Kari Palonen, Academy Professor

Director of the Finnish Centre of Excellence in Political Thought and Conceptual Change
Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy
P.O. Box 35 (Y 33)
FI-40014 University of Jyväskylä

Phone: +358 40 8054178
Fax: +358 14 260 2535
E-mail: kari.i.palonen[at]jyu.fi

CV (.doc)


Publications, addenda

Summary of the research plan

In the three monographs included in the Academy professor’s research plan, I will accentuate the politics of dissensus from different angles. The volume ‘Objektivität’ als faires Spiel. Wissenschaft als Politik bei Max Weber has been just completed and sent to a review for publication in Nomos Verlag. The commentary of Max Weber’s 1904 essay on ‘objectivity’ discusses Weber’s rhetorical redescription of the concept as one aiming at revising the discussion of the omnipresent scholarly controversies from the perspective of the regulative ideal of fair play and with the dissensual procedure of the English parliament as a historical paradigm for a fair debate.

The conceptual history of ‘parliamentarism’ from the perspective of dissensus has the working title The Fair Play with Parliamentary Times. A rhetorical history of the concept of parliamentarism. In this volume I will re-interpret the history of the concept by connecting the histories of parliamentary procedure, parliamentary oratory and parliamentary government together. The rhetorical history of British parliament from 1770 to 1914 forms the point of departure, followed by the discussion of French and German debates and practices around the concept of parliamentarism from the late nineteenth and early twenties centuries. The study concludes with a vision of the contemporary situation of the parliamentary style of politics. The perspective of playing with time connects to the concepts constructed in my Politics of Limited Times. The Rhetoric of Temporal Judgment in Parliamentary Democracies (Nomos 2008).

A third volume consisting of essays on the use of parliamentary debates in the historiography of concepts will also be completed. With the working title Concepts and Debates I thematise the multiple relationships between concepts and debates in the study of parliamentary politics. In addition, I will edit a Finnish collection of my essays on parliamentary politics, published since the 1990s in Politiikka or elsewhere as well as articles on topics related to the theme of the project will also be published in English, German or Finnish. Furthermore I will be one of the editors of the Parliament volume in the new European Conceptual History book series.

See also the Centre of Excellence website

Research plan long version (.doc)



Research Plan updated (February 2011)

Besides completing the „Objektivität“ als faires Spiel I have been writing a monograph with the working title Fair Play with the Parliamentary Times. A rhetorical perspective on the conceptual history of parliamentarism. So far I have written on the history of British parliamentary procedure and rhetoric and on their link with each other as well as with the parliamentarisation of the government and democratisation of parliament. The increase of items on the parliamentary agenda and the new expectation on MPs to speak in the plenum resulted in an unforeseen scarcity of parliamentary time. The Irish obstruction around 1880 dramatised the scarcity, the parliamentary paralysis was avoided by revising the procedure. A fair distribution of parliamentary times was understood as part of the parliamentary fair play. The analysis of parliamentary debates, documents of the procedure reform and debates in pamphlets and periodicals will be used for the analysis of this change. My intention is also to assess whether the change was realised at the cost of giving the government a quasi-monopoly of the parliamentary agenda setting? The questions of parliamentary procedure and parliamentary government are at this context connected with the chances of the parliamentarisation of the agenda itself. Debates from French Third Republic and from Wilhelmine or Weimar Germany on the fair redistribution of parliamentary time will be also included as well as a short discussion of modes of dealing with scarce times in contemporary parliaments.

In addition, I am preparing a collection of essays related to the conceptual history of parliamentarism, partly already published in English or German. A collection of my Finnish essays on parliamentarism from 1997 to 2011 will probably be published before these volumes.