Call for Papers: Liberal Theory and Politics in the 21st Century

Approaches from the young-Greek school of thought


For the GREEK version click here.





Thessaloniki, 29-30 November 2019


Working language of the conference will be Greek.


Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom
University of Macedonia (dept. Of Balkan, Slavic and Oriental Studies)
Young Liberals Greece

The Program Committee is now accepting abstracts for 15-minute individual papers, panels (of up to four 15-minute papers), and special sessions. Submissions from all disciplines.


Important Deadlines

Individual Abstract Submission and Panel Submission Deadline: September 30, 2019

Announcement of results: October 13, 2019

Paper Submissions: November 15, 2019



Since the early 19th century liberal theory has focused political interest on the protection of individual rights. Its fundamental idea is that all people are born free and equal; this perspective had created a new social culture that sought justice and prosperity within a democratic state. However, liberalism is not a monolithic theory. Competitive schools of thought, in Europe and America, have approached the issue of freedom from different perspectives by proposing alternative policy models that were all based on individual self-determination. In the course of time, liberalism has been the revolutionary force that shaped the modern world, establishing a new moral tradition that recognises the value of each individual, responding to the problem of authoritarian legalism and illiterate constitutionalism.

European integration is the symbol of this tradition, going from the field of theory to that of applied politics. The international liberal class (international law and international organisations) of the postwar world created high growth and a prosperity environment with spectacular results. However, serious challenges have arisen over the last few decades, creating a new era of skepticism. International terrorism and religious fundamentalism have shaken the trust of many citizens in the possibilities of an open society. The massive emigration that arose due to political crises in the periphery of the developed countries has rekindled nationalist passions. Climate change and the destruction of the natural environment call for a revision of the productive models on which capitalism was based in the last century. Still, managing the Eurozone debt crisis raises new questions about how to make decisions and the institutional framework of the market.

The situation created creates for the first time the questioning of the liberal status quo. Protecting policies and undemocratic movements gain power in many countries of the world, while on the other hand, the radicalised demand for strengthening the majority of forms of democracy is a strategic means of extending executive power to the detriment of political pluralism. Radical individualism, the birth of identity politics, led liberals to reduce participation in social movements, unless they had personal bids. Moreover, there is an increased political influence of experts and technocrats, especially in cases of major crises such as Greek, which substitutes institutional dialogue and transforms democratic processes into dilemma situations.

In order to examine the evolution and perspectives of liberal ideas in the modern political environment, the Greek office of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, the University of Macedonia (Dept. Of Balkan, Slavic and Oriental studies) and the Young Liberals Greece co-organize a scientific conference titled “Liberal theory and Politics in the 21st Century: Approaches of the Modern Greek School of thought” in Thessaloniki.

The purpose of the conference is to bring together new Liberal researchers (postgraduate, doctoral and post-doc students) as well as learnt individuals to discuss intensively about liberal ideas and their role in developments at national, European and international level. Since the pre-revolutionary period, Greece has been an important liberal thinker. Through the proceedings of the conference, it is sought to see whether this tradition continues today and whether young Greek researchers can form a sensu lato modern Greek school of thought.


Indicatively, the following topics can be proposed:

  1. Liberalism as a political theory: history and prospects
  2. The Greek School: from the stoics and Aristotle to the Constitutions of the Revolution and to today
  3. Political Liberal Political Parties and Ideologies (Greece, EU, USA)
  4. The Greek crisis and the future of Greek economy
  5. Liberalism and democracy
  6. Open society, security and migration
  7. Individual rights and democracy
  8. Freedom of expression and the Press
  9. State structures, economy and welfare state
  10. Inequalities and development
  11. Capitalism, free market and economic crisis
  12. Liberalism and the protection of the natural environment
  13. Liberalism in International Relations
  14. International terrorism and religious fundamentalism
  15. The illiberal examples: China, Russia, Turkey
  16. European Union, European bureaucracy and transparency
  17. Populism, nationalism and radicalism
  18. Identity politics and social minorities
  19. “Extreme centre” and neoliberalism


The conference

The conference will take place the 29th and 30th November 2019, in Thessaloniki. The venue will be announced soon. The proposals are subject to blind review by distinguished scholars. Selected papers will be published in a collective volume by Epikentro Publishers in early 2020.


Submission of abstracts

Candidates are invited to submit (a) their abstract (word file up to 300 words) and (b) a short CV, to by 13 September 2019. Successful candidates will be notified by 27 September 2019.

The working language of the conference is Greek. Participation in the conference is free of charge. The organisers shall provide accommodation and meals.


General guidelines

Each paper abstract should explain briefly the scope and focus of the proposed topic, methodology, research sources, and the broader significance for its discipline and the field of Liberalism. All abstracts should be written with an eye to clarity, coherence, quality, engagement with existing literature, and the contribution to modern debate.

Abstracts should reflect original work that has not been previously presented or announced in other venues, as this compromises the blind review process. No one may present more than one paper or serve as a presenter and commentator or chair on the same panel.

Jointly authored abstracts and papers are welcome.


Scientific and Program Committee

Vlasis Vlasidis, University of Macedonia (chair)

Katerina Lagos, University of Sacramento

Paroula Naskou-Peraki, University of Macedonia

Nikos Marantzidis, University of Macedonia

Petros Papasarantopoulos, Epikentro Publishers

Athanasios Grammenos, Friedrich Naumann Stiftung für die Freiheit



Dr. Athanasios Grammenos

Friedrich Naumman Foundation for Freedom,

56 Panepistimiou Ave., 10678,


T: 2130 333667