On 12 and 13 May 2017, the Department of Comparative Science of Cultures of Ghent University organized a workshop on the nascent field of Comparative Political Theory, with the support of the U4 Network.
During the last decade, a call for a turn to global, cross-cultural, and comparative political theorizing has been made repeatedly. The aim is to move beyond the Western ‘monologue’ and ‘parochialism’ that has prevailed in political theory for decades, if not centuries, and which is unsustainable in today’s globalized ‘multipolar’ world. However, this aim generates a series of cognitive problems that have not been adequately addressed so far.
During the workshop, a group of researchers from Ghent University, the University of Groningen, the University of Göttingen and several other universities in The Netherlands, Germany, the UK, Finland, and Turkey discussed these problems. They presented papers that illustrated where Comparative Political Theory is currently heading and where it faces major obstacles. They then explored the different views on the future directions that this field of study should take.
The workshop organized at Ghent University was part of a series of workshops that aims to establish a new European Network for Comparative Political Theory and Intellectual History. The involved U4-partners intend to play a leading role in this network. Hence, a follow-up workshop will be organized at the University of Göttingen in 2018.