Central European University; Budapest, Hungary; May 21-22, 2012 (Deadline: December 31, 2011).
European societies have been recently characterized as having entered
the age of 'super-diversity'. Migratory flows in particular have
contributed to this transformation, due to the heterogeneous
ethno-cultural, and religious background of present migrants, as well as
their social status, age, and mobility patterns. Among the effects this
transformation has brought about is the increased challenge posed to
the constitutive principle of the nation-state, i.e.,
assumption that identity (nation) and politics (state) can and should
be mutually constituent and spatially congruent. Thus, unsurprisingly,
many states have started perceiving diversity as a 'problem',
potentially threatening national unity, while anti-immigration and
xenophobic attitudes have experienced a rapid
scholarship has offered insightful critical analyses of this 'backlash
against diversity', documenting the rise of repressive state measures
designed to limit access of new migrants to the national territory and
citizenship. Other scholars have instead moved away from the idea of the
nation-state, proposing either post-national solutions, which decouple
the cultural (nation) from the political (state), or transnational
paradigms, which implicitly discard the focus on the nation-state as not
only obsolete but also politically questionable. Yet, despite important
insights from this scholarship, social and political life continues to
remain largely structured by discourses, resources and institutions
articulated at the national scale.
is therefore the aim of the proposed conference to explore how 'living
together in diversity' is imagined, narrated, organized, justified, and
practiced within contemporary national societies. With the stress on
'in' rather than 'with' diversity we want to move away from reifying the
dominant 'majority' society perspective, which assumes diversity as
something 'carried' solely by immigrants and something that the 'native'
society has to cope with. Some of the questions that we are interested
- What makes multicultural societies circumscribed by state borders cohere together?
- What are the ways in which the nation becomes re-signified to accommodate the ethno-cultural diversity of its populace?
- How do migrants position themselves in national narratives and political structures?
- What alternative modes and models of belonging are at work within present national societies?
- In which ways does the national continue to feature as a site of attachment?
- Is it necessary to have some form of common identification at the
national scale to have functioning states in the first place?
we acknowledge that these questions are inescapably normative in
character, we particularly welcome empirically-informed work. The
privileged level of analysis we are interested in is the national scale,
but papers focusing on sub-national and supra-national scales can also
be welcomed inasmuch as they can offer insights regarding how living
together in diversity works at the national scale. Regionally, the
conference will focus on Europe, but contributions discussing other
geographical contexts are also welcomed.
All potential participants are invited to submit an abstract (250-300 words) to Tatiana Matejskova (MatejskovaT@ceu.hu)
by December 31st, 2011. By January 31st, 2012 participants will be
informed about the acceptance of their papers. Confirmation of
participation and payment of the conference fee will be due on February
28th, 2012. The conference fee of 60 Euros will cover refreshments,
lunches and conference materials.
Tariq Modood (University of Bristol)
Ezio Colombo (UnivPatricia Ehrkamp (University of Kentucky)
Mary Gilmartin (NUI, Maynooth)
Elaine Ho (National University of Singapore)
Atsuko Ichijo (Kingston University, London)
Eleonore Kofman (Middlesex University)
Liz Mavroudi (Loughborough University)
Gill Valentine (University of Leeds)