: The Call for Popular Sovereignty - Not Only Criticism

15.05 - 15.30 Coffee break

15.30 - 16.20
Christian Volk: Protest as Democratization?

16.30 - 17.20
Mareike Gebhard: Dis-Identification. Radical Democratic Theory and Intersectionality

17.20 - 17.45 Coffee break

17.45 - 18.35
Paula Villa Braslavsky: The Who and the What - One of the Most Political Questions of the Political

20.00 Dinner


Panel 4: Digital Transformation of the Public Sphere (Chair: Georg Spoo)

09.00 - 09.50
Thorsten Thiel: Political Theory in the Digital Constellation

10.00 - 10.50
Rahel Süß: Radical and Digital Democracy

10.50 - 11.15 Coffee break

11.15 - 12.05
Ann-Kathrin Koster: The Radical Democratic Moment of Hashtag Activism

12.05 - 12.30 Final discussion and networking meeting

12.30 Farewell coffee / informal networking

13.00 Lunch (optional)

Participation and registration

The conference will be held hybrid at FRIAS in Freiburg. Unfortunately, the limited on-site spots are already taken, but you can register to attend online, including expressing your desire to get an on-site spot in case we have cancellations. Please register by filling out this form or by emailing Kyra Vogt at kyra.vogt [Ähhhhtt!] by 12.10.22.


We would like to sincerely thank FRIAS for the conference funding of 10,000 EUR. Link to the conference at FRIAS:

Program and poster as pdf (German)



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