Recent Middle East revolutions have placed the issue of citizenship at the centre of political reflection. Political conflicts, the debate on the new constitutions and cultural disputes seem to entail different ways of conceiving citizenship, civil and political rights, ideals and practices of belonging, other than implying different levels of recognition: sub-national, national and supranational. What are the principles of inclusion and exclusion of the “new” imagined communities? What are the symbolic boundaries between full citizens (enjoying full rights) and the rest of the people living in the same territory? How is the participation of citizens in political choices of the community organized?
In Europe the debate on citizenship has recently (re-)gained centrality in the public discourse. Sociology and philosophy have explored the antinomies of the notion of citizenship, analysing the tension between “insurrection” (aimed at claiming equality) and “constitution” (aimed at creating a community of citizens). As a growing segment of the population is excluded from enjoying full political, social and economic rights (recognition of migrants’ children in countries applying ius sanguinis, for example) probed in an entirely new way the connection between citizenship and sovereignty.
In a post-colonial perspective, patterns of exclusion that are to be found in contemporary societies can be interpreted by a sense of continuity with the colonial period. Migrations, in particular, reflect the persistence of socio- economic imbalances, and of stratified juridical statutes (legal or illegal migrants, asylum seekers, refuges, etc.), as well as forms of discrimination and segregation.
The issue of citizenship is also at the centre of feminist studies, where the category of gender questions citizenship in relation to all the issues outlined above, and where both the historiographical debate and the contributions of other social sciences are intertwined.
The conference aims to explore these dynamics through interdisciplinary perspectives, drawing on studies intending to shed light on the current debate. Its aim is to encourage the analysis of the issue of citizenship in specific historical contexts spanning from the Middle East to Europe alongside the observation of continuity and discontinuity in the long term.
We therefore welcome panel proposals, including at least three papers, or alternatively proposals for individual papers, focusing particularly, though not exclusively, on the following topics:
– Ethnic, linguistic and religious minorities; groups of population whose rights are not fully acknowledged;
– Contributions shedding light on the impact of neo-liberalism on national sovereignty and individual rights;
-Contributions investigating the jurisprudence, the constitutions, the laws on citizenship, in the imperial contexts of the caliphates, in the colonial period, in the nationalistic period, and in the current context of globalization.
– Contributions examining the relationship between elite/people (also challenging this binary opposition), the power struggles, the control of material and intellectual resources
– Contributions investigating the relationship between religion and power legitimacy, both state oriented and revolutionary.
– Contributions shedding light on the transnational character of citizenship, with particular reference to international migrations from the Middle East to Europe, America and Australia, and within the Middle East (for example to Gulf countries).
– Contributions from cultural studies, focusing on how the issue of citizenship is represented in different contexts
– Contributions on gender representations in contexts/the context of social and political change.
– Contributions about the relationship between the intellectual, cultural and political spheres in shaping the debate on citizenship
Panel or paper proposals, with title, abstract and a short biography of the presenter are to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by 15th April 2013. Papers and panels accepted will be notified by 15th of May 2013 with the opening pre-registration process.
The publication of the preliminary programme will be notified by 15th of June with the closure of complimentary rooms request (for a maximum of two nights) for graduate and post-graduate students, PhD candidates, Post- Doctoral students and Adjunct Professors.
At 15th of July 2013 the closure of pre- registration process.
Lodging: The University of Pavia has a wide range of colleges and university residences in which the organization of the conference has reserved some rooms.
Segreteria Conferenza SESAMO 2013
c/o Centro Studi Popoli Extraeuropei “Cesare Bonacossa”
Dipartimento di Scienze Politiche e Sociali
Università di Pavia
Strada Nuova, 65