The XXXth Annual ASEN Conference
Nationalism & Crisis

🙜 Abstracts

Panel Session A

A1: Populism of the left and populism of the right

From Exclusion to Establishment: Researching Party Organisation in Scandinavian Populist Parties
Mr Johan Andersen
Abstract

In recent years there has been an increasing interest in populist parties embracing an anti-establishment platform and their place within the political system. The proposed paper aims to investigate the changes within the party organisation of the Danish People’s Party and the Norwegian Progress Party once gaining political influence by supporting or joining a government constellation, i.e. joining the political establishment.
The foundation of ideological principles that these parties are based upon has shown cracks when populist stances must be replaced with rational strategies where political compromises equals political influence. Such changes in a political platform necessitates a transformation of the party, which comes with the risk of alienating voters, creating conflict among party members, and the party losing its anti-establishment appeal.
By employing theories and concepts bridging the fields of Political Science and Organisation Studies, it is the goal to achieve a greater understanding of how the organisation within these parties react to exogenous and endogenous factors as they were performing the balancing act of being the opposition to a government that they themselves supported – choosing pragmatism over ideological purity.

The South African Crisis and the Rise of the Economic Freedom Fighters
Prof Christi van der Westhuizen
Abstract

In the wake of South Africa’s relatively recent transition to democracy, the country has continued to be beset by the deep social fissures that apartheid wrought. The ruling African National Congress’s (ANC) initial attempts at creating a unified national identity faltered in the face of its failure to address the country’s socio-economic inequality, among the highest in the world. This crisis deepened after the global financial meltdown in 2008, and has since reached emergency proportions due to systemic corruption and the Coronavirus pandemic-related lockdown of economic activities. As the premier representative of African nationalism in the country, the ANC has historically contained rival forms of populism, but uneasily. As the socio-economic predicament deepens, racial populism has forcefully re-emerged. Amid intensifying political pressure on fledgling democratic institutions, South Africa has tipped into even greater social polarisation. These are the conditions giving rise to the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which split from the ANC to become the third largest party. Its support at 10.8% of the vote is belied by its domination of the public discourse with a politics of spectacle that routinely involves violence in rhetoric and practice. The paper examines the EFF’s form of nationalist politics to gauge its implications for South African constitutionalism. Does its use of violence and demagoguery advancing race essentialism and polarisation represent an authoritarian threat, or even a homegrown African form of fascism?

A crisis of insecurity? Perspectives from left and right populists in France
Miss Donatella Bonansinga
Abstract

Political science studies link contemporary insecurity with populist success, arguing that the populist right capitalises on citizens’ anxieties with discourses of fear (Wodak 2015), crisis (Homolar and Scholz 2019; Moffitt 2015), insecurity (Béland 2020) and securitisation (Kinnvall 2014; Kurylo 2020; Wojczewski 2020). In doing so, the literature has largely neglected whether the discursive dynamics of insecurity construction work differently in the populist left or whether there is a more profound ideational interconnection between populism and insecurity that transcends the ideological divide. This paper presents a theoretical model that abstracts the polysemic construction of insecurity via a set of discursive frames, which captures what aspects of insecurity are highlighted and used for interpretation. The framework is applied to the case of France, a rare display of successful competing populisms in the same political system, represented by Marine Le Pen (Rassemblement National) and Jean-Luc Mélenchon (France Insoumise). We find that, contrary to common understanding, both right and left populists place emphasis on insecurity in their narratives. While ideological differences drive a divergent identification of insecurity sources (i.e. cultural threats for Le Pen and socio-economic threats for Mélenchon), the populism both actors have in common determines the overlapping overarching theme of a France ‘in crisis’ where citizens are ‘in danger’ and national and supranational elites are the ‘main drivers’ of this insecurity.

Who Survives the next Crisis? Disunity in Poland’s United Right Government
Dr Marcin Ślarzyński and Melisse Laebens
Abstract

Since coming to power in 2015, Law and Justice (PiS) has used its growing control of the state to implement a radical agenda aiming to transform Poland’s politics and institutions along neo-traditionalist, nationalist and statist lines. While this agenda has polarized the country deeply, it has not led to the emergence of a homogenous government block controlled centrally by the PiS leadership. We argue that contentious intra-coalition dynamics threaten PiS’ control over polarization and create a risk of strategic miscalculation by members of the government. Such miscalculation could result in a coalition crisis or in the strengthening of the far right opposition at the expense of the government coalition. Inherent tensions within the United Right coalition comprised of PiS and its two junior partners are making it difficult for PiS to control and direct the government’s political agenda and position. We show how junior partners, being essential to the government’s parliamentary majority and intent on keeping organizational autonomy, seek to differentiate themselves from PiS within the spectrum of right-wing ideologies, and have blackmailed the government on several occasions in the past year. PiS appears to seek and create appropriate crises not only to consolidate power vis-a-vis the opposition, but also to extend its control over the ruling camp. The plurality of interests within the ruling coalition and the tensions between those defy the idea of a single fault line running between government and opposition, and is shaping the government’s takeover of the state and public sphere.

A2: Operationalising and measuring nationalism

Qualifying National Identity: a Country Level Indicator of Competitiveness
Vladimir Magun and Marharyta Fabrykant
Abstract

A vision of the world as based on competition and the logic of a zero-sum game, as opposed to cooperation and win-win outcomes, becomes especially likely to capture the public imagination in times of crisis. This may be due to a shortage of resources, both actual and perceived, combined with the uncertainly of expectations and the apparent irrelevance of the previous benchmarks for estimating individual and group performance at the time when the stakes grow higher. These circumstances in turn may lead not just to a net increase in the level of competitiveness, but also to its spread towards new spheres. Thus, competitiveness of national identity would be an important indicator showing to what extent geopolitical tensions in the public discourse permeate the mass consciousness. In this paper, we propose such a measure of competitiveness as a quality of national identity operationalized as a correlation between a national identity attitude and the strength of belief in national superiority. This indicator allows estimating competitiveness indirectly, even when the direct single-item measure is unavailable or impossible and can be applied to a wide variety of national identity related attitudes. Based on the data of the three waves of the International Social Survey Programme – National Identity, we demonstrate the heuristic potential of this measure of competitiveness for 11 estimates of national pride in the country and its achievements in various spheres. The results show how the competitiveness indicator captures substantive differences between various kinds of national pride and across countries.

Surveying nationalism: How is nationalism treated in current databases?
Mr Javier Carbonell
Abstract

This paper studies how have major databases covering party positions (CHES, GPS, Manifesto Project, Kriesi et al. (2008, 2012), de Wilde et al. (2019) etc.) conceptualised and operationalised nationalism. Although important differences remain between these surveys, I will argue that they suffer from three broad interrelated problems. First, most of these surveys understand nationalism only in its most conservative, explicit and ethnic forms, while overlooking civic, liberal or progressive forms of nationalism. This reductionist understanding runs contrary to most scholarship in nationalism studies which sees nationalism as broadly shared by most members of nation-states. The second problem is that their focus on party conflict prevents them from seeing broad common consensus between parties regarding national identity and national pride. Lastly, what is opposed to nationalism varies from survey to survey between liberalism, cosmopolitanism and multilateralism. These problems make some of the surveys miscategorise some parties as nationalist or non-nationalist in cases when they shouldn’t. I will show why nationalism is not just reducible to its most ethnic and conservative forms and why it is not incompatible with (most forms of) liberalism, cosmopolitanism and multilateralism.

I will conclude by introducing a new database that provides a different operationalization of the concept which addresses some of the flaws shared by previous surveys. This paper is part of a larger PhD project which analyses mainstream parties’ strategies regarding national identity through a new dataset.

Tackling the crisis of operationalisation: Presenting new measurement instruments for both nationalism and patriotism
Miss Marlene Mußotter
Abstract

In empirical scholarship, measurement scales for both nationalism and patriotism built on pride-item-batteries are broadly established. Despite their widespread usage, they are marked by several empirical shortcomings. Pride, so the tenor of criticism, is a highly ambiguous and therefore problematic concept when measuring national attitudes. However, systematically developing and testing new indicators has received considerably little attention in previous scholarship. The merit of this contribution lies in filling this gap by presenting new measurement instruments for both patriotism and nationalism. In contrast to the prevailing research tradition, these measures do not adhere to the contested pride-item-concept and seek to fully tap the complexity of both nationalism and patriotism. Based on an online survey in Germany (N=500) starting in November 2020, the 27 new items are evaluated by conducting an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) as well as a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). The paper calls for rethinking the predominant measurement tradition by providing a new approach that seeks to better reflect these national attitudes currently dominating the political landscape in Europe but also in other Western countries.

Is my nation cool enough? Nationalism under Economic Adversity
Dr Maria Jose Hierro
Abstract

Do economic shocks impact national attitudes? Do they make people more or less nationalist? What are the factors driving change in these attitudes? In this paper, I seek to answer this question examining three different national attitudes: nationalism, patriotism and national identification. In particular, I analyze the impact of changes in the nation’s economic situation and in governments’ response to the crisis. Two explanations can potentially account for the relationship between economic crisis and nationalism: an instrumental explanation, and an explanation based on the theory of diversionary nationalism. The paper relies in the analysis of data from two mono-graphic surveys of the International Social Survey Program (National identity 2003, and 2013). Results from the cross-country analysis show that national attitudes are eroded when the economic status of the nation deteriorates what gives support to the instrumental explanation.

A3: Diaspora nationalism and imagined communities

Crisis in the Homeland, Mobilization in Diaspora: Assyrians in North America, 2014-2016
Dr Erin Hughes
Abstract

Do economic shocks impact national attitudes? Do they make people more or less nationalist? What are the factors driving change in these attitudes? In this paper, I seek to answer this question examining three different national attitudes: nationalism, patriotism and national identification. In particular, I analyze the impact of changes in the nation’s economic situation and in governments’ response to the crisis. Two explanations can potentially account for the relationship between economic crisis and nationalism: an instrumental explanation, and an explanation based on the theory of diversionary nationalism. The paper relies in the analysis of data from two mono-graphic surveys of the International Social Survey Program (National identity 2003, and 2013). Results from the cross-country analysis show that national attitudes are eroded when the economic status of the nation deteriorates what gives support to the instrumental explanation.

The imagined community of nationalityless students in Thailand: Locating the place of nationalism in the public school curriculum
Miss Methawadee Behnjharachajarunandha
Abstract

The concept of being a good Thai citizen is constructed by Thai education curriculum. This curriculum has played an important role in shaping national identity within the imaginative public area. However, the imagined community of stateless/nationalityless students in Thailand is constructed by the perception received from being stateless/nationalityless students in public schools. The Thai Government has ratified ‘rights’ to education for all children in Thailand since 2005. The Thai public schools can legitimately promote nationalist sentiments towards stateless/nationalityless students. This research has mainly focused on the question of whether or not public schools can legitimately promote nationalism towards the question of the role that teaching about the phenomenon of nationalism and about specific nationalist movements can play in reinforcing liberal and democratic civic values and principles. The objective of this study is to explore the role of education in nationalism and nation-building in Thailand creating the imagined community of stateless/nationalityless students.
Keywords: Imagined community, Thailand’s education policy, Stateless/Nationalityless students and Nationalism

Coming to America & Going back to Africa: How HBCUs shaped Pan-African identity
Mr Mark Lewin
Abstract

This paper traces the influence that HBCUs ( Historically black colleges or universities,) had on shaping Pan-African identity. By tracing African intellectual and future political leaders time spent studying at HBCUs, this paper plans to argue how HBCUs created a breeding ground for Pan-African thought. Pan-Africanism called for solidarity of black peoples facing political crises throughout Africa & the United States. When African migrant students arrived at institutions like Lincoln University and Howard University, they formed strong academic and personal friendships with one another & with their professors. While studying in the United States in the early to mid twentieth century, they envisioned a new Africa free from European imperial rule.

