The ‘New Theory of Pluralism’

Panel Code
RC16.03
Language
English
Discussants

Pluralism has for decades been a crucial concept in the vocabulary of political science. Furthermore, it has also been one of the fundamentals of democracy, and democratic and democratising societies. Thus any systematic, thorough analysis of the political world needs to address somewhat the issues of pluralism and pluralist values, such as diversity, tolerance, dialogue, moderation etc.
Current changes in the modern world (transformations in economy, society, politics, international relations, demography, security, etc.) raise new challenges for the concept of pluralism. Several important questions arise: How do we understand pluralism in the current era? What does pluralism mean in the highly heterogeneous societies of 21st century? Is it still primarily a postulate (further ‘pluralisation’), or a predominantly descriptive concept, useful for the analysis of current politics? How should we (and shall we at all?) practise and pursue pluralism in the modern, technologically, economically, politically and socially very diverse world? Do we need more pluralism in very diverse (and often also strongly divided) societies of the Western world? How far should ‘pluralisation’ go? Are there any limits? Are there just plausible, reasonable borders or boundaries (of ‘pluralisation’)? What does pluralism mean in the new technological era of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and alike? What does ‘pluralisation’ mean in this era?
Undoubtedly many of these questions need to be addressed empirically. But methodologically sound empirical analysis requires systematic, thorough theorising and relevant conceptual maps. Consequently, there is a need to discuss the concept of pluralism (and related concepts), and theorise about pluralism in modern, rapidly changing societies.
Our panel aims to discuss broadly this new, changing situation of pluralism across the world. We invite first and foremost theoretical papers, which address some of the abovementioned conceptual issues. We also welcome empirical papers, both comparative analyses and case studies, especially those which contribute to the ‘new theory of pluralism’ by providing important theoretical and conceptual insights.