The European Political Concepts Research Group, originally sponsored by the Europaeum, will be holding its sixth follow-up meeting in Berlin on Defining Political Concepts in Europe, on December 10-11th, kindly sponsored through the Finnish Institute in Berlin. The Group, conceived in 2006, has been busy exploring how different key concepts in political philosophy can hold very different, contextualised meanings in different countries or regions or sectors or times, of Europe and of European society. At this meeting, participants will include the pioneers, Professor Michael Freeden from Oxford, Professor Henrik Stenius, plus many other colleagues. Please download the Agenda for the meeting, and check out an informational brochure about the Project.
In January 2009, scholars from Europe, the Americas, India, China and Japan came together at Oxford University to participate in a Europaeum co-sponsored conference on Liberalism in West and East. This stimulating conference looked at the extraordinarily diverse usages of the term and asked what justified means we have (if any) of determining or prescribing its contents. Working together with the speakers and contributors to the conference, the Europaeum helped produce a transcript which runs to 176 pages and includes contributions from Timothy Garten Ash, Michael Freeden, Sir Samuel Brittan, Rajeev Bhargava, Ronald Dworkin, and many other top scholars and contributors.
The new Europaeum European Conceptual History Research Project held its first workshop at the University of Oxford on Meanings of Rights and Democracy in Europe, on 17-18th March, 2008.
In the age of European integration and globalisation, the ever increasing cross cultural communication among citizens drawn from different regions, ideologies, social classes, and ethnicities, is becoming a most topical issue. In Europe the challenges of this interaction are highlighted within the European Union, a multilingual polity, with no single grid to show how key juridical and political concepts are used. The language borders and the state borders do not always run together, and their different political language games do not necessarily correspond to national, linguistic or even party political differences. We have to accept that there are no simple or mechanical ways for translating key political concepts; they will always carry within them historical layers with inherent historical controversies.
Are we all liberals now, at least in the Western world (itself more of a conceptual than a geographical category)? Some academics have been pronouncing liberalism’s new-found immortality, often combining that claim with some vague end-of-ideology prognosis. Last April, an international group of political theorists and historians, sponsored by the Europeaum and under the auspices of the Centre for Political Ideologies at the Department of Politics and International Relations, Oxford University, and the Department of Politics, History and