Keynote: Andreas Kalyvas (New School)

Conference Schedule

For the conference schedule, click here.

Call for Papers

Our young century has been one of political ruptures. Formerly resilient regimes across the Middle East have fallen to popular mobilization and Western military intervention; counter-revolution is afoot, civil wars rage, and others loom. In post-industrial democracies, economic crises and contagion have bred grassroots rebellion against austerity and neoliberalism, raising the spectre of a renascent left in the very heart of global capitalism. The electoral success of nationalist and xenophobic political parties in Europe has exposed the fragility of multicultural societies and has threatened to undermine the project of European unification. Fears of illegal immigration and terrorism have resulted in the increased securitization of borders and widespread surveillance of citizens and foreign nationals alike. On a less tectonic scale, U.S. politics has witnessed judicial ruptures that threaten hard-won civil rights gains and buttress the legal fiction of corporate personhood. Public opinion has shifted decisively on issues from gay marriage to marijuana legalization, while demographic change has stoked heightened speculation about coming electoral realignments. The past may not even be past, but the future has become increasingly unpredictable.

Our one-day conference at the University of Pennsylvania will deal with the concept of ruptures—those that have occurred, those that might occur, and how our theories and methods can adequately identify and conceptualize “the rupture” in contradistinction to more gradualist or evolutionary understandings of politics and political change. We think of ruptures broadly, and invite the submission of papers on a wide variety of issue areas and methodological approaches, including but not limited to:
  • Political and economic crises and their aftermath
  • Violence, war, and conflict
  • Constituent power and the role of the exception in political life
  • Institutions and political (in)stability
  • Political and electoral realignments
  • Critical junctures and disjunctures
  • Migration, diasporas and patterns of inclusion and exclusion
  • The revolutionary (or counter-revolutionary) role of technology in politics
  • Social-scientific paradigms and paradigm shifts
  • Theoretical or methodological reflections on political rupture
Deadline for submission of proposals: February 15, 2014
Proposals should be 300-500 words, and include a title, abstract, field and year of study. They should be emailed to,or submitted through the Google Form above, no later than February 15, 2014. The conference program will be announced by March 1st and papers will be due on March 15th for pre-circulation. Limited travel stipends will be available for conference participants.