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Conference: Redefining the Nation. Ethnicity and Nationhood in Communist and Post-Communist Societies, University of Bucharest, 18-19 May 2012‏

The process of continuous definition and institutionalisation of the
concept of nation is an important dimension of political and social
realities throughout the world. The phenomenon of nation-building permeates
multiple areas of politics and everyday life, acquiring diverse forms.
Laboratories for numerous nation-building projects across time,
post-communist societies can be said to offer a privileged position for
observing this protean nature of nationalism.

Far from losing its significance, nationalism in Central and Eastern
Europe, the Balkans, the Caucasus and Central Asia adjusted itself to
changing circumstances, political regimes and social orders. Arguably
incommensurable, the nation-building strategies and manifestations of
nationalism specific to the communist and post-communist periods
respectively are strongly connected through a burgeoning “nation-talk”,
i.e. the permanent usage of nation and ethnicity as key categories of
social and political practices.

The student conference organized by the Department of Political Science,
University of Bucharest, in collaboration with Université Paris 1 -
Panthéon Sorbonne, Université Libre de Bruxelles (CEVIPOL), and the
Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes and the Memory of the
Romanian Exile (Bucharest), is an invitation to reflect upon the changing
nature of nationalism in communist and post-communist societies. The last
decades have brought forth a wide range of mutations from and denials of
the traditional nation-state-centred nationalism, which in the view of
Ernest Gellner sought the congruence of cultural and political boundaries.
The different transborder and substate models of nationalism or the
long-distance nationalism (Benedict Anderson) facilitated by new
communication technologies can be seen as indications of these developments.

We welcome theoretical or empirical papers addressing the following or
related topics:

• communism and nation-building;

• nationalism and transition to democracy;

• memories of past conflict and the politics of reconciliation;

• nationhood and ethnicity in everyday life;

• ethnicised aggression and aggressive ethnicity;

• ethnopolitical settlements, relationship between majorities and

• transborder nation-building;

• long-distance nationalism, migration and diasporas;

• regional identities and substate nation-building;

• border identities;

• racism, xenophobia;

• human rights and minority rights, group rights, pluralism.

The conference is open to both undergraduate (final years) and postgraduate
students from different fields of social sciences and humanities: Political
Science, Anthropology, History, Sociology, Economics, etc.

The conference will take place at the Political Science Department,
University of Bucharest: 8, Spiru Haret Street, 010175, Bucharest (District
1), Romania.

Applications, in English or French, consisting of a paper abstract of 250
words and a short CV (one paragraph) must be submitted by 30 March 2012,
to: Please mention if partial funding for
travel or accommodation costs is needed (currently available funding is
very limited).

The selected papers should be submitted by May 7th (cca. 20, 000 – 25, 000
characters) . The languages of the conference will be English and French.
However, the final paper can be written in Romanian, English, or French.

The conference is part of the activities undertaken by the consortium
Université Libre de Bruxelles – University of Bucarest – University of
Wroclaw – Babes-Bolyai University, within the framework of the common MA
program « Central and Eastern European Politics and Societies » (

It is organized in partnership with Babes-Bolyai University, European
Studies Department, Ambassade de France en Roumanie. Service de
Coopération et d’Action Culturelle, Bucharest; Agence Universitaire de la
Francophonie, Bucharest, Délégation Wallonie- Bruxelles International,
Bucharest; The Policy Center for Roma and Minorities, Bucharest; Europe
Direct CENTRAS, Bucharest and Political Science Students Association
University of Bucharest.

Redefining the Nation. Ethnicity and Nationhood in Communist and
Post-Communist Societies

Department of Political Science, University of Bucharest

May 18-19, 2012

Deadline for submitting the abstract: March 30, 2012