Caution: Machine translation without proofreading

Place: TU Dresden, ABS House 94, Room 0E04/U, August-Bebel-Str. 20, 01219 Dresden
Date: 03.03.2023, 13:00 h - 05.03.2023, 14:00 h

Organized by Dr. Lucas von Ramin and Dr. Karsten Schubert.

Climate crisis, pandemic, culture wars - the basis of democratic coexistence has become fragile due to the crises of the present. How does this shaking and uncertainty affect radical democratic theory, which determines contingency and questioning as the core of the democratic? Can the fragility of contemporary democracy be understood as a problem at all, if contingency, groundlessness, dissent and conflict are understood as ciphers of the actual radix, the root of democracy? For as obviously helpful as radical theories of democracy are when it comes to combating an encrustation of political and social structures, they seem speechless in the face of a dynamization of crises and conflicts by right-wing populism and a post-factual or conspiracy-theoretical spectrum. The conference will therefore discuss which normative standards can be thought and formulated in the context of radical democratic theory. What notions of freedom and equality are associated with the notion of politics based on contingency and conflict? What normative demands are made on radical democratic institutions and a radical democratic civic culture? And how does radical democratic theory respond to the accusation of even fueling relativism, postfacticity, and the division of society? A debate on the normativity of radical democratic theory is needed, not only to clarify these questions, but also to enable a differentiated analysis and critique of the crisis-ridden present.


  • Jonas Lang (University of Frankfurt a.M.)
  • Ragna Verhoeven (University of Münster)
  • Steffen Hermann (University of Hagen)
  • Oliver Marchart (University of Vienna)
  • Sara Gebh (University of Vienna)
  • Luzia Sievi (University of Tübingen)
  • Anna Weithaler & Florian Pistrol (University of Innsbruck/Vienna)
  • Katharina Liesenberg (TU Darmstadt)
  • Daniel Kersting (University of Jena)
  • Kristoffer Klement (University of Bielefeld)
  • Theresa Gerlach (University of Bonn)
  • Hubertus Buchstein (University of Greifswald)
  • Sabrina Zucca-Soest (Bundeswehr University Hamburg)
  • Tobias Albrecht (University of Münster)
  • Martin Welsch (University of Flensburg)
  • Sergej Seitz (University of Vienna)


Here as pdf

Friday, 03.03.2023

13:00 - 13:30 | Karsten Schubert (HU Berlin), Lucas von Ramin (TU Dresden) Normativity of Radical Theory of Democracy: Problem Diagnosis

Panel 1 RD: Between Conflict and Equality Chair: Lucas von Ramin

13:30 - 14:20 | Jonas Lang (University of Frankfurt am Main) Post-universalist normativity in radical democratic theory - from the particularist character of struggle of values to an open-ended critique of social order
14:20 - 15:00 | Coffee Break
15:00 - 15:50 | Ragna Verhoeven (University of Bielefeld) Democracy between Conflict and Binding? On the Question of Binding Forces in the Radical Theory of Democracy
16:00 - 16:50 | Steffen Herrmann (FernUni Hagen) From the Democratic Paradox to the Politics of Equality
16:50 - 17:30 | Break
17:30 - 18:30 | Oliver Marchart (University of Vienna) Keynote: The Democratic Horizon
20:00 | Dinner together

Saturday, 04.03.2023

Panel 2 RD: Ethics of Groundlessness? Chair: Karsten Schubert

09:00 - 09:50 | Sara Gebh (University of Vienna) Political Freedom: The Groundless Ground of Radical Democracy?
10:00 - 10:50| Luzia Sievi (University of Tübingen) From the Groundlessness of All Norms to the Affirmation of Democracy
10:50 - 11:30| Coffee & Snacks

Panel 3 RD as contingency competence? Between Judgment, Pragmatism, and Way of Life Chair: Lucas von Ramin

11:30 - 12:20| Anna Weithaler, Florian Pistrol (University of Insbruck/Vienna) Main features of a radical democratic power of judgment in Kant - Arendt - Laclau
12:30 -13:20| Katharina Liesenberg (TU Darmstadt) Pragmatism and Radical Democracy
13:20 - 14:30| Lunch (on site)
14:30 - 15:20| Daniel Kersting (University of Jena) Ideal and Experience. Pragmatism and the Normativity Problem of Radical Democratic Theory
15:30 - 16:20| Kristoffer Klement (University of Bielefeld) Would radical democracy be a successful way of life? On the Dialogue between Critical Theory and Radical Theory of Democracy
16:20 - 17:00 | Coffee & Snacks
17:00 - 17:50 | Theresa Gerlach (University of Bonn) Does a radical democracy need radical democratic citizens? On the socio-moral preconditions of (radical-) democratic orders
18:00 - 19:00 | Hubertus Buchstein (University of Greifswald) Keynote: The Citizens’ Competence in Radical Democracy.
20:00 | Dinner together

Sunday, 05.03.2023

09:00 - 10:00 | Sabrina Zucca-Soest (Helmut-Schmidt-University Hamburg) Keynote: Radical Theory of Democracy between Descriptivity and Prescriptivity
10:10 - 11:00 | Tobias Albrecht (University of Münster) Education and Democracy or: What Radical Theory of Democracy Can Learn from Liberalism
11:00 - 11:30 | Coffee & Snacks
11:30 - 12:20 | Martin Welsch (European University Flensburg) A radical democratic critique of Ingeborg Maus’ critique of democratic law
12:30 - 13:20 | Sergej Seitz (University of Vienna) Ideology, Utopia, and Beyond. Political Imagination between Facts and Norms
14:00 | Lunch (optional)

More info and registration

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