A4: How states manage the response to covid

The decentralisation sweet spot: balancing accountability and local capacity in Covid-19 Crisis Management
Katya Broomberg and Sarmed Hyder
Abstract

Among crisis management literature, there is broad consensus that strong capacity, along with coordinated interaction between government agencies and actors, is essential to successful crisis response. However, there is comparatively limited discussion of the political institutions which underlie these factors. To address this gap we focus on decentralisation and its role in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic. We test whether there exists a sweet spot in decentralisation, where regional capacity is maximised whilst minimising loss of accountability. By increasing fiscal capacity but also enshrining multilevel cooperation, countries can gain the benefits of decentralisation whilst ensuring accountability and oversight over regional governments is maintained. We use fiscal autonomy as a mechanism to isolate fiscal capacity, and aspects of shared rule to determine accountability. Using the Regional Authority Index (RAI), we measure the relationship between both mechanisms and Covid-19 management across 18 countries in Europe; characterised by excess deaths, hospitalisations and compliance. Our preliminary findings show that a decentralisation sweet spot exists whereby regional capacity and multilevel cooperation balances the negative relationship between accountability and capacity. Regional governments enjoy higher trust levels than national governments, resulting in more compliance relative to more centralised countries. Regional governments, being closer to the ground, more effectively implement and tailor policy. Countries that ensure shared rule and decentralisation, see higher levels of policy alignment and therefore more coordinated Covid-19 responses. This decentralisation sweet spot balances placing trust in regional governments, who are closer to the problem, with accountability.

Understanding Anxiety through Pandemics: How Small States Fail to Manage (In)Secure and Resilient Identities in Cyprus and Estonia during COVID-19
Mr Petros Petrikkos (withdrawn)
Abstract

COVID-19 has generated an uncertain future and growing anxiety for small societies and populations. The anxiety crises are spread throughout small states is particularly interesting, if one assumes that information travels with greater ease through small communities, thus being susceptible to manipulation and the distortion of reality and facts. COVID-19 has spread anxiety and fear, misleading information, and has brought forth new challenges and concepts in how we understand societal problems and national identity. As a result, the pandemic is not merely a health crisis: it also becomes a question of security, identity, and governance. This simultaneously gives rise to other identity questions, particularly in countries with ongoing cultural, national, language, religious differences or even conflict. How does this threaten such societies? The spill-over effect, is perhaps found at the entangled nature of this pandemic. It is not just a health issue, but also a security concern: on the one hand, there is anxiety and uncertainty as to what the future holds – on the other hand, there is growing nuisance, dissatisfaction, and a lack of faith in the state and its functions. In the examples set forth comparatively by Cyprus and Estonia, both countries have faced insecurity and resilience, exhibiting different traces of populism, nationalism, corruption, and conflict. Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean and Estonia in the Baltics both face external threats to their identity, through Turkey and Russia respectively. Simultaneously, Estonia is a pioneer and tech giant when compared to Cyprus, whereas the latter has invested more in the physical realm for security. A central question that is posed, therefore, is rooted in the principle of understanding better identity crises. Through a critical Constructivist lens, the question of how the COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to insecure and resilient identities in Cyprus and Estonia is examined.

Covid-19 as a crisis impacting nations and nationalism
Ms Olivia Joseph-Aluko
Abstract

Background and Objectives
This study examines the impact of ‘COVID nationalism’ on migrants and refugees. The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a wave of nationalist policies, including the sealing of borders and the forcible displacement of refugees and migrant workers. Moreover, there have been substantial disparities in distributions of medical supplies and vaccine doses, as wealthy nations prohibit exports and rush to secure billions of doses for their own citizens.
Methodology
This study reviews nationalist measures in policy documents and global data on vaccine distributions. The study also analyses data on displaced persons from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, compares statistics on remittances before and since the pandemic, and examines data from the World Health Organization’s 2020 survey of the impacts of COVID-19 on migrants.
Results and Discussion
Migrants are highly susceptible to COVID-19 due to crowded living conditions and lack of health care access. Undocumented migrants report not seeking health care due to financial constraints or the risk of deportation. Migrants accounted for 75% of all new confirmed cases in Saudi Arabia in May 2020 and over 95% of cases in Singapore in June 2020. In the U.S., where over half of the world’s six million vaccinations have been administered to date, undocumented immigrants have largely been excluded from testing and vaccination initiatives. However, ‘vaccine nationalism’ is expected to severely hinder global economic recovery, and nearly half of the estimated US 9.2 trillion in losses is expected to be borne by high-income nations. Thus, wealthy countries face a dilemma between nationalism and global sustainability.

A5: Nationalism and crisis in central and southern Europe

Cultural conflict in Poland. Society between state, nationalism and religion: the case of Poland’s 2020 protests against abortion
Dr Anna Jagiełło-Szostak
Abstract

The purpose of this study is to analyze the 2020 protests in Poland from the perspective of a cultural conflict. The abortion crisis was largely perceived by the ruling party as an attack on traditional values, national identity and the nation’s history. In this conflict, on the one hand, is seen symbolic violence, e.g. using stereotypes, the subject of which are women and their rights, on the other hand, a physical attack on religious symbols was visible. According to the rulers, religious symbols are an inherent part of the national identity, but were perceived as an oppressive towards the views of the protesters.
Cultural conflicts are a vital phenomenon that is link to many categories, such as religion, ideology, ethnicity, or are related to different lifestyles and values. They can cause conflicts between individuals and organized groups with different opinions. When differences in cultural beliefs become the basis of political action and organization, cultural conflicts increase even more (J.H. Turner). When it comes to maintaining identity, there is always a cultural element that shapes attitudes, behaviors and perceptions. It is also recognition and legitimation of various identities and ways of life (M. LeBaron). An example may be the conflict over abortion, which caused protests in Poland in 2016 and 2020. This conflict has a largely local dimension, but with a certain global impact (epidemiological crisis, conflict between Poland and the EU over the rule of law). Locality is expressed in disputes about the shape of the social and cultural reality and has taken the form of a confrontation between supporters of tradition and modernity, supporters of the pro life and pro choice concepts. Disputes arose with the participation of the society, state institutions and the ruling political party (Law and Justice), religious and nationalist institutions and non-governmental organizations (Ogólnopolski Strajk Kobiet).

From Dayton to Bernese Jura: The Election of the Croat Member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Mr Ivan Pepic
Abstract

After the signing of the Dayton Agreement in 1995, critical literature has attempted to portray consociationalism in Bosnia and Herzegovina as the predominant source of all political problems. At the same time, this literature has widely neglected the centripetal electoral rules that have existed since the first elections. The paper aims to fill that gap by analyzing the negative outcomes of the existing centripetal cross-ethnic vote pooling rules and by discussing a possible compromise model through the application of the Bernese Jura’s geometric mean electoral model, which would satisfy the appetites of the largest ethnic group, which seek to keep cross-ethnic voting rules, and the smallest ethnic group, which advocates for strong consociational arrangements. The paper tests the application of the geometric mean on the election results of the Croat member of the tripartite Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina as representative of the least numerous ethnic group. The central argument of the paper is that the application of the geometric mean in deeply divided societies, where an unstable dual balance of power persists, reinforces consociationalism and is useful to achieve cooperation and accommodation between two groups rather than domination or secession. The results also provide a basis for further debates on consociationalism-centripetalism “friendship” in a “Bogaardsian sense”.

Gendering Parliamentary Questions: National Consensus and Transitional Justice in Croatia
Dr Denisa Kostovicova and Dr Vesna Popovski
Abstract

Scholars have argued that transitional justice practices fail to advance reconciliation and acknowledgement for victims of war crimes because they are subverted by local actors’ ethno-centric nationalist agendas and narratives about the conflict. At the same time, gender-sensitive analysis of transitional justice has highlighted the importance of women’s agency in shaping processes and outcomes of transitional justice practices. Women have played a crucial role in the inclusion and recognition of women’s justice needs in transitional justice processes, contributing to outcomes that better advance gender-just peace, in general, and gender justice, in particular. However, our understanding of how women’s voices matter in engaging with dominant nationalist narratives that shape transitional justice debates is less understood. This paper focuses on women’s discursive agency to glean how women shape transitional justice in the institutional domain in a post-conflict context. We conduct a comparative analysis of parliamentary questions asked by male and female MPs in the Croatian Parliament about post-conflict justice issues. The data for this study encompasses MP’s questions asked orally during a parliamentary session between 2004 and 2018. These questions are analyzed based on the coding scheme rooted in Conversation Analysis (CA) based on the content and linguistic style. This empirical strategy allows us to capture sequential and interactive dimensions of parliamentary questions, and how they differ by gender of an MP asking a question. While furthering the study of transitional justice and gender, the paper also contributes to the scholarship on female legislative behaviour from the perspective of discursive strategies and their consequences.

Serbian State Identity after Yugoslavia: Caught Between Geopolitics and Liberal Promises
Dr Dejan Guzina
Abstract

Abstract: Serbia’s foreign policy choices in the post-Milošević period represent an uneasy mix between an openly conservative, nationalist geopolitical discourse and liberal promises towards Europe. They reflect the profound identity crisis of the Serbian state that effectively prevents its decision-makers and society at large from reaching a consensus about whether Serbia should join the EU and recognize Kosovo as an independent state. I evaluate this seemingly contradictory nature of Serbian foreign policy choices from a constructivist and critical geopolitical perspective by bringing to the fore the body of international relations (IR) literature on ontological security as well as the work of Stefano Guzzini and his conceptualization of the return of geopolitics in Europe. I analyze the complex mix of institutionalist, realist and geopolitical elements in Serbian foreign policy that offers a more context-specific interpretation of the ‘inevitability’ of Serbian foreign policy choices. The paper is divided into three sections. First, I provide an analytical framework for the evaluation of the relationship between state identity and ontological security as well as the reasons for the return of geopolitics in Serbia. The second part provides an overview of the dissolution of Yugoslav identity within Serbia. Finally, I analyze the contradictory ‘nature’ of Serbian foreign policy in the post-Milošević period by connecting it to deep ontological anxiety within Serbian society and the state.

