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Controversies in the Scholarly and Public Debates on Civic Rights and Democracy in Europe

Location Ministry for Education and Employment, Great Siege Road, Floriana, Malta, VLT2000
Date 24 - 25 May 2018
Calendar file .vcs  .ics

The first workshop of the COST Action RECAST working group debates will be held on the 24th and 25th May 2018 in Malta.

COST Action Reappraising Intellectual Debateson Civic Rights and Democracy in Europe (RECAST) has as its task to show the plural argumentative uses of the relations between civic rights and democracy in European public debates and to study the dissensual features of their conceptual and institutional relationship as well as their national legal and political traditions. This will be done by bringing together policy-makers, journalists and NGOs with scholars to provide new insights into the links (theoretical, political and institutional) between civic rights and democracy in Europe, illustrating the controversies, often underlying and diverse, behind them.

The aim of the RECAST Working Group Debates is twofold: To study, firstly, the argumentative links connecting practices with concepts and arguments in debates on civic rights and democracy in Europe and, second, the practices and procedures of historical, moral, political and legal debates on civic rights and democracy, with special attention to the ways in which they are addressed in parliamentary democracies.

The current challenges in Europe are related to the ways in which the fundamental principles of parliamentary democracies are questioned and re-interpreted. Key ideas such as human rights, democracy and peace that formed the basis of the political alliance between western European countries after the Second World War do not seem as solid and fixed as they might have been seen a few decades ago.

Debates are crucial research material for the analysis of the argumentative links between concepts and practices because they do not only constitute the arenas for public controversies but also a fundamental means for politics. Debate differs from ordinary dialogue in that it involves a presentation of the pros and cons of an issue in which both sides actively aim at persuading to come to their side. Whenever there is debate on a topic, it necessarily shows the controversies embedded. Therefore, debates often provide crucial information of the controversies, and the concepts and the practices related to them.


The WG Debates invites scholars from various academic disciplines (philosophy, sociology, anthropology, political science, etc.) and practitioners in broader society (educators, journalists, policy-makers, activists, etc.) to contribute to this interdisciplinary exploratory workshop by means ofproof of concept papers on what contributions can be made to the COST RECAST Working Group Debates’overarching task, namely, mapping the scholarly and public debates on civic rights and democracy in Europe.

We invite submissions that explain proof of concept targeting identification of:

  • Dominant, underlying and counter discourses and strategies that feature in current scholarly and public debates on civic rights and democracy in Europe (Panel 1)
  • Actions and formats that can be used to map the scholarly and public debates on civic rights and democracy in Europe (Panel 2)
  • Methodologies that can and/or should be used to map the scholarly and public debates on civic rights and democracy in Europe (Panel 3)
  • Strategies that can be implemented to broadly disseminate the knowledge on scholarly and public debates on civic rights and democracy in Europe that the map would deliver (Panel 4)

Submission information  

Submissions are invited from academics and non-academic stakeholders who share genuine interest and commitment to contribute to the RECAST Working Group Debates agenda.

Submissions’ format can comprise of oral appearances (particularly from non-academics) as well as academic papers and poster presentations. The WG Debates’ agenda foresees the opportunity to elaborate a number of proof of concepts presented for the purpose of scholarly publication.

Due to budgetary limitations, COST Action can fund the travel expenses of one person for each selected presentation. Submissions can be authored by a maximum of two authors (i.e. single- authored submissions are also welcome). Self-funded presenters are welcome to submit and stand an equal chance of acceptance and inclusion in the prospective edited publication/s. 

Abstracts should be of maximum 200 words in length, with 4-5 keywords. Kindly use the form provided here to submit your abstract: [insert the url link to Google form]

This form should be sent to   with the email subject stating RECAST WG Debates Workshop 1 Abstract by Wednesday, 21 March 2018.

Key Dates

  • Final date to submit abstracts: Wednesday, 21 March 2018
  • Communication re confirmation / rejection and funding (if applicable): Friday, 13 April 2018
  • Workshop dates: 24–25 May 2018

All queries should be addressed to:


Working Group Debates, COST Action CA 16211 RECAST Reappraising Intellectual Debates on

Civic Rights and Democracy in Europe   & https://

Scientific and Organization Committee

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