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The Struggle for Democracy

Meckstroth coverA colloquium on Dr Christopher Meckstroth's latest book 'The Struggle for Democracy: Paradoxes of Progress and the Politics of Change’ will be held in the Lloyd Room, Christ's College from 4.30 until 7.00pm on Friday 4th of March.


Prof David Runciman, on democracy
Prof Malcolm Schofield, on Socrates
Prof Peter Niesen (Hamburg), on Kant
Prof Kimberly Hutchings (QMUL) on Hegel

The chairs are Professor John Robertson and Dr Joel Isaac



The book argues that Kant's and Hegel's theories of history should be seen as responses to a problem of political judgment concerning change that Rousseau had left without a convincing solution, and emphasizes the importance in these responses of an indirect mode of argument by refutation with roots in the Socratic elenchus.

It also defends an argument for contemporary democratic theory, showing how the approaches one finds in Kant and Hegel can be adapted to solve a longstanding paradox concerning how a democratic people might ever be in a position to authorise its own constitution, or who, if anyone, has the right to speak in 'the people's' name.


4.30: Introduction
4.40: Professor David Runciman (POLIS, Cambridge)
5.00: Professor Malcolm Schofield (Classics, Cambridge)
5.20: Q&A
Chair: Professor John Robertson (History, Cambridge)

5.40: Professor Peter Niesen (Political Theory, University of
6.00: Professor Kimberly Hutchings (Politics and International
Relations, Queen Mary)
6.20: Q&A
Chair: Dr Joel Isaac (History, Cambridge)

6.40: Response by Dr Christopher Meckstroth (History,
7.00 p.m. - 7.45: Wine reception

The colloquium has been organised by the Cambridge Centre for Political Thought