Panel Session B

B1: Conflict, crisis, and the nation

Bankruptcy in Leadership: an analysis of the SPLM/A on-going conflict in South Sudan
Dr Seife Kidane
Abstract

The Republic of South Sudan is one of the youngest nations in Africa founded in 2011. It emerged out of a long history of conflict due to ethnic repression, isolation from political, social and economic participation, contested ethnoreligious ideologies and Afro-Arab delusions. However, during the honeymoon phase in 2013, the same issues that have divided Sudanese over decades transfigured to fragment the newborn country through major violence that engulfed the ruling party structures: the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army. Several scholars have attempted to provide an analysis of this latest conflict with some defining it as a leadership crisis. In this paper, we aim to contribute to this on going analysis of South Sudan by inserting an emerging pattern of entitlement by most liberation movements/fighters on the continent. Liberation movements exhibit a culture of entitlement, patterns of abuse of state power, misgovernance and poor leadership and insatiable hunger for power and South Sudan is no different. The power monger leadership used ethnocracy as a tool to stay at the higher ladder and manifested chauvinism, narrow nationalism and lack of servant leadership. I advance the concept of ‘the leadership bankruptcy and its impact’ to explain this inability of liberation movements to transfigure themselves into efficient ruling parties on the continent. We use the case of South Sudan to develop this argument.

Rights over natural resources in conflict areas: the role of NGO’s in the case of Western Sahara
Dr Raquel Ojeda-García and Dr Ángela Suárez Collado
Abstract

This paper analyzes the drivers of change in the positions taken by the main actors in the Western Sahara conflict regarding the exploitation and management of the natural resources in this non-self-governing territory. The key question is whether this change has affected the Polisario Front’s claim about the right of self-determination recognized by international law.
The premise is that the Polisario Front altered its strategy from demanding a referendum on self-determination to claiming the right to manage, exploit and benefit from the natural resources in Western Sahara.
This strategy, which is aimed at influencing the position of stakeholders and the main beneficiaries of the Moroccan exploitation of Sahrawi natural resources, has been modulated and reinforced by some NGOs working to promote respect for the rights of the Saharawi people over their own resources. NGOs are considered drivers of change causing an evolution in the positions of the key actors in the conflict. The NGOs chosen for the case study are Western Sahara Resource Watch and Western Sahara Campaign UK.
The theoretical aspects related to the NGOs’ legitimacy and capacity for action are established regarding the sensitive issue of the exploitation of natural resources in a non-self-governing territory. The primary information about the NGOs comes from both official documents and data as well as from interviews conducted with members and collaborators. The final discussion of the results demonstrates how NGOs act as drivers of change in the Western Sahara conflict.

The Covid-19 Crisis as Boosting Factor for Hostilities Break out in Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020
Ms Tereza Souskova
Abstract

In September 2020, the worst hostilities since the war in 1988 –1994 broke out in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region of South Caucasus. The explosion of the Armenian-Azerbaijan full-scale conflict in Autumn 2020 indicated the failure in achieving a deal between them over the status of Nagorno-Karabakh since the brokered ceasefire in 1994. Although there were many local fire exchanges and the escalation of hostilities in 2016, the open full-scale war did not break out until Autumn 2020. This paper examines the reasons why it had happened in these particular circumstances, it also analyses the Armenian and Azerbaijanis reasons leading to the escalation. It assumes that Covid-19 pandemic was one of the most significant factors which boosted this escalation. Due to Covid-19 pandemic the worlds´ focus was divided into many other crises, such as elections in Belarus, elections in the USA, weaking of Russia (also connected with Covid). Azerbaijan decided to take an advantage of this situation and attacked unprepared Armenian forces. This time, both sides of the conflict expressed intentions to fight until the final resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh status. The paper also focuses on the factors which led the involved “players” to this decision.

B2: The discourse of responses to crisis

Fighting covid: the end of the Portuguese “miracle”
Dr Silvia Frota
Abstract

The present pandemic crisis seems to have a strong potential for igniting the nationalism flame. The recent dispute over coronavirus vaccines was already framed as a “coronavirus war” or more directly as “vaccine nationalism”. The Chinese virus, the British variant, and its counterparts – Brazilian and South African – added to this perspective.
This paper focuses particularly on the Portuguese pandemic crisis. After a bright start (during the first lockdown, in March), Portugal hit bottom in the beginning of 2021. During this period, the charismatic and very popular President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, gave several speeches addressed to the people, urging for patriotism, commitment, and resilience to fight against the disease.
The people, the territory, and the nation are some of the concepts articulated in these speeches. Who is “the people” addressed by the President? What can we expect from them? What kind of bond connect them? What sacrifices are requested in the name of the nation? Sometimes heroes, sometimes villains, the Portuguese people are mainly addressed as a unique and singular body. What this reveals about our ordinary perception of nationalism?
Keeping these questions in mind, we analyze some of the President speeches aiming to identify how the people (the Portuguese) and the nation (Portugal) are represented and what kind of nationalism discourses are highlighted. The theoretical-methodological framework is based on the Cultural Studies and Critical Discourse Studies approaches.

A discourse analytical perspective on the emergence of a new right-wing Romanian party, AUR
Dr Brindusa Nicolaescu (withdrawn)
Abstract

The paper examines the campaign trail discourse of a new right-wing populist Romanian party, AUR (Alliance for the Unity of Romanians), that managed to secure an unexpected representation in the Parliament of Romania in the 2020 general elections, with a threshold of more than 9%. In addition to the context of the Covid crisis and the cyclical, phoenix-like return of populism (Soare and Tufiş, 2019), there come to the foreground poignant tropes of nostalgic nationalism (Cinpoeş and Norocel, 2020) or national-paternalist populism (Soare, 2010).
Methodologically I use the discourse analytical approach bringing together CDA and pragma-dialectics developed by Ieţcu-Fairclough (2007), combined with political discourse analysis (Fairclough and Fairclough, 2018) and ethical critique in CDA (Fairclough and Fairclough, 2018).

“You-topia”, “We-topia” and COVID-19 Crisis: A Postcolonial Study of National Belonging in South Asia
Ms Sumera Saleem
Abstract

The postcolonial serves as a volatile force that reshapes our understanding of belongingness in relation to history, geography and nationalism. Caught between the colonial and neocolonial power dynamics and subjectivities, the trends in the postcolonial studies in South Asia venture into ‘other’ virtual postcolonies-drone attacks and surveillance- which lay outside the borders and form the contestations between the digital and the political specifically. In reviewing the impact of digital radicalization and fake narratives related to COVID-19, this paper attempts to understand the discourse of conspiracies in South Asia. Situating the idea of conspiracy in political and social context and specifically in relation to the recent spread of Coronavirus, it intends to explore how conspiracy serves as an imaginative space where political, cultural and religious orientation of the national is performed through fake narratives about economic and health crises. Drawing on the idea of national belonging based on the distinction between the collective space as ‘We-topia’ and the other as ‘You-topia’, it further argues how such imagining of the national delegitimizes the critique on the failure of South Asian states in their dealing with emerging health crisis of COVID-19. In order to explain this imaginative space, formed through conspiracy, this paper substantiates the discussion on political response towards COVID-19 and elaborates on how conspiracies redefine the idea of national belonging in South Asia.

B3: Making the case for liberal democracy

Mobilizing for Democracy Again: Rising New Political Activism in East Asia
Dr Chungse Jung
Abstract

Why does claiming democracy come back to a central issue in social movements of East Asia in the 2010s? Between 2014 and 2019, the East Asian countries/regions experienced one of the most revolutionary moments in their history of democracy. Unlike the Arab Spring in the early 2010s, mobilizations for democracy such as Taiwan’s Sunflower Movement in 2014, Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement in 2014 and Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill Movement in 2019-20, and South Korea’s Candlelight Protests in 2016-17 occurred in the process of democratic regression after their democratic consolidation. By comparing the cause, process, and outcome of these protest waves, we could find several key juxtapositions: the protests were triggered primarily not by transnational, but by domestic political issues; the most shared claim at the protest events, “realizing democracy,” was consistent across the regions; and these protests brought about the crises of political legitimacy. In particular, during the process of movements, the polarized political groups contested the national identities. I take such parallels, but critically assess, asking what it takes to draw them and what work they do in the East Asia of the 2010s? From the world-historical perspective, I examine that rising political activism in East Asia could occur in the conjuncture of capitalism-in-crisis and democracy-in-crisis in this region. I also argue that the new political activism in this region rose in the dialectic contention between localism and nationalism in the world-economy and closely links to the economic and geopolitical instability of the region.

In Defense of Liberal Democracy: Who Protests against Populists and Why?
Ms Courtney Blackington
Abstract

When incumbent populists attack liberal democratic institutions, who protests and why? In this article, I show that people in the generation who lived through communism are more likely to protest in defense of liberal democratic institutions than people in the younger generation. A memory of living under authoritarian rule and struggling for democracy motivates the older generation to protest against democratic backsliding. By contrast, the younger generation without this memory may view these protests as less important than advocating for LGBTQ+ and women’s rights or climate change policy. To test this theory, I analyze about thirty original interviews I conducted with protesters across Poland in 2019. I also incorporate findings from an original online survey of protesters that I ran in 2020 with two pro-democracy protest organizations. My findings suggest that older individuals who remember communist rule and fought to establish democracy are more likely to protest in support of liberal democracy than younger individuals. They also underscore that scholars should more closely analyze how communist legacies shape protest behavior in the region. This article is among the first to analyze who mobilizes to protect democratic institutions in East Central Europe at the individual level and to analyze how legacies of authoritarian rule impact political behavior in response to populism decades later.

The response of the pro-choice Women’s Strike and the extreme right National Guard to Poland’s constitutional tribunal judgment restricting women’s right to legal abortion
Dr Marcin Pielużek (withdrawn)
Abstract

The presentation’s main aim is to show how the right-wing Law and Justice party, which has been governing in Poland since 2015, employs both the pandemic and the politicised judiciary to restrict civil rights and liberties in Poland. On the example of the Polish constitutional tribunal’s judgment, which radically restricted women’s right to legal abortion, it will be shown how Law and Justice with the use of the constitutional tribunal (which is mainly constituted by judges appointed by the governing party) mobilised two significantly different social movements – the pro-choice Women’s Strike and the extreme right National Guard. The latter constituted ad hoc in response to the Women’s Strike protests to secure the Christians churches. The presentation focuses on analysing three aspects:
1) Demands formulated by both groups; 2)Actions and communication strategies employed by pro-choice and far-right groups; 3)The reaction of the law enforcement institutions to both groups’ actions.

Since 2015 when the Law and Justice party won the parliamentary elections, Poland’s government has gradually shifted towards far-right politics, striving to take over the broadest spectrum of the conservative, ultra-conservative and far-right voters. This process accelerated after the next parliamentary elections in 2019 when Law and Justice party gained competition in parliament in the form of the far-right Confederation Liberty and Independence party. Adopting the far-right criticism of liberalism and liberal institutions, the media and non-governmental organisations, dismantling the rule of laws the Law and Justice party is increasingly shifting Poland towards illiberal democracy.

