FOR A MORPHOLOGY OF CONCEPTS IN THE DEMOCRATIC LEXICON - 1st PhD Students and Young Researchers Transdisciplinary Seminar


Humanities, Literature & Arts (General) Language & Linguistics Philosophy Political Science Interdisciplinary Studies (General) Culture



1st PhD Students and Young Researchers Transdisciplinary Seminar


Since the Modern age, democracy stands as the characteristic Western form of government. We cannot consider such a political regime as just one among other possible ways of understanding the organization of power. Rather, it is the accomplishment of a certain culture and a certain anthropological vision. As a matter of fact, in its multifaceted variants, democracy is the most evident outcome of modern political thought, rooted in the theoretical bedrock of the natural law doctrine.

Whoever intends to research on such a broad and complex topic, thus, has to keep in mind how wondering about the modern way of understanding and practicing politics is indispensable to this aim. Hence, we should start by clarifying the underlying concepts of politics and how they are used to justify political order and political obligation. As it is well known, concepts like, e.g., ‘equality’, ‘freedom’, ‘representation’, or ‘popular sovereignty’ are so controversial that often give raise to hard-to-solve aporias. At the same time, in everyday language, they are frequently used in minimal, uncritical

or quasi-dogmatic ways, so to hinder any authentic understanding of the considered phenomena.

Consequently, in order to shed light on contemporary political phenomena, it seems necessary to focus on the mentioned confusing cultural horizon, and to examine the common democratic lexicon with all its contradictions and conceptual stratifications. In particular, it is a matter of understanding whether there are irresolvable antinomies or not; or whether the reasons for the political conflict are to be traced back only to the ideologies of the warring parties or also to the ground where the conflict takes place. Indeed, the perpetual crisis that appears to afflict democratic regimes might be due not just to historical contingencies (though their relevance is certainly non-negligible) but to an endemic fragility intrinsic in the very origin of such regimes.

The interpretative categories prevalent in current political discourse can be mostly traced back to the social contract tradition. Nonetheless, as indicated by the very etymology of the word ‘democracy’, the ancient world certainly produced political experiences and philosophical reflections which notions and concepts still in use in modern democratic language stem from. Therefore, the classic texts of political thought of all time, in a long-term perspective, appears to be the indispensable starting point for any investigation aimed at identifying the meaning of some fundamental words, avoiding anachronisms or misinterpretations (for example: ‘sovereignty’ is not the translation of ‘imperium’ just as there is no perfect correspondence between the ‘people’ of modern constitutions and the ‘demos’ of the Greek poleis). Patently, a transdisciplinary approach, as well as the joint contribution of historical-conceptual awareness and philologically accurate analysis, are necessary conditions for such an investigation to be truly fruitful.


“Guglielmo Marconi” University’s PhD candidates in Law and Political Science, under the patronage of the Department of Law and Political Science, and in collaboration with the Department of Humanistic Studies of the University of Foggia, launch this call for proposals, addressed to doctoral students and young researchers in the History of political thought, Political philosophy, Sociology, History of law, Public law, as well as classic and modern Philology. Proposals focusing on how concepts born within the Western religious tradition have then become part of a secularized political culture are welcome too.


Abstracts (max. 500 words) should include: full name, email, job title, affiliation, scientific field, title, five keywords and an essential bibliography (max. 10 titles). Abstracts must be submitted to no later than July the 10th, 2024. The submission deadline will not be extended. Abstracts should be sent in Word format (.doc or .docx).

Notification of acceptance or rejection shall be sent by July the 31st, 2024.

The deadline for full paper (max. 4.000 words) submission is fixed on January the 31st, 2025. Late submissions will not be accepted under any circumstances. Author guidelines will be provided in due course.

The criteria for evaluation that will be followed by the Scientific Committee will be: relevance of the proposal to the colloquium theme, originality and academic standard. Accepted papers will be published as proceedings in the form of an edited volume.


The seminar will take place on November 7th to 8th, 2024, in Rome
, at the main building of the “Guglielmo Marconi” University, Via Plinio, 44 – 00193, Rome. Presentation at the seminar will be 10-15 minutes long.

The lunch on November the 7th will be offered by the “Guglielmo Marconi” University. The fee for the social dinner (evening of November the 7th) and all travel and lodging expenses will be on participants’ charge. The Organizing Committee will point out affiliated accommodations nearby the seminar venue. For any further information, please contact the Organizing Committee at


Prof. Maurizio Serio - "Guglielmo Marconi” University

Prof. Tommaso Valentini - “Guglielmo Marconi” University

Prof. Ulrike Haider Quercia - “Guglielmo Marconi” University

Prof. Giuseppe Solaro - University of Foggia

Prof. Vincenzo Lomiento - University of Foggia


Maria Giorgia Caraceni - PhD candidate, “Guglielmo Marconi” University (coordinator)

Giulia Fiorucci - PhD candidate, “Guglielmo Marconi” University

Rossana Giampaolo, University of Foggia

Sara Tucci - University of Foggia