Room H, City Hall
Time Slot: 
Wednesday 28th March 11:00 - 12:30
Panel Chair: 
  • Ms Marta Wojciechowska (London School of Economics)
Panel Members: 
  • Miss Zohreh Khoban (Uppsala University)
  • Mr Hans Asenbaum (University of Westminster)
  • Dr Sara Bondesson (Swedish National Defence University)
  • Ms Marta Wojciechowska (London School of Economics)
  • Dr Clodagh Harris (University College Cork)

Difference democrats like Iris Marion Young, Jane Mansbridge and Anne Phillips address the problem of the marginalisation of particular groups in society within participatory spaces. Visual identity markers of gender, race, class, sexuality, age, able-bodiedness etc. are tied to social hierarchies which often are replicated in participatory and deliberative processes. To facilitate inclusion, difference democrats advocate claiming identity and performing embodied presence in participatory spaces. These discussions about difference and diversity in democracy were vividly led in the 1990s but have died down since. Yet many questions remain unsolved. This panel assembles current research on how difference democratic thought can be fruitful in the 21st century. It addresses the following questions:

  • Are the lessons about inclusion through embodied presence still valid in the information age? How are identity performances reconfigured through emerging modes of online communication and digital presence?
  • If democratic subjects promote inclusion through presence, this also confines them to their physically embodied identities with all the hierarchies attached to them. So how can these confining effects of claiming embodied identity be overcome?
  • How can lessons of intersectionality studies be incorporated by difference democracy?
  • What other feminist, queer or identity-related approaches to democratic theory exist?