Panel Session C

C1: Responses to crisis in contested territories

Coming together or staying apart: implications of Covid-19 pandemic politics for future negotiations in Cyprus
Ms Samantha Twietmeyer
Abstract

In the wake of COVID-19, questions around the long-term impact of pandemic politics and implications of this ‘state of exception’ have arisen globally. This dilemma is evaluated in the context of the divided island of Cyprus, where protestors for a united Cyprus clashed with the authorities over the closure of checkpoints through the Green Line. The closures were seen to be a step backwards from reunification. The implications of these tensions highlight a key concern facing Cyprus’ negotiations to resolve more than a half century of conflict: Cypriot politics on either side are normalized around a narrative of the Green Line which justifies each population’s position as a minority under siege. This article addresses two theoretical hypotheses on the impact of COVID-19 on the negotiations in Cyprus: one where bi-lateral talks to coordinate north-south responses promote bi-communal cooperation, highlighting opportunities of crisis diplomacy; and one where newly implemented barriers on the island cement division, further separating the people of Cyprus and creating a new normal of division. The article concludes by connecting this wider analysis to the outcomes of the 2020 elections in the north of the island, which appears to support the latter thesis. The article’s conclusions therefore draw important insights from the COVID-19 experience in Cyprus for better navigating the negotiations moving forward.

The Yellow Vests movement: the Corsican nationalism approach
Ms Ornella Graziani
Abstract

In November 2018, the Yellow Vests movement appeared in France. This mobilization was an unprecedented social phenomenon and has since been very well documented by researchers. In Corsica, the nationalists have governed the region since 2015 under the same program and coalition: “Pè a Corsica”, with which they want to offer an alternative way of governance. The Yellow Vest movement was an opportunity to distinguish themselves from the French government and its strategy to contain the crisis.
They rapidly decided to create a space (“Social Meetings”) to discuss island-specific topics and consequently managed to “regionalize” the movement. One can wonder: how did Corsican nationalists manage a social crisis, particularly a French one?
This paper’s aim is to explore both the nationalists’ and the protesters’ points of view. Indeed, our goal here is to examine the Corsican case from two perspectives. In the first place, from the perspective of the elected officials who aspire to “be better than Paris” by handling directly the mobilization, and on the other hand the point of view of the protesters caught in this nationalist context who’ll often defend Corsica against France and cannot oppose the nationalist representatives.
This study relies on qualitative data including direct observations of meetings between elected and Yellow Vests and a dozen interviews of elected officials and activists.

(Dis)Union in times of crisis – (re)framing arguments for Scottish independence
Miss Maike Dinger
Abstract

Although the Covid-19 pandemic constitutes a global experience, it has reinforced national borders and, arguably, nationalist tendencies.
Revivals of nationalism in times of crises are far from unusual (Hutchinson, 2006) but became strikingly evident in political speeches and media representations in Scotland and England during the pandemic. Instead of an internal unification, however, the handling of the pandemic (and Brexit) has reinforced existing political schisms and distinct nationalisms across the UK. Moreover, the related closures of UK borders made imaginable a new framework for an independent Scotland.
This paper traces how the pandemic was discussed in media and politics by employing nationalist triumphs and wartime rhetoric on one side of the border and as an example of failed political leadership and a reason for further self-determination on the other. Through media and discourse analysis of newspaper coverage and statements by (political) leaders across Scotland and England during the pandemic, this paper examines how the Covid-19 experience links to larger crises in UK politics and national identity.
The experience of the pandemic and Brexit has contributed to the perception of British ‘democracy in crisis’ in the Scottish public sphere, and has, I argue, shaped the recent (re)framing of arguments for Scottish independence. Against the backdrop of text-based nationalism and national communication (Anderson (1983); Gellner (1984)) I will demonstrate how the rhetorical response to the pandemic reinforced underlying schisms in (representations of) national politics and identity in England and Scotland. By mapping these representations against claims to civil nationalism, I will situate them in the contemporary discourse on Scottish independence.
Hutchinson, John (2006). Hot and banal nationalism: The nationalization of the masses. In G. Delanty (Ed.), The Sage handbook of nations and nationalism (pp. 295–306). London: Sage. https://doi.org/10.4135/9781848608061.n26

C2: Theoretical perspectives on nationalism

The Mind of the Nation: Korean Nationalism, Integrated Information and Complexity Theory
Mr Joseph Beaden
Abstract

East Asia’s Nineteenth century saw the region rapidly pulled from its traditional order into the European world of nation-states. Both Japan and Korea, faced with the threat and reality of colonialism, had to rapidly reorganise their societies to meet a European standard of ‘modernity’. Additionally, with the expansion of the Japanese empire in the early twentieth century, the development of these nations became fundamental transnational. This unusual chronology has struggled to find a place in the literature surrounding nation building, and—this essay contends—requires a new theoretical paradigm to be understood.
This dissertation attempts to construct a transnational history of nations, whilst simultaneously intervening on the live debates surrounding the historical origins of nations and ‘top down versus bottom up’ narratives of national formation. It does this by adopting an ‘integrated information’ approach, drawing on the theory of consciousness pioneered by Giulio Tononi. Adapting its insights, it makes three arguments: 1. Nations are ‘intrinsic’ to integrated, informed societies. That is, any sufficiently integrated society may display ‘nation-like’ properties of self-consciousness, common myths and memories, common language and culture etc, regardless of its time or place. 2. Individual ‘nations’ represent partitions of a global information system, and their boundaries shift malleably as links are forged and destroyed by historical processes. 3. Based on these two statements a new chronology of Japanese and Korean nations can be constructed. In the case of Korea, this results in a clear distinction between pre and post colonial nations.

Whose Nation? Class Politics and Limits of the Modernist Approach to Nationalism
Dr Nicola Degli Esposti
Abstract

This paper proposes to study nationalist movements as embedded in class conflicts and coalition building to explain the wide diversity of forms taken by nationalism across different historical and spatial contexts. Modernist approaches provide an indispensable critique of nationalism highlighting its modernity and constructed nature. However, they also tend to reproduce the idea of nationalism as an autonomous force that spread from Europe overriding other political divides. While this diffusionism reveals a Eurocentric bias, treating nationalism as an autonomous force fails to acknowledge the forms taken by nationalist politics outside its Nineteenth-Century Europen cradle. Even when developed by Marxists, modernism suffered from the widespread pessimism towards the centrality of class politics engendered by the historical defeats suffered by organised labour in the 1980s, when most of the classics of Nationalism Studies where published. Following geographer James Blaut, this paper proposes to study nationalist movements as the expressions of the struggle for state power embedded in class conflicts and coalition building showing. By placing nationalist politics within their social context, we can say far more on their political content and trajectories than relying on grand theories that treat nationalism as a unitary phenomenon across history and space.

Turkish State’s Response to COVID-19: A Reading From The Risk Society Theory
Dr Zehra Zeynep Sadıkoğlu
Abstract

Due to the fact that COVID-19 is spread in the air its global spread is much easier and also the fact that the lack of a widely accepted treatment makes it difficult to calculate its long-term effects. These features seem sufficient to point out that the COVID-19 has similar features with contemporary global risks emphasized by Beck (2011). Also, the difficulty in limiting COVID-19 spatially and temporally brings with it that the perception towards it is mostly based on the information produced about it. This situation draws attention to the importance of expert systems who produce this information as trust mechanisms.However, today, expert systems and expert knowledge have some limitations in providing trust. The most important of these limitations is that due to the abstract and invisible nature of contemporary risks, scientists, the market, the media and the public have reached similar structural positions in terms of reality, neutrality and certainty. In this context that raises anxiety rather than calms and causes people to be confused about what to do, according to Beck (2013) who underlined that state mechanisms need to show more efficiency, there are three different alternatives. These are the applications of cosmopolitan micropolitics, classical welfare state policies and the presentation of welfare services to the public with a neoliberal logic. This study aims to describe Turkey’s response to COVID-19 and to demonstrate that the policies implemented by Turkey that might be considered under which of the three alternatives that emphasized by Beck. For this purpose, the case analysis method was preferred. The data to be analyzed will be obtained from databases OECD Country Policy Tracker and Coronotracker. At the same time, news and reports published between March 11, 2020 and January 31, 2021 will be used as secondary sources.

Ethno-symbolism and Annales School’s longue durée analysis
Mr Reda Mahajar (withdrawn)
Abstract

Ethno-symbolist’s conception of temporality is borrowed from the French historical Annales School. According to Smith, the key analytical focus of ethnosymbolism is Annales School’s longue durée analysis (long term analysis) of the formations of underlying cultural foundations of nations and nationalism. This crucial significance of longue durée analysis for ethno-symbolism is fundamental to the study of the formations of nations and nationalism. Despite the centrality of longue durée analysis of the Annales School as ethno-symbolists’ main conceptual tool, there has not yet been a critical dialogue over longue durée analysis as a conceptual tool either by ethno-symbolists themselves nor by their critics. This paper aims to open a dialogue between ethno-symbolist conception of Annales School’s longue durée analysis and the more recent conceptual and analytical advances in the Annales School itself. This paper attempts to explore the possibility of pushing the boundaries of the old Annales’ model of longue durée. New generation of Annales School scholars have proposed to critical apply Foucault’s conception of temporality of power to revisit Braudelian longue durée analysis. Foucauldian conception of temporality would look at the history of power relations between the dominant and the subaltern social actors constitutive of the myriads of histories and spaces and the ways in which these power relations inform contemporary social world. Similarly, longue durée analysis of nationalism would reconsider which power dimension is to be taken as the very constitutive element of spaces and histories constitutive of cultural foundations, ethnic cores and contemporary discourses of nationalism.

C3: Radical responses to crisis

Fighting for the Homeland: How and Why Do Israeli-Americans Volunteer in the Israeli Military?
Mr Lior Yohanani
Abstract

This study examines a case of diaspora enlistment in a homeland military, an underexplored yet highly relevant topic for immigrants from countries in which military service is compulsory or normative. The study investigates how second-generation Israeli Americans explain their decision about volunteering in the Israel Defense Force (IDF). Relying on 63 interviews, I compare enlistment motivations narratives of three groups: IDF enlistees with a background in Tzofim – an Israeli-Zionist youth movement in the U.S., same movement participants who did not enlist, and IDF enlistees with no movement background. The findings illustrate the importance that life circumstances, instrumental considerations, and a search for belonging have for enlistment. Respondents whose future life course was clear were more likely to opt for college while those without a clear life course joined the IDF in a quest for belonging and future opportunities. Ideological motives were the least important, and enlistees without movement background were even less likely to express them. The study brings together the scholarship on migration and transnationalism with the sociological theory of high-risk participation, thus investigating the largely uncharted territory of homeland military service among children of immigrants. It also offers a novel contribution to inquiries of high-risk participation as it brings attention to two largely overlooked groups: non-participants, and participants without prior organizational involvement.

The failed coup attempt of 15 July and the reconstruction of Turkish nationhood
Dr Suna G. Aydemir and Dr Philipp Decker
Abstract

In this paper, we argue that the failed coup attempt of 15 July 2016 created a historical opportunity for the ruling Islamic-populist AKP to reconstruct national identity. Government actors responded to the coup with calls for a “second national war of liberation” and a state of emergency that was upheld for two years. Turkish officials stated that at least 130,000 state employees have been fired and more than 77,000 people were detained. In the aftermath of this crisis, a process of mythicization turned the ‘15 July’ into a new founding moment of the nation and consolidated the government’s vision of the so-called ‘New Turkey.’
Drawing on the literature of political myths (Blumenberg, Barthes), this paper addresses the technologies, instruments and narratives used in the construction of ‘15 July’ as a new founding myth of the Turkish nation. The content of educational media that was produced by the Turkish Ministry of National Education and distributed in all primary and secondary schools at the beginning of the school year 2016-17 will be examined for the specific ways they narrate and visualise the events. The respective materials for instance include an official glossary of terms used to narrate the events, a summary of Turkey’s re-written national history and a speech by the current president in which he recites the national poem. Through a multi-modal discourse analysis, which considers educational materials as visual, audio and textual data, the paper sheds light on how a distinctively religious sense of Turkish nationhood has been constructed.

