How to write a history of democracy? A masterclass with Pierre Rosanvallon – Amsterdam, 16 October 2019

How to write a history of democracy? A masterclass with Pierre Rosanvallon

Organized by the national Research School for Political History (OPG)

Amsterdam, 16 October 2019, 1-4PM, VOC-zaal, Bushuis, Kloveniersburgwal 48

In his work on democracy, the French historian, theorist and activist Pierre Rosanvallon, member of the Collège de France and professor at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales, emphasizes the deeply historical character of democracy. While in many historical accounts, democracy is conceived as a timeless entity that only has to come to full fruition or can decay in the course of time, Rosanvallon argues that democracy itself is a historically variable phenomenon, characterized by shifting shapes and internal tensions. This raises the question how to write a history of democracy. Is it a history of concepts, values, institutions, practices, or still other forms? What are the various shapes and tensions democracy has acquired since its establishment as a legitimate form of rule? What explains the transformations of democracy? Are there significant differences between national trajectories, resulting in different histories of democracies in the plural?

At the occasion of the publication of Pierre Rosanvallon, De democratie denken. Werk in uitvoering (Nijmegen: Vantilt, 2019), these questions will be discussed (in English) with junior and senior researchers of democracy. After a short introduction by Rosanvallon, participants have the opportunity to contribute to the debate. A limited number of researchers will have to opportunity to give a short presentation (5 minutes) as an introduction to the discussion.

If you are interested to participate in this masterclass, please contact bureau@onderzoekschoolpolitiekegeschiedenis.nl before 30 September. If you are also interested to present your own research at this occasion, please contact the moderator for this event, Ido de Haan (i.dehaan@uu.nl).

For those who would like to prepare this meeting with Rosanvallon, a seminar is scheduled on Tuesday 8 October, 15.15 – 18.15 PM in Utrecht (Janskerkhof 15 A, room106, Utrecht) under supervision of Ido de Haan. Junior researchers (RMA/PhDs) who would wish to present their research have to participate in this session in order to coordinate the discussion on 16 October. Readings for this meeting is the volume with an introduction to, interview with, and translation of the work of Pierre Rosanvallon, De democratie denken. Werk in uitvoering (Nijmegen: Vantilt, 2019). If you are interested to participate in this preparatory meeting, and to receive the book at a discount, please contact bureau@onderzoekschoolpolitiekegeschiedenis.nl before 1 October.

Credits: 1 ECTS for participation in the seminar on 8 October and the masterclass on 16 October.