Workshop: Politics of Hope – University of Copenhagen

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Workshop: Politics of Hope

CALL FOR PAPERS 

The workshop seeks to bring researchers together to discuss the politics of and in hope. This era of environmental, economic and social insecurity has seen burgeoning references to ‘hope’ as a strength to draw on, a counterforce and a means to achieve empowerment, signaling a growing interest in how hope features in social, political and legal struggles.

Studies have elaborated how hope works as a resource enabling individuals and communities to alter their conditions whether they are refugees, indigenous peoples, poor or activists. Neoliberal politics has seized the opportunity of proffering hope and hopefulness to those it is unable or unwilling to offer anything else: those affected by poverty, climate change or colonization – or possibly all three – are to rely on hope as a driver that could lead to a better life and greater equality in the future.

The particular interest of the workshop lies in the ways in which power features in this hope and hopefulness. We welcome papers from a broad range of studies, including, for example, political science, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, geography, law and jurisprudence, that discuss the interplay of power relations and hope.

The workshop will address questions such as:

  • How does the promise of progress entailed in political and legal processes construct hopes and what kinds of power relations are these hopes based on?
  • Can hope and the promise of change produce new configurations of power? 
  • Do hope and the promise of better things to come allow unequal power relations to continue?
  • Who are the subjects seen as being in need of hope and hoping?
  • How should we interpret the dynamics between giving political and legal hopes and delaying –often endlessly – their fulfillment?
  • And, if hope is a contemporary vehicle for power, can one resist it by refusing or abandoning the hope proffered?

Theoretical, empirical or methodological papers reflecting these questions and other relevant themes are welcome.

The deadline for abstracts (max. 300 words) is 20 October 2017. Please send your abstract to Marjo Lindroth (marjo.lindroth@ulapland.fi) and Heidi Sinevaara-Niskanen (heidi.sinevaara-niskanen@ulapland.fi).

Welcome!

The workshop organizing team:

  • Heidi Sinevaara-Niskanen, Marjo Lindroth and Julian Reid, University of Lapland
  • Frank Sejersen, University of Copenhagen
  • Mitchell Dean, Copenhagen Business School