Sins of the Fathers: The dusk of Golden Dawn and the rise (?) of a new radicalism
Dr Georgios Karakasis
Abstract

The aim of this presentation is to highlight the possibility of the radicalization of the members and supporters of neonazi, neofascist and extreme-right movements when their representatives actively and legally participate in the political scene of western liberal countries. Taking as a case study the now (October 2020) convicted as criminal organization Greek party/movement “Golden Dawn”, I will show how this political entity, during its presence in the parliament and in the aftermath of its illegalization, served as the catalyst for the emergence of various radical and violent splinter groups that consider “Golden Dawn’s” active and legal participation in the political scene a betrayal against everything nationalism, Nazism and Fascism stand for, and its illegalization the proof that liberal democracy will always condemn and hunt down those ideologically and politically opposed to it. Taking as point of reference the case of “Movimento Sociale Italiano” during the Italian Years of Lead- namely the split between the “moderate” and “revolutionary” soul of fascism (Ferraresi 1996)- whose bloody outcome was the appearance of various terrorist groups that scarred the Italian society through the blind and absolute violence of “stragismo”, I will examine whether those splinter groups represent an actual threat for the contemporary liberal democracy or if they are limited to a populist political discourse incapable of effectively mobilizing and radicalizing the more politically radical strata of western societies.

C4: Nationalism, inclusion, and exclusion

“Not quite White, not quite European – not Polish sons and daughters of the soil”.
Dr Bolaji Balogun
Abstract

Scholarship in Poland has sought to consider in and out migration. Whilst this body of works engages forcefully with migration, it has yet to fully grapple with global racial discourses and the diverse range of racial identities in Poland. Simultaneously, studies on borders are often reduced to securitisation where the racialised – immigrants, foreigners, and asylum-seekers are often connected to the internal security logic, where racial logic is either ignored or not fully acknowledged. This lack of engagement has created a gap in the understanding of ‘race’ and racism and their roles in migration discourses in Central and Eastern Europe. In doing so, the nations of Central and Eastern Europe are imagined to be untouched and not influenced by the global racial formation and its impacts on race relations.
Taking this absence as a point of entry, this discussion seeks to explore the ways in which ‘race’ and racism engage with migration in Poland. Studying the everyday lives of the Polish native-born children of immigrants of sub-Saharan African background in Poland provides an opportunity to engage with their representation as not sons and daughters of the soil and what this signifies in the broader Polish society. ‘Inherited restrictive immigration’ status may appear as a factor that reduces their integration into the Polish society, I argue that such restriction is premised on the notion of ‘race’. In doing so, I provide often neglected manifestations and implications of ‘race’ and racism in the everyday experiences of black and mixed-race Poles of sub-Saharan African background (either born or raised in Poland). To this end, I locate ‘race’ and racism as part of the configuration of nations of Central and Eastern Europe.

Xenophobic tendencies amidst COVID 19 : An inter-jurisdcitonal analysis
Indrasish Majumder
Abstract

Outbreaks generate uncertainty and terror. Fear is a crucial ingredient for fostering prejudice and xenophobia. The 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic exposed political and social fractures across societies, with racialized and divisive reactions to the fear of the disease, disenfranchising marginalized groups. Biological hazards like this can potentially create racism, ethnocentrism, stigma, all having detrimental implications on the health and well-being of citizens. History would suggest that demonising such ethnic groups is too commonplace when a country deals with a contagious pandemic. A normal human response to a pandemic is one of terror, which gets channelised by blaming outsiders.
During Philadelphia’s 1793 yellow-fever outbreak, for instance, new European Migrants were the main targets of stigmatisation. It was largely believed that new immigrants exacerbated the disease that claimed the lives of over 5,000 people. In the 1980s, as HIV/AIDS wrought havoc, much of the U.S. population blamed individuals who were deemed “outsiders,” including gays, drug users, Haitians.
There have been several hate crimes against members of the Asian community in both Canada and the U.S, historically. Comparably, Africans residing in the United States, Great Britain and Europe became victims of racism, bigotry and social exclusion when the Ebola epidemic erupted in West Africa in 2014. India has been no exception to the trend indicated above considering its diverse and populous stature, and the COVID crisis has been witnessed to stir communal hatred and mutual blame.
The paper shall dispense light on the violence encountered by Asians and and people of Asian ancestry fuelled by xenophobia and discrimination during COVID 19. The paper nalyzes how the COVID-19 pandemic has disseminated misinformation and hate against the Muslim community in India. Following, the paper analyses the recourse available under International Law to alleviate the situation and suggests steps the government might ensue to put an end to the bigotry.

Reading homonationalism as a symptom of a crisis in Singaporean activism: a case study of Pink Dot
Mr Pavan Mano (withdrawn)
Abstract

The production of subjectivity in Singapore is tied extraordinarily closely to the visible performance of a specific, visible form of heterosexuality. Attempting to disrupt the circulation of discourses of heteronormativity and their primacy of place in the Singaporean national imaginary thus runs the risk of simultaneously threatening one’s place in the national imaginary. This problem is further compounded by the configuration of state-(civil) society relations in Singapore where dissent and protest are distinctly delegitimized. The act of challenging dominant discourses is itself more challenging; and for activists and social movements, there is far greater pressure to practise an assimilationist style of politics if they wish to secure broad mainstream public support. It is no surprise, therefore, that the largest and most successful LGBT movement in contemporary Singapore rhetorically mobilizes discourses of Singaporean nationalism to achieve its goal of creating more space for the LGBT community by deliberately aligning itself and representations of the LGBT community with the nation through the appropriation of a multitude of national symbols. The homonationalist tendency of the movement has already been the topic of some scholarly debate and I will not cover old ground. Rather, in this paper I undertake a queer genealogical approach to locate Pink Dot within the development of nationalism and heteronormativity in Singapore and suggest that its popularity and ascendancy could be read as a symptom of a general crisis in activism in Singapore where civil society is unwilling or unable to imagine anything more than assimilation.

C5: Crisis and the system of nations

Nationalism, Globalisation and the Pandemic
Dr Sam Pryke
Abstract

It is generally unwise to draw a simple opposition between nationalism and globalisation. However, in practice few can resist the temptation to at least contrast the two forces. There is a stream of writing over thirty years on the relationship that does just that. With the current pandemic, writers were quick to claim that it would negatively impact on globalisation, already in deep trouble, largely, by no means wholly, because of the success of overtly nationalist (or populist) movements and leaders. Media and academic talk in recent years has been about ‘deglobalisation’. The tone of some comment since early 2020 has been that coronavirus has dealt a further, possibly fatal, blow to globalisation. And indeed the response of the world’s states, always the primary power holders, to the pandemic has been overwhelmingly nationalist. More specifically, Covid has accelerated the contraction of transnational corporate supply chains, people in the form of migrants, business travellers and tourists (at least some of the temporary restrictions are likely to stay) and further boosted the political fortunes of some nationalists. However, globalisation dies hard – and therefore the relationship is of continuing importance for our subject, nationalism. First, too great a proportion of economic activity is externalised for any return to distinctly national economies. Even the most pessimistic forecasts for international trade only predict that it will fall to 2010 levels. Whilst within this context there is likely to be, despite the blip of BREXIT, an acceleration of regional economic flows, this tendency was always as pronounced as greater global extensity. Second, capitalism, the dynamic of globalisation, is inherently global. Third, the pandemic has accelerated media and communication forms of globalisation, whilst enriching their corporate purveyors. Finally, 2020 saw a new level of global protest in the BLM movement.

Nationalism and the Climate
Dr William Kerr
Abstract

Though there is increasing attention to the question of nationalism and climate change (c.f. Conversi, 2020), it is still largely an underexplored area within the social sciences in general (Bhatasara, 2015), and within nationalism studies itself. This paper looks to contribute to this debate by examining different ways the nation-state could be effected by climate change and the climate crisis. I begin by setting out what climate change is and the potential effects it could have on the world. I then move on to considering how this could interact with nationalism and nation-states. Taking into account present crises that are impacting on nations, such as Covid and increasing border security, and the increase in populist nationalism in liberal democracies, I consider how nationalism and the nation-state system might respond to an amplification of such crises caused by rising sea levels and the increasing global temperature. Ultimately I consider whether climate change could lead to the dwindling of the nation-state system, or its strengthening; and whether the nation-state system and nationalism is a help or hindrance in addressing the climate crisis.

Bridging International Relations and Nationalism Studies through Historical Sociology
Dr Zelal Ozdemir
Abstract

The discipline of International Relations is increasingly paying attention to nationalism, although this attention is mostly limited with the role of nationalism on international system. By presenting an approach born out of the intersection of Historical Sociology in International Relations (HSIR) and the Modernist School of Nationalism, this paper aims at expanding the terrain of nationalism studies in International Relations (IR). Using Iran as an example, it demonstrates that three basic premises of HSIR—the interaction between domestic and international dynamics, historicization, and multi-causality—are central to analysing nationalism, which is only associated with the domestic level. It argues that HSIR has much to offer not only to studies of nationalism and/in the Middle East but also to the discipline of IR by elucidating the international connections of this seemingly domestic issue.

Panel Session D

D1: Nationalisms in the United Kingdom

“I’m not sure what Englishness is anymore to be honest”: An exploration of English Identity, Britain and Nationalism
Ms Tabitha A. Baker
Abstract

This paper explores the dimensions and implications of English Identity and it’s relationship with Britain, Nationalism and Brexit using data from 29 qualitative in-depth interviews that took place during England’s COVID-19 lock down in April 2020. Using a thematic analysis, it explores the tensions and difficulties surrounding defining Englishness, including it’s construction via a relationship with an Other and it’s expressions of exclusionary sentiments. Using the interview data and reflecting on wider political culture, I explore how England’s lack of political community and coherent sense of identity has been left as free terrain for more nationalistic distinctions, which can have politically dangerous implications if left ignored.

