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"The 'New' 'Liberal' Europe?: Speculations, Fears, Visions"

CAS 21/09/2006

8th International Interdisciplinary Conference
Society of Applied European Thought (SAET)
Skopje (Macedonia)
8-13 July 2007

In 1992 – the year of the first SAET conference, Europe was at the zenith of a period of integrating from a community to a union and the post-communist nations were emerging into and embracing liberalism with a faith in the power of the market to democratise and enrich nations. Mainstream political debate revolved around whether Clinton's US democratic 'third way' offered the possibility of a new 'centrism' or social democracy for Europe, and how the spread of capitalism and liberal markets would transform global politics. Whilst the first Iraq war highlighted global discord, Fukuyama was the intellectual flavour of the day claiming an 'end of history'.

Today, the ongoing crisis in the Middle East and the growing political discord represented as a clash of Christian and Muslim faiths leaves Europe torn between supporting American foreign policy in the Arab world and finding a different voice. The European Union is in question as its proposed constitution exposes different voices and visions. For the post-communist world, liberal visions have led them into the European Union, economic crisis and political disillusionment, with an uncertain future tied to supranational governance. 'New social democracy' has given way to more Christian, conservative and economically liberal politics, and anti-globalisation, anti-capitalism and anti-poverty movements have spearheaded a revival in radical action.

This conference seeks engage in critical meditations reflecting on the speculations, fears and visions of the early 1990's as to the emerging character of Europe, and the impact of change within different parts of Europe and beyond. It seeks to prompt debate on contemporary change, developments and issues that might lead us to different speculations, fears and conclusions and new visions for Europe in the 21st Century. In doing so it marks the fifteenth anniversary of the first SAET conference by reflecting on features of its theme - "Liberalism and the New Europe."

As in previous years, this conference aims to bring together academics and commentators of different disciplines, viewpoints and backgrounds (political scientists, philosophers, social and cultural theorists, historians, political economists, educationalists, lawyers and others working across the humanities and social sciences) in critical discussion, whether through philosophical, theoretical or empirical means. We particularly encourage past participants to rejoin debate with us on the fifteenth anniversary of what has become a free-thinking global network.

Among the principal topics and themes of the conference that might emerge (without exclusion):

- Models of civil society/state and supranational relations;
- Migration and asylum: Revisiting Fortress Europe;
- The clash of civilisations: Christian and Muslim worlds;
- Re-thinking identity, nationalism otherness;
- Political ideologies of inclusion/exclusion;
- Community, sameness and difference;
- Universalism and particularism;
- Recognition and redistribution;
- Liberalism, the market and democracy;
- Liberalism and its discontents;
- European Union and national interests/identities;
- New thinking on Europe, Europeans and Europeanness;
- Inside and Outside Europe – Intersections;
- Europe in a changing world – international relations and anti-capitalism;

The language of the conference will be English, the format based on pre-circulated papers and 75 minute discursive paper sessions, and the cost will be £450, including accommodation, meals, academic proceedings and organized events and excursions. A limited number of subsidised places will be available.

For proposals (abstracts of up to 300 words): 9th February 2007
For bookings and applications for subsidised places: 23rd March 2007
For completed papers (to be pre-circulated): 11th May 2007

Please note that bookings can only be confirmed with payment
by cheque or through invoice of a deposit of half the conference fee. We can send invoices that require payment in stages. Normally, late withdrawals will not have deposits refunded save in exceptional circumstances.

Dr Niall W.R. Scott
Lecturer in Ethics
Centre for Professional Ethics
University of Central Lancashire
Harrington Building
Preston, PR1 2HE
Tel: +44 (1772) 89 2547
Fax: +44 (1772) 89 2942

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