LUISS University Press

Call for Papers_ PPI, vol. 10, 2020, 2 “Identity and Liberal Politics

Call for Papers_ PPI, vol. 10, 2020, 2

“Identity and Liberal Politics”


The journal Philosophy & Public Issues (PPI) is inviting submissions to a forthcoming issue on “Identity and Liberal Politics.” The issue contains a symposium on Kwame Anthony Appiah’s latest book The Lies That Bind. Rethinking Identity (W. W. Norton, 2018) with review articles by Sally Haslanger, Michael James, Volker Kaul, Domenico Melidoro and Yael Tamir, followed by Appiah’s replies.


Editors: Volker Kaul (LUISS ‘Guido Carli’ University); Domenico Melidoro (LUISS ‘Guido Carli’ University)


Submission Deadlines:
Long Abstract (1,000 words max): March 20, 2020
Full paper (10,000 words max, upon acceptance of the abstract): July 15, 2020


Aims and Background:

Identity remains an unresolved strain in liberal political philosophy, although the question of identity is certainly not new for liberalism. At least since John Rawls’ groundbreaking Political Liberalism (1993) pluralism, difference and their accommodation stand at the center of contemporary liberal thought. However, Rawls’ rationalist conception of pluralism has been put into doubt by recent findings in the cognitive sciences and social sciences. Those tend to confirm Wittgenstein’s, Gadamer’s and many others’ intuition that identities are not chosen, but largely given to individuals. That is also Appiah’s point of departure in The Lies That Bind. Rethinking Identity. He claims that individuals make their lives on the basis of their collective identities such as religion, nation, race, class and ethnicity. Accordingly, he argues that liberalism needs to be grounded in a proper social ontology of collective identities rather than in individual freedom. Appiah’s proposal combines the insights of phenomenologists, pragmatists and communitarians about the normativity of collective identities with the analyses of social constructivism, poststructuralism and postcolonialism about the nature of identity.

This PPI issue on “Identity and Liberal Politics” intends to explore the new path liberal theory has taken with Appiah’s work. We encourage submissions of original papers that clarify either the concept of identity or the structure of the different collective identities (religion, nation, gender, race etc.) and contributions that explore the relationship between identity and liberalism.

We invite articles discussing following problems (but not limited to):

– What is a nation? What is religion? What is race? What is gender? What is class? What is ethnicity?

– Identity in liberal political thought and its history.

– What are collective identities and what is their relationship with individual identities?

– Identity in the different philosophical traditions: phenomenology, pragmatism, social constructionism, communitarianism, poststructuralism and postcolonialism, but also other relevant schools.

– Identity and politics in African, Asian and Latin American philosophies.


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. All personal information (name, affiliation, and contact) must be submitted separately, along with a short abstract (200 words max). Deadline for abstract submission is March 20, 2020. Decisions will be made within a month.
All material should be submitted sending an e-mail to special issue’s editors; and PPI’s managing editor
Upon notification of acceptance, you will be invited to submit the full paper (10,000 words max) no later than July 15, 2020.

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