Is Brexit a national crisis? Worries among British expatriates prior to and in the aftermath of the EU referendum
Dr Fathi Bourmeche
Abstract

This paper is focused on media coverage of Brexit in relation to British expatriates’ concern prior to and in the aftermath of the EU referendum held in June 2016. It has been predicted that 1.8 million Britons will be retiring abroad by 2025 and 3.3 million by 2050 (The Telegraph, April 7, 2008). Such a trend has created a kind of Diaspora of Britons living in different parts of the world, with a considerable number in Europe, mainly France and Spain, who were enjoying their rights as EU citizens before Brexit. However, Britons’ decision to leave the EU after the June 2016 referendum raised British expatriates’ concern about their status after Britain’s leaving the EU. A corpus selected from the Sun and the Daily Mail is qualitatively analysed, using media framing, in order to gain a better understanding of the way such newspapers, being on top of the list of British newspapers, have framed British expatriates’ worries about the whole issue. The study seeks to argue that media frames seemed to have had a major impact on British expatriates, increasing their concern about their status before and after Brexit, putting their national identity at stake to the extent that some of them decided to apply for another citizenship within the EU to keep their rights as EU citizens. Media frames are also juxtaposed to opinion polls and surveys downloaded from Ipsos Mori and YouGov dealing with British expatriates and related issues to validate the central argument of the study.

Speaking for the Union: Unionist Narratives in the Time of Brexit
Dr Daniel Cetrà
Abstract

Brexit and its implications pose the latest challenge to the Union as a political project and to unionism as the doctrine of state legitimacy. How are unionists attempting to rethink the United Kingdom and strengthen the case for the Union? Drawing on a rich set of sources including parliamentary debates, party documents, and conference notes, we examine unionist claims alongside two core themes: demos (who the state represents) and legitimation (what the state is for). We identify three dominant characteristics. First, the growing presence of unitary claims about a single ‘people’ – a marked shift among vocal defenders of the union from unionists to unitarians in which the will of ‘the British people’ takes precedence over that of ‘the four nations’, without the former fully replacing the latter. Second, the continued prevalence of utilitarian legitimising claims grounded in financial advantage and mutual security. Third, a tendency to legitimise the unionist project reactively and negatively by criticising the alternative: separation. Overall, our analysis suggests that, despite their efforts, defenders of the Union are struggling to rearticulate the foundations of their political project in a novel and more positive fashion.

D2: Construction and representation of identities in China

Due to withdrawals, this panel has been cancelled. Mr Alex Chelegeer will present in panel D4.

The representations of Mongolian history in China
Mr Alex Chelegeer
Abstract

China is widely believed as one of the world’s most diverse countries, as the communist Constitution reads: the People’s Republic of China is a unitary, multi-national state with socialist ideals of equality, unity, and mutual assistance among different nationalities. Officially speaking, there are 56 state-certificated components of the nationhood, the “56 MINZU [民族]” in the Chinese language. It includes the majority, Han-MINZU, and other minority nationalities like the Uyghur, Tibetan, and Mongolian MINZU. Many scholars have argued that the categories of MINZU are not based on scientific researches, but results of political movements. My thesis will give a quick sketch of the identification process from the 1950s to the 1980s, and then raise a more fascinating question on how the category influence ethnic narratives. By focusing on the changes in the representations of Mongolian history in China, I will explain how the communist ethnic management is being re-formed. I will further discuss the consequences of the everyday life of the population.

How Local Decentralization Contributes to Nation-State Building: Rethinking Ethnic Local Autonomy in Post-1949 China
Dr Chao-yo Cheng (withdrawn)
Abstract

While ethnic local autonomy has been considered as an institution of conflict management, why political leaders decide to introduce it in the first place, and how their presence leads to political stability both remain unclear. Drawing from the case of post-1949 China, I consider the granting of ethnic local autonomy in the context of authoritarian delegation. Drawing from a novel index of elite connectedness and a unique historical dataset of local political divisions, I conclude that ethnic local autonomy, as an endeavor of local decentralization, allows the central leader to establish his supremacy over sub-national political elites while countering his inner-circle rivals. To explore the scope conditions, I analyze the creation of district-level municipalities, as well as other institutional changes in Imperial and Republican China. I also assemble an original cross-national dataset to study the presence of ethnic local autonomy in post-WWII authoritarian regimes.

Searching for Roots: Construction of Sibe Ethnic Identity after 1949
Dr Runrun He (wuthdrawn)
Abstract

This research project seeks to understand and theorize how Sibe as a small ethnic group construct their ethnicity with two geographically separate dual-centers, as well as how they maintain ethnic identity and culture. The migratory history has created a peculiar dual-centers for the Sibe diaspora, with the language and culture center in Xinjiang and the ancestral “root” in Northeast China. While Sibes see the land of the northeast as the origin of their history, they also conceive Xinjiang, the migratory settlement, as a homeland where their language and culture are preserved and flourish. These two geographically separate centers are like “binary star systems” upon which the religious and linguistic identities form a dynamism to construct Sibe ethnic identity and consciousness. I adopt a constructivist approach and see ethnicity as the product of actions undertaken by ethnic groups as they shape and reshape their self-definition and culture. Ethnicity can be utilized as a symbolic resource by ethnic minorities to achieve particular purposes. However, the external social, economic, and political forces can also impact the construction of ethnic identity. This research analyzes multiple ways the Sibe’s ethnicity is built upon and around the dual-centers through reviving language, history-writing, re-discovering ancestral origin, and re-inventing traditional rituals in the context of ethnic politics in China.

D3: Populism in South Asia

Religious Polarization and the creation of a new National Identity in Hindu India
Mr Adnaan Naveet
Abstract

When India was carved out as an Independent nation by the British: It was a collection of fractured princedoms and warring kingdoms. Unlike its neighbour, pakistan, which was created out of a need for a Muslim Homeland, India did not choose to carve her National Identity out of Religion, and instead adopted Secularism and Democracy, a trailblazer in the volatile region.
Yet, over the years, there has been a steady transformation of India’s Secular principles. The rise of the Far Right has somehow manage to unite a country with over 400 recognised languages and over 30 ethnic groups behind a new Hindu Identity. This paper aims to analyse this gradual change, studying how Secularisation changed into Hindu Nationalism in the Country.
The methodology for the research involved will include a deep dive into India’s Post-Independence National Identity and a critical examination of how it failed to capture the imagination of the [populace, followed by a large examination into the rise of the Hindu-Right, examining Policies such as the now infamous Ram Temple, the recent Love Jihad laws, and the use of Social Media in spreading this ideology.
This paper will also examine the foundational texts of the Hindu Far right, notably Hindutva: Who Is a Hindu? (1928) by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, as well as more modern texts, such as Awakening Bharat Mata (2019) by Swapan Dasgupta.
By examining such key texts, this paper will attempt to understand the phenomena that is Hindu Nationalism in India, and answer the question of How it has been able to replace the existing Secular Framework in the Country.

Women Warriors of the Hindu Nation: Discursive Frames, Driving Strategies
Miss Anshu Saluja
Abstract

India is among the many countries of the world that has, of late, been swept by a pressing tide of hegemonising majoritarian right-wing politics and overt centring of religious identities. The currently hegemonic Hindu Right (Hindutva) politico-ideological formation is a militant creed, anchored to the idea of Hindu supremacy and envisioning the creation of a Hindu Nation (Rashtra). The steady rise of this creed of Hindu nationalism has been affirmed by the last two parliamentary elections in the country in which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the political wing of the multifaced expansive Hindu Right organisational complex, referred to as the Sangh Parivar (family), rode home with decisive victories.
In view of this growing ascendancy, it becomes particularly pressing to decipher the guiding motivations and agendas of the leaders and workers of the Hindu Right. I was specifically drawn towards interrogating the ideologies and strategies of women warriors of the Hindu Nation. Attention has been directed towards uncovering the social spaces that they inhabit and the political commitments that power them. Through in-depth field interviews, I have captured the experiences and self-narratives of these women. The complex, and often conflicting, concerns that shape their life choices, everyday interactions, organisational work and modes of activism require focussed engagement. This line of inquiry assumes critical salience, for it can demystify their constitutive worldview that leads them to ally strongly with and devote themselves to the ideal of a Hindu Nation.

Populism in Pakistan: From Left to Right
Ms Fizza Batool
Abstract

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Imran Khan. Yet the populism of Bhutto and Imran Khan differ greatly from each other with former using leftist and progressive movements to challenge the power of military and latter having more inclination towards the right-wing politics promoting a cordial relationship of civil institutions with military. Previous attempts in comparing the populism of Bhutto with Khan were specifically focused on their personality traits, defining populism as a leadership style. This study adopts a different approach examining the socioeconomic factors that provided the rationale for the two political leaders to choose a specific model of populism. Hence, the article does not view populism as a fixed personality trait or a political style but rather a “mode of identification” employed by politicians to define their support base and their opposition groups. While the research is specific to a comparison of two populist leaders in Pakistan, the findings of the study open a new understanding of the left-right dichotomy in populist politics, outlining the threat posed by the exclusionary approach of right-wing populism.

D4: Memory, culture, and the performance of identity

Mapping the Nation: Street Names and Iranian identity
Mr Ehsan Kashfi (withdrawn)
Abstract

With the radical political change in 1979, Iran’s revolutionary state assumed the responsibility of re-rewriting the past history to forge a new sense of belonging, a particularly collective religious (Shia) identity. It launched a complex process of forgetting and remembering to first eliminate the ethnic (Persian), non-religious memories and heritage, associated and celebrated by the previous regime, and then establish a sense of continuity with the country’s Shia past; a feeling markedly engendered with a distinguishing symbolic reservoir of Shia traditions and memories, presented in history books, literature, the media, and everyday culture.
This paper seeks to examine the role of street names in this process of reconstructing a new religious (Shia) collective memory and identity with particular reference to Tehran, Iran during the 1979–2019 period. It seeks to analyze the widespread renaming of streets and public spaces in Tehran as one means of both ‘de-commemorating’ the pre-revolutionary regime and celebrating the Shia legacy and memories. The new names commemorating a) revolutionary personalities and religious heroes, b) religiously significant events and ‘turning points’, c) sanctified sites, and d) religious ideals and principles and are assigned to forge a religious meaning for Iranian identity.
As a case study, this paper gives particular attention to the renaming of Shayad Square and Tower, constructed in the previous regime to mark the 2,500th year of the foundation of the Imperial State in Iran, as the manifestation of the revolutionary regime’s effort to construct a new collective identity. The paper, in short, argues that Tehran’s street names can be ‘read’ as a mirror of the state project seeking to ‘correct’ the long-lasting conflict over the meaning of Iranian identity and its ‘remembered’ collective memory.

National Crisis in Preserving Modern Architectural Buildings in Bangladesh
Miss Mohona Reza
Abstract

The paper will argue that two modern buildings, Kamalapur Railway Station (KRS) and Teacher-Student Centre (TSC) in Dhaka should be preserved regardless the progressive urban development occurring in the highly populated city. These buildings helped shape the national identity of Bangladesh during the cold-war period between 1947 and 1971 when the country was known as East Pakistan, unified with West Pakistan. Yet, in the late 2020, the government passed orders to demolish these buildings.
The location of KRS falls on the extended route of the ambitious metro line-6, which is currently under construction to accommodate large population to travel between the city. Therefore, the contemporary engineers proposed to relocate the railway station by demolishing the building which was designed by two American architects Daniel Dunham and Robert Boughey. During the design, the architects created a wide-span structure that synthesise the modern tropical climate as well as the form of the parasol roof delineated an Islamic representation. TSC in Dhaka University marks as one of the 1960s decade of development edifice. Designed by the Greek architect Constantinos Doxiadis, it represents the modern abstraction of the ancient Bengal hut curved-roof, double-parasol modern roof and the architect’s idea of ekistics. However, to accommodate more students, the government decided to demolish this historical architecture.
Don’t cities need to narrate their stories through historic buildings? Thus, the paper will attempt to discuss the contrasting transition of the development and the national crisis it brings to the once liberated country Bangladesh.

