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This workshop is organized by the Centre for Political Thought and connected to a European research project on representative democracy in which some of us are involved (the European Horizon REDIRECT project:

Although the research project is about the current state of representative democracy, the workshop we have organized is of a more historical character, and focussed on the early modern emergence of concepts, practices and institutions of democracy and representation. None of the presenters are linked to the research project. Their will present their own work on some of these ideas. 


Workshop on “Representative Democracy: The early modern formative period”


Wednesday 7 February 2024, Forum Seminar Room 12, 13.30-18.30 (UK times)

Organized by the Centre for Political Thought and the REDIRECT Exeter group




13.30 Arrival and Introduction 

13.45 – 15.00 Session 1: Representation (Alan Cromartie, University of Reading)

13.45 Alan Cromartie: The Word ‘Represent’: 1300-1649 

14.25 Discussion

15.00 – 15.10 Coffee Break


15.10 – 16.20 Session 2: The people (James Harris, University of St. Andrews)

15.10 – 15.45 James Harris: The People and the Multitude: Pufendorf and Locke in Reply to Hobbes

15.45 – 16.20 Discussion

16.20 – 16.40 Coffee break


16.40 – 18.10 Session 3: Democracy (Markku Peltonen and Cesare Cuttica, University of Helsinki)

16.40 – 17.10 Cesare Cuttica: Studying Early Modern Democracy: Questions and (a Few) Answers

17.10 – 17.40 Markku Peltonen: Early Modern Democracy: Three Approaches

17.40 – 18.10 Discussion

18.10 Concluding reflections/discussion (perhaps)


Date: 1 February 2024