Call for Papers

ASEN is holding its 26th Annual Conference

“Nationalism, Migration and Population Change”

19th-21st of April 2016 at the London School of Economics and Political Science

ASEN Conference 2016Until the mid-19th century, with limited exceptions such as the Atlantic slave trade, long-distance migration usually took place within civilisations. This changed with world wars, widening disparities in levels of economic development and transformations in communications and transportation. One of the aims of this year’s conference is to address the history of nationalism in relation to migration, a topic which has up until now received less attention compared to that of the historical causes of migration.

The conference will also seek to address a broad range of contemporary issues. Today the developed world is ageing at an unprecedented rate while 97% of the world’s population growth takes place in developing countries. This creates a steep population gradient, which in turn leads to increasing inter-civilisational migration. In developed countries, immigration, integration and questions of national identity have risen up the policy agenda. Moreover, new populist right parties have emerged at the political scene of several countries, gaining significant public support. Developing countries worry about the loss of some of their most energetic people, many of whom form immigrant diasporas which play an important role in their homelands’ nationalism. This conference therefore also focuses on the effects of contemporary migration on nationalism.

Migration affects nationalism, but nationalism can also produce population change. Some countries engage in policies of demographic engineering in order to increase their population – or at least that of their dominant ethnic group. Other countries seek to protect their “national culture” from large-scale immigration. Uneven demographic transition is a phenomenon noticed not only between but also within countries. This can lead to internal shifts in the balance between ethnic groups, as in the cases of Northern Ireland and Cȏte D’ Ivoire, which in turn may result in ethnic conflict.

This conference seeks to combine a focus on nationalism with a consideration of migration and population change. Applicants are asked to consider the interplay between nationalism and population changes such as migration, differences in population growth rates and urbanisation. We welcome both historical and contemporary perspectives from a wide array of disciplines.

Each of the three days of the conference will be punctuated by plenary sessions consisting of presentations given by distinguished academics. The first plenary usually has a general theoretical focus; the second a historical one while the final is concerned with contemporary policy issues. Each of them will provide different perspectives on the conference’s central theme of the interrelation between nationalism, migration and population change.

Those wishing to participate in the conference are encouraged to reflect on the many different forms, in which nationalism, migration and population change interact. A range of possible themes is outlined below. Please submit your abstract online by the 10th of January at

Your abstract should be no longer than 250 words and include your name, institutional affiliation and title, when appropriate. Please ensure that you highlight how your paper relates to the conference theme and its central questions.


  • Migration and long-distance nationalism
  • Immigration and populist nationalism
  • Emigration and nationalism
  • Return migration
  • Shifts in the conceptualisation of national identity in response to immigrant diversity
  • Demographic engineering and pronatalism
  • Immigrant societies and nation-building
  • Policies of inclusion (assimilation/integration)
  • Immigration, national identity and multiculturalism
  • Differential ethnic population growth and conflict
  • ‘Sons of the Soil’ conflicts
  • Internal migration, urbanisation and ethnic conflict
  • Warfare, boundary making and population movements
  • Banal nationalism, migration and the language of the media
  • The relationship between ‘old’ (established) and new minorities

For any queries or additional information, please email