International Workshop

Democracy and Radical Imagination: Castoriadis Revisited

May 24-26, 2023

Many commentators have identified the disintegration of truth and facts as the core threat to democratic societies, and accordingly call for restoring our political sense of reality. This workshop proceeds from the conviction that we face at least as severe a crisis of our political sense of possibility: a crisis of political imagination. It has become increasingly difficult to imagine democratic politics and democratic futurity differently, that is, significantly departing from the status quo of liberal western democracy. To enliven political imagination, we turn to the work of Cornelius Castoriadis. Nearly half a century after the publication of his magnum opus The Imaginary Institution of Society (1975), it is not only time to evaluate the productivity of his political philosophy for present discussions. Rather, with his distinctive account of democracy as autonomous self-institution and his notion of radical imagination at the heart of the political, Castoriadis delivers conceptual tools and frameworks to foster new, radical democratic imaginaries.




Organized by Sara Gebh & Sergej Seitz // ERC Research Project Prefiguring Democratic Futures

In cooperation with the DVPW Working Group Konstruktivistische Theorien der Politik