Memory, Crisis, Citizenship: Canadian Moroccan Jewish Narratives on Québec
Ms Ovgu Ulgen
Abstract

There are differences in human experiences that firmly hinge on temporality. Canada is not a nation and, historically speaking, it has never been so (Gagnon & Iacovino 2007, Gagnon & Tully 2001, Kymlicka 2013). The modernization attempts of the Quiet Revolution of the 1960s created a new community, la nation québécoise, among French Canadians in Quebec, whose members to a great extent have transformed their commitment from the Church to the state (Morrison 2019). It would be hard to argue, therefore, that the experience of an immigrant who landed in Quebec in the second half of the twentieth century and afterwards can be thought of as exactly the same as one who arrived in another Canadian province in the same period.
In this presentation I will focus on memory of the Jews from the Spanish and French zones of Morocco living in Montreal and Toronto. With the data gleaned from interviews, I will trace certain historical moments of crisis in Quebec from the point of the interviewees: Quiet Revolution, The October Crisis, Law 101, and the referendums of 1980 and 1995. By discussing empirical data derived from the interviews, I aim to show limits of citizenship in times of crisis through the narratives of a specific ethno-religious community living in two cities of a multinational state.

Contingent and occasional. The genesis and patterns of articulation of performative nationalism of football fans
Dr Mateusz Grodecki
Abstract

This paper aims to (1) explore the genesis of the nationalist discourse of Polish ultras and (2) characterise social and institutional contexts which stimulate the production of choreographies related to national issues. The study uses post-foundational discourse methodology to analyse content of ultras’ displays from 2002 to 2018 using data from a print fanzine devoted to football fandom culture in Poland. The analysis identifies a sequence of four different forms of ultras’ nationalist discourse in the period under consideration and shows that they have been shaped by a contingency logic; that is, by rules stemming from the existing practices of articulation, rather than by the logic of ideological cohesion as suggested in the existing literature. These rules have created three main points of reference, which established the use of nation as a marker of: ‘our’ community; resistance against antagonists (also by defining different antagonists as enemies of nation); and supporters’ values (expressed by national heroes as role models). The results indicate also ‘occasional’ character of nationalistic displays by providing evidence that nation related displays appear only in defined contexts and are not a dominant issue in ultras’ performances.

The representations of Mongolian history in China
Mr Alex Chelegeer
Abstract

China is widely believed as one of the world’s most diverse countries, as the communist Constitution reads: the People’s Republic of China is a unitary, multi-national state with socialist ideals of equality, unity, and mutual assistance among different nationalities. Officially speaking, there are 56 state-certificated components of the nationhood, the “56 MINZU [民族]” in the Chinese language. It includes the majority, Han-MINZU, and other minority nationalities like the Uyghur, Tibetan, and Mongolian MINZU. Many scholars have argued that the categories of MINZU are not based on scientific researches, but results of political movements. My thesis will give a quick sketch of the identification process from the 1950s to the 1980s, and then raise a more fascinating question on how the category influence ethnic narratives. By focusing on the changes in the representations of Mongolian history in China, I will explain how the communist ethnic management is being re-formed. I will further discuss the consequences of the everyday life of the population.

D5: Levels of belonging

A crosscutting cleavage? Investigating the associations between popular nationalism and political attitudes across sub-state nations
Mr James Griffiths
Abstract

Sub-state nationalism can represent a crisis for existing constitutional arrangements, which may be exacerbated if those on either side of the centre-periphery cleavage are also divided on other attitudinal dimensions. Conventionally, centre-periphery issues are seen to crosscut other ideological cleavages (Lipset & Rokkan 1967). However, nationalist movements are often associated with positions that extend beyond their territorial ambitions (Alonso et al 2015). Currently, popular nationalist sentiment is often linked with exclusionary social attitudes (Satherley et al 2019), but this work focuses predominantly on the state-level. Existing research has suggested that there is no inherent connection between sub-state nationalism and political attitudes at a party-level (Erk 2010), but little research explores whether this holds on an individual-level. To address this, I explore whether there is a link between popular nationalism and political attitudes within sub-state nations. I do this in two steps. First, I use latent profile analysis to separate individuals in Catalonia, Flanders, Wallonia, Quebec, England, Scotland, and Wales into ‘nationalist’ categories based on their nation-state identification, sub-state identification, and constitutional preference. Second, I use OLS regression to explore the association of these nationalist categories with three attitudinal dimensions: left-right self-positioning, redistribution, and immigration. Overall, I find that not all sub-state nationalist individuals hold weak nation-state identification. Furthermore, the association between nationalist sentiment and political attitudes is contingent on nation-state identification, as sub-state nationalists who report weak nation-state identity are more inclined to report left-wing, pro-redistribution, and moderate immigration positions.

National Identity and European Solidarity: Unpacking the Role of Perceived Ethno-National Proximity
Dr Simona Guglielmi
Abstract

Different kinds of nationalism – medical, economic and political – seem to follow the pandemic crisis in Europe. At the same time, the importance of EU solidarity became a relevant issue in the political debate. At the individual level, scholars showed that willingness to show European solidarity (economic, fiscal, medical) depends on many factors, both individual (e.g age, education) and contextual (e. g. nature/cause of the crisis, geographical proximity, and kind of aid). These studies suggest that the pandemic crisis has reinforced the tension between national and European belonging. However, we know little about the mechanisms underlying the formation of ‘horizontal’ solidarity among EU citizens across national borders. The paper aims to contribute to the topic by investigating to what extent the Covid-19 pandemic encouraged national in-group solidarity at the expense of European inter-group solidarity, with particular reference to the ‘Southern /Northern’ divide. The main argument, based on assumptions from the Ingroup Projection Model (Mummenday and Waldzus 2004), is that the perceived cultural proximity between countries moderates the link between national/European identities and the willingness to support other EU Member States. Structural Equation Models will be used to explore the “causal” chain between national/European identities, meanings of EU solidarity, and perceived cultural country’s similarities as predictors of support for spending national resources on other EU Member States.
The paper relies on data from the module “European Solidarity” of ResPOnsE COVID-19, a Rolling Cross-Section survey carried out in Italy from April 6th to July 10th, 2020 – SPS Trend – ResPOnsE Covid-19 – Response of Italian Public Opinion to the Covid-19 emergency (unimi.it).

EU Influence, Identity Politics, and Ceiling Effects in Nationalist Voting: Evidence from Central and Eastern Europe
Mr Roman Hlatky
Abstract

Why do individuals vote for nationalist political parties? Existing explanations focus on domestic-level factors like party systems or economic performance. However, voting is not solely a product of domestic causes. Thus, I shift focus from the domestic space to the international arena. Building on insights from work on outgroup grievances, EU integration, and appraisal theory, I argue that nationalist voting occurs when individuals perceive that an international actor influences identity politics in their state. Concretely, I test whether voters exposed to information about European Union influence in identity policies — i.e., out-group policies, like migration/asylum or the employment of foreigners — are more likely to support nationalists at the ballot box. Results from a pre-registered, candidate-choice conjoint experiment in Slovakia show that while respondents favor nationalist policies generally, reactions to EU influence in identity politics are limited to certain subgroups. Specifically, respondent ideology plays a moderating role. Liberals shift towards nationalism in response to EU influence, while conservatives do not. Time-series, cross-sectional public opinion data corroborate these results. It appears that there are ceilings effects to nationalist voting. Only those who have yet to reach the nationalist ceiling can be swayed by messages linking EU influence and identity politics.

Testing the national identity argument in a time of crisis – Evidence from Israel
Dr Gal Ariely
Abstract

This paper explores the national identity argument in unsettled times by using the Covid-19 pandemic as a test case, in particular, the question of whether national identity leads to solidarity. It focuses on two questions: first, whether the pandemic influenced the relationship between national identification and tax and emotional solidarity, and second, whether the levels of national identification and chauvinism increased or decreased under the influence of the pandemic. Two studies of Israeli Jews were used to answer these questions. Study 1 is a survey experiment that tests whether the relationship between national identification and tax solidarity changes according to the framing of national success/failure in addressing the pandemic. Study 2 is a panel survey that includes national identification and chauvinism measures from both before and after the pandemic. The findings provide complex evidence for the national identity argument, with some aspects supporting and others opposing the national identity argument.

D6: State responses to Covid

The Anti-Westernism in Turkey’s Covid-19 Response under AKP Rule
Dr Caglar Ezikoglu
Abstract

“In recent days, behind the street events in some western countries, along with racism, there are injustices brought to light by the pandemic, Even the most prosperous countries have difficulty in providing masks to their citizens and cannot provide minimum health services.” These sentences were declared by AKP’s leader, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the 12th International Conference on Islamic Economics and Finance in Istanbul in June 2020. This speech, is only one example of how anti-Westernism in the fight against the pandemic has turned into a political tool in Turkey.
Erdoğan, other AKP’s members and the government-supported media in Turkey was also identifying the entire Western worlds’ Covid-19 responses as Italy’s or Spain’s failures. In a subtle Anti-Westernist drive, these AKP’s politicians and media institutions painted an imaginary picture of a collapsing Western world which is an important opportunity to polish the AKP propaganda. On the one hand AKP is continuing the consolidation of the Islamist-nationalist masses in domestic politics with this Anti-Westernist propaganda. On the other hand, the support of Turkish immigrants in Western countries to the AKP has also ensured. This study aims to explore how the AKP’s Anti-Westernism has turned into a political strategy in Turkey’s combating the Covid-19 pandemic.

Crisis and (neo)colonialism in ‘post-colonial’ South Asia
Mr Idreas Khandy
Abstract

The recent violence orchestrated in India’s capital with the tacit support of the police against people, especially Muslims, protesting against the new citizenship law was a prelude to the CoVID-19 crisis. The events that unfolded in New Delhi for 3-days amidst Trump’s visit appears to vindicate the claim that India has taken a fascist turn made by observers such as Arundhati Roy.
The region of Kashmir that has for decades rejected Indian sovereignty has been in the crosshairs of Modi’s party since its creation. Driven by a schizophrenic fear and a desire to avenge the imagined historic atrocities visited by Muslims on Hindus, Kashmir –a Muslim majority region, was chosen as the site to alleviate this and satiate this desire in August 2019. The nominal autonomy of Kashmir was rescinded through executive fiat, and a constitutional coup was carried out. The region was put under lockdown for months, and internet services were only recently restored.
This paper takes the pre-CoVID lockdown of Kashmir as its point of departure and argues that the crisis of Covid-19 in the context of Kashmir has become a cover for the (neo)colonial policies of the Indian state. This paper demonstrates how the Indian state has operationalised a regime of ‘punishment by decrees’ through its institutions of bureaucracy, judiciary, and security apparatus, which bears eerie resemblances with the colonial tactics and strategies of the British Empire. The paper also explores how such policies appear to have tamed the Kashmiri nationalist movement for the time being, but at the same time, opened the possibility of inter-state war between India and Pakistan/China.

