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Cambridge Centre for Political Thought


Fri 7 – Sat 8 Jul 2023

Robinson College, Grange Road, Cambridge, CB3 9AN

For the conference programme, please see below.

Hegel is among the greatest polymaths of the modern era. However, the nature of his contribution to the humanities and social sciences has been systematically obscured since the Second World War. This conference is designed to highlight his significance as a political thinker in particular.

Specialists have tended to confine their attention to one specific aspect of his thought, separating his metaphysical, historical and theoretical concerns. We aim at transforming our sense of the importance of Hegelian political thought by bringing together German specialists from Germany, Europe, the UK, and the US to stimulate a renewal of Hegel scholarship within the field of political thought.

In emphasising both Hegel and the Hegelian tradition, we hope to achieve a dual renaissance: first, by reviving the study of Hegel’s own political philosophy and, second, by revitalising the study of the traditions he helped foster.

Registration is required for attendance and can be completed here. The charge covers refreshments and lunch over two days of the conference. Please note there is no single-day rate and the registration fee is non-refundable.

Organising committee:
Professor Richard Bourke
, University of Cambridge
Dr Fernanda Gallo, University of Cambridge
Professor Duncan Kelly, University of Cambridge

Conference assistant: Elena Yi-Jia Zeng, University of Cambridge

Funded by BEIS

Organised in partnership with: The British Academy; DAAD - University of Cambridge; King's College, Cambridge; Faculty of History, University of Cambridge.

If you have any questions about this event, email

Conference programme

Day 1 – 7th July

10:30–11:00 Registration and Coffee
11:00–11:10 Opening Remarks
Richard Bourke (King’s College, University of Cambridge)


The Philosophy of Right
Chair: Duncan Kelly (Jesus College, University of Cambridge)
  • Ludwig Siep (University of Münster), “Limits and Potential of Hegel’s Philosophy of Objective Spirit”.
  • David James (Warwick University), “Hegel on the Unity of the State”.
  • Sally Sedgwick (Boston University), “Weltgeschichte als Gericht: On Justifying Hegel’s Philosophy of Right”.
12:50–14:00 Lunch
14:00–15:10 The World
Chair: Fernanda Gallo (Homerton College, University of Cambridge)
  • David Leopold (University of Oxford), "Hegel and Utopia".
  • Frederick Neuhouser (Barnard College, Columbia University), “Hegel’s Social Philosophy as Comprehending the Life-World”.
15:10–15:40 Coffee/Tea Break
15:40–17:20 The Will
Chair: Richard Bourke (King’s College, University of Cambridge)
  • Douglas Moggach (University of Ottawa / University of Sidney), “Hegel and Post-Kantian Perfectionism”.
  • Allegra de Laurentiis (Stony Brook University), “On the ‘Infinite Recalcitrance’ of Property in Bourgeois Society (§195)”.
  • Susanne Herrmann-Sinai (University of Oxford), “Subjective Freedom”.

Day 2 – 8th July

9:30–10:00 Coffee


The Citizen
Chair: Charlotte Johann (Churchill College, University of Cambridge)
  • Oliver Higgins (University of Cambridge), "Hegel on Freedom and the Volk at War".
  • Klaus Vieweg (University of Jena), “Der Staat, das bin ich: Hegel über Bürger und Staat”.
  • Robert Stern (University of Sheffield), “The Case of Elizabeth II: Hegel’s Account of Monarchy Confirmed?”.
11:40–12:10 Coffee/Tea Break
12:10–13:20 The People
Chair: Sylvana Tomaselli (St John College, University of Cambridge)
  • Stephen Houlgate (Warwick University), “Civil Society and its Discontents: Hegel and the Problem of Poverty”.
  • Andreja Novakovic (University of California, Berkeley), “Hegel’s Answer to the ‘Academy’ Question: Is it Permissible to Deceive a People?”.
13:20–14:30 Lunch
14:30–16:10 After Hegel
Chair: Gareth Stedman Jones (King’s College, University of Cambridge)
  • Fernanda Gallo (University of Cambridge), “Hegel’s Ethical State in Italy”.
  • Terry Pinkard (Georgetown University), “Life, Logic, Practice: The Remnants of Naturalized Left-Hegelianism".
  • Richard Bourke (King’s College, University of Cambridge): "Hegel and the Dialectic of Enlightenment".