CFP TOWARDS FOOLPROOF DEMOCRACY: ADVANCING PUBLIC DEBATE AND POLITICAL
!!! New Deadline: September 30th, 2018 !!!
The events of the year 2016 have led many critical observers to doubt
the stability and longevity of democracy. Ideally, democracy effectuates
the rule of reason. Debates in elected assemblies and in society as a
whole should serve the process of finding best reasons for political
decisions. However, the mechanisms that currently produce such decisions
are vulnerable to misuse. Arguably, they need to be redesigned in an
attempt to make them “foolproof” – i.e., to design them in a way to make
misuse inherently impossible or to minimize its negative consequences.
Empirical evidence suggests that political agents may generally lack the
required competence for deliberation and debate. Even very intelligent
people systematically tend to focus on information that confirms what
they already believe and dismiss information that contradicts it.
Instead of seeking rational debate, people often cling to forms of
modern tribalism. In addition, modern communication networks are swiftly
replacing traditional print and broadcast news media. This shift
presents deliberative democracy with opportunities but also risks, as
these communication networks neither encourage a balanced exchange of
information nor systematically check its quality.
In view of these developments, the question of the desired relation
between democracy, deliberation, and truth looms large. Moral Philosophy
and Politics invites contributions that seek to articulate this relation
from the viewpoint of philosophy and political science. Suitable
contributions may address such questions as:
- How, if at all, can we improve public opinion formation?
- Is deliberation the best way to generate political decisions in modern
- How can we make democracy more resistant to populism and other forms
of mass manipulation? Should politics be allowed (and perhaps even
obligated) to exert influence on opinion formation in society?
- Is there a way to methodically and impartially check the quality of
debate in the public sphere?
- Are political polarization and “echo chambers” a problem for
democracy? And, if so, how can we guard against their formation and
- What ought to be the role of science and the humanities in the
Papers should be submitted by September 30th, 2018 and should not exceed
8000 words; shorter articles will also be accepted for review.
All submissions will undergo MOPP’s double-blind refereeing process.
Please note that this process is not organized by the guest editors but
by the journal’s founding editors who will also have the final word on
The journal’s manuscript submission site can accessed here:
David Lanius (Karlsruhe)
Ioannis Votsis (NCH and LSE)