LUISS University Press

Symposium: Illiberal Views in Liberal States

With a discussion of Corey Brettschneider’s When the State Speaks, What Should It Say?(Princeton University Press, 2012)

    1. Submission Deadline

Long Abstract (1,000 words max): 15 February, 2015

Full paper (10,000 words max, upon acceptance): 15 June, 2015

    1. Invited Contributors

  1. Annabelle Lever (University of Geneva), Jennifer Rubinstein (University of Virginia), Sarah Conly (Bowdoin College), Kevin Vallier (Bowling Green State University) and Corey Brettschneider (Brown University)

    1. Aims and Background

Moral, political or religious pluralism is a permanent feature of many contemporary societies. All moral philosophers and political theorists within the liberal tradition seem to agree on this. However, they profoundly disagree about how to deal with moral, political or religious views that do not accept or even explicitly deny some of liberalism’s tenets, like the idea that all citizens must equally enjoy certain freedoms—such as freedom of expression or of conscience. Here the stakes are high for liberal theorists: if they accept that some citizens live according to, and expressed, some illiberal views, then the liberal State might need to accept conducts and ideas that would otherwise be forbidden; on the other end, if the liberal State reject certain illiberal views, this might contradict or violate liberalism’s foundations—like the idea that a view cannot be legitimately imposed. How should liberals address this point?

In When the State Speaks, What Should It Say? (Princeton University Press, 2012), Corey Brettschneider takes on these issues, and proposes a view he labels “value democracy.” From a value-democratic point of view, the liberal State cannot prohibit illiberal views, but it can—and ought to—engage in “democratic persuasion,” defending citizens’ free and equal status and criticizing hateful or discriminatory viewpoints. There is a growing and rich discussion on these topics, which this volume of Philosophy and Public Issues intends to capture and explore. We encourage submissions of original papers that philosophically explore aspects of disagreement and pluralism from a moral, political, or legal perspective and possibly engage with Brettschneider’s work.

We expect original contributions discussing problems such as (but not limited to):

– the liberal perspective on hateful views and hate speech;

equality and the authority of the democratic state;

– the foundations of liberalism and the rejection of illiberal views;

– the question of reasonable and unreasonable pluralism in contemporary societies;

– democracy and the representation of cultural differences;

– Neutrality, free speech, and the liberal state;

– “Democratic persuasion” and religious toleration;

– … or any other relevant topic, subject to the Editors’ approval.

  1. This special issue will include a discussion of Corey Brettschneider’sWhen the State Speaks, What Should It Say? (Princeton University Press 2012), with commentaries by Annabelle Lever (University of Geneva), Jennifer Rubinstein (University of Virginia), Sarah Conly (Bowdoin College), Kevin Vallier (Bowling Green State University), followed by Brettschneider’s replies.

  1. Submission Details

Please send a (.odt, .doc or .docx) file containing a long abstract (1,000 words max) and a title, prepared for blind review with all revealing references to the author removed. All personal information (name, affiliation, and contact) must be submitted separately, along with a short abstract (200 words max). Deadline for abstract submission is 15 March, 2014. Decisions will be made within a month.

All material should be submitted on line:

Upon notification of acceptance, you will be invited to submit the full paper (10,000 words max) no later than June 15, 2014. The volume will be published at the end of 2015.

    1. Further Inquiries

Please direct any queries about this call for papers to PPI’s Editors at More information on the Philosophy and Public Issues can be found at