Pandemic Nationalism in North Korea: the impact of COVID-19 and Juche ideology
Miss Rita Durão
Abstract

North Korea was one of the first countries to close its borders with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though 12,489 people have already been tested for COVID-19, North Korea continues to report zero confirmed cases. Meanwhile, UNSC sanctions on the country remain in place and severe floods have further disrupted the country’s economy. Kim Jong Un has also dropped the focus on the economy sector of its Byungjin line (parallel development of economy and nuclear weapons), announcing the ever-present need for the improvement of its nuclear and ballistic program in the name of security and the quintessential requirement of self- sufficiency in 2020. This is directly linked with its state ideology — Juche — which can be said to be a mix of Nationalism and Socialism. Using pre-defined main categories associated with the ideology extracted from main works on Juche ideology by the North Korean leadership, our aim is to evaluate how the pandemic has been used as a tool by the regime to further reinforce Nationalism in the form of Juche in the political, economic and security realms of North Korean politics. This will be done using official statements and news from North Korea state media in 2020. Our study aims at contributing to North Korean studies by focusing on its ideology (a factor generally ignored in existing academic literature), but also to the study of Political Ideologies, investigating the linkage between pandemics and Nationalism through a specific case-study.

Panel Session E

E1: Digital nationalism

Digital indigenism and cyberactivism in the time of Covid-19. The case study of Indigenous Solidarity Ottawa.
Dr Izabela Nawrot-Adamczyk
Abstract

The purpose of the case study of Indigenous Solidarity Ottawa will be to explore the impact of Covid-19 crisis on activism of Canadian Indigenous People and their supporters. Using the lens of digital indigenism and cyberactivism I would like to address a question on how movements contest and interact with other social actors. Starting from a nethnograpic approach it will be possible to understand communications and connections that grasroots collective Indigenous Solidarity Ottawa (ISO) form online and offline with other social actors in the mission of „ supporting Indigenous struggles for justice and decolonization”.
I will use the content analysis of posts and videos uploaded on Facebook account of ISO between January 2020 and January 2021. The analysis of existing data will help me to explore activism patterns and interactions between users in ISO group and to understand the possible impact of Covid-19 crisis on new forms of activism.

Localising nationalism in the crisis: online teaching during Covid-19 lockdown in a Chinese high school
Miss Can Tao
Abstract

By analysing the use of war-time language and ritualistic practices of a Chinese high school, this paper will demonstrate that nationalism is escalated and localised during the Covid-19 crisis. On 24th January 2020, first Covid-19 case was reported in Qiqihar, a third-tier city in the Northeast of China. In late March, the city was “Covid-free”, but schools remained partly closed until August. During this period, locals live under the national crisis without experiencing the pandemic directly. The data was collected from a Chinese e-diary APP called MEIPIAN, where users can publicly post articles with text, pictures and music. During the lockdown, the high school required every class to post articles to record and report the online-teaching activities.
This presentation will address two questions. First, how does the framing of the crisis in the local school context conform to and differ from the official national discourse? I will compare my findings with the results of a discourse analysis of the Chinese official national media conducted by Yang and Chen (2020). Their research suggests that globalism is crucial in the framing of Covid-19 crisis on a national scale, but such language is missing in the school context. Second, to what extent was national identity enhanced through discourses and activities in the absence of “national others”? I will discuss that the students’ nationalism sentiments are being boosted, and their national identities became salient through activities such as promoting local heroes, roll call during online-teaching, and the Covid-19 drill after the school reopened.

COVID-19 and Sinophobia: Discource of Hate on the Instagram Social Network
Mr Nikolay Ternov and Dmitry Mikhailov
Abstract

Sinophobia accompanies the growth of political influence only in the region of South-East Asia, but throughout the world. Its objects are the state, diasporas and individual citizens. One of the most important spaces for the formation and dissemination of hate speech today is formed by social networks, which in themselves, as an element of modern public discourse, are replete with manifestations of radicalism and often turn into a means of spreading hated political beliefs, ideologies and practices.
In this regard, our goal was to describe the synophobic reaction of Russian-speaking users of the social network Instagram in the context of the theory of populist discourse by E. Laclau and S. Mouffe: based on the quantitative and qualitative analysis of these comments, we determined how sinophobia breaks the logic of differences and forms equivalence between political, social and cultural problems facing Instagram users.
We analyzed posts at the peak of the spread of anxiety about the pandemic, when, on the one hand, Wuhan was the main source of information about the problem for all mankind, on the other hand, data on foci of the disease began to appear in other parts of the planet.
As a tool for collecting information, a parser written in Python was used, after statistical analysis of the data was carried out using the Orange program and Python scripts. We have collected 1500 public statements linking Covid with China and analyzed the ideological foundations of their language, as well as the main metaphorical means of expressing hatred.

Rational Student Nationalism in Virtual Society
Ms Peitong Jing (withdrawn)
Abstract

Finding their countries sinking into economic and social crises including rising unemployment and Covid-19 pandemic, university students in India and China are increasingly embracing everyday nationalism to advocate for personal and national interests. Contemporary literature on youth nationalism often assume students to be politically naïve or manipulated by elites. However, this paper adopts a rational choice perspective to analyze university students as active political actors and social entrepreneurs embedded in official student organizations. Using 1,875 tweets from Twitter and 550 pages of posts from Weibo, this paper compares the Hindu Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) with the Marxist Students’ Federation of India (SFI), concerning their different ideologies. It also compares the SFI with the Communist Youth League of China (CYLC), concerning their opposite types of regimes. The comparison finds a strong presence of student-led nationalism in the virtual public spheres of both democratic India and authoritarian China. Despite contrasts in regime-type and ideology, the three student organizations and their members commonly emphasize material payoffs like job opportunities and evoke emotions like hope when promoting nationalism. Although China’s public sphere is regarded less free than India’s, the CYLC’s Weibo publishes new posts each hour, fostering a discourse environment that appears to make people feel heard and even loved. Thus, this paper invites scholars to look beyond regime-type and elites and adopt perspectives of grassroot political actors like university students to deepen the understanding of everyday nationalism.

E2: Popular reactions to covid

COVID-19 Crisis: Changes in National Identity?
Ms Marija Sniečkutė (withdrawn)
Abstract

With an outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemics, references to “nation” became prominent in political discourse. Governments referred to “nation” not only to address the people, but also to invoke their compliance with the imposed political measures. For instance, Dutch PM targeted civic obedience by portraying the Dutch people as pragmatic and rule-following folk, and the Hungarian PM praised the Hungarian people as self-disciplined and loyal (Gaižauskaitė & Sniečkutė, forthcoming in 2021). Clearly, crisis provides a framework to articulate national stereotypes. But does this articulation imply re-divisions and changes in national identity? The Lithuanian case is particularly interesting in this respect. At the beginning of pandemics, record numbers of the Lithuanian emigrants returned to Lithuania. Social media exploded with the commentaries that these Lithuanians did not belong to the Lithuanian nation; even the Lithuanian Prime Minister condemned them: “ we cannot call them human beings we cannot allow that this part of our society would dictate us the conditions and later would pose threat to our health and lives“ (ibid.). What are the characteristics of these visions, and how can they be interpreted in light of the changes in national identity within the crisis framework? In order to answer these questions, I will conduct an imagological analysis (Leerssen, 2016) of the “Lithuanian” (in context of COVID-19) within Lithuanian media (using NGO Media4Change database) 01 March – 31 December 2020. I will present they key findings of my descriptive analysis, and will reflect on their theoretical implications for nationalism studies.

Language of Covid-19 provokes ‘clusters’ of nationalism: Japanese debates over English-derived loanwords at the time of crisis
Dr Naoko Hosokawa
Abstract

The paper examines the controversy over frequent use of English-derived loanwords related to the Covid-19 crisis in the Japanese news media and its relation to nationalistic sentiment. In Japan, the use of Western loanwords has been a controversial issue that provokes nationalistic debates. In 2020, the controversy gathered significant public attention, as the news media started to use loanwords heavily in reporting issues related to the Covid-19 pandemic, such as ‘cluster’, ‘lockdown’, and ‘overshoot’. The Japanese public reacted negatively to this situation, arguing that such important information should be ‘fully Japanese’, as it concerns all the population including those who do not know foreign languages. In response, journalists explained that the word choice was justified since loanwords can better convey a sense of crisis. The paper analyses the discursive structure of the debates in the framework of media textual analysis. On one hand, the negative reactions against the use of foreignisms can be understood as a means to reject the ‘Other’ based on the fear fuelled by the crisis. On the other hand, journalists chose to use loanwords for the pandemic as a means to emphasise that the crisis comes from the external world and to exclude ‘Self’ from the centre of the problem, since loanwords are seen as a symbol of the foreignness itself. The paper thus concludes that both opinions are based on the discursive practice to project the fear of the pandemic on the foreign ‘Other’ while estranging the idea of ‘Self’ from the hardship.

(Civic) Nationalism as Competence-in-Crisis: the case of Taiwan’s surgical mask logistics and rationing programs in battling the coronavirus
Prof Dr Huey-Rong Chen
Abstract

This research follows the argument proposed by Yael Tamir (1993, 2019) to question the theoretical distinction between civic and ethnic nationalism as a dichotomous conceptualization of modern nation-states, categorized into opposite contrasts between “rational and primordial,” universal and tribal, democratic engineering and cultural assimilation. Tamir (2019) pointed out this theoretical distinction often disregards the blurring boundaries of the civic and the ethnic within the actual existences of modern liberal nation-states. To think of liberal democracies without nationalism or ethnic elements is to “motivate avoidance where action is needed” (2019:419). She then called for de-theorizing nationalism, examining and understanding contextualized practices before imposing theoretical languages.
By positioning surgical face mask – the essential personal protective gear Taiwan’s CDC regulates as necessity for everyone in protecting itself from the (spread of) coronavirus – as a non-human agent, this study examines how the feelings and languages of nationalist belonging or differentiating are used to mobilize the efforts to produce, distribute, ration, wear, and donate surgical masks to express fellowship and fraternity, nationally and globally. This study finds it is through these acts of mask-wearing and donations that people express their connectedness with each other, while liberal policies could include more people into this connectedness or conf. This paper argues that nationalism in resonance with universal principles is a competence which has to be practiced and tried in each crisis where the solutions are achieved through the political legitimacy of national belonging.

E3: Nationalism and identity in Hong Kong

Hong Kong of the World: the Internationalism of Nationalism
Mr Justin Chun-ting Ho
Abstract

Nationalism has long been seen negatively by social science and humanities researchers. It is often associated with isolationism, protectionism, and xenophobia in academic literature, and the negative image of nationalism has been further strengthened by the electoral success of far-right political figures across the world. It has even been seen as a crisis for globalisation, democracy, and pluralism. However, treating all nationalism as a uniformly negative phenomenon risks over-simplification, as nationalism might manifest differently given the different social context and rhetorical resources available. Taking Hong Kong as a case, this paper examines the alleged negative association of nationalism and explores the international dimensions of Hong Kong nationalism. This paper draws on datasets of major Hong Kong political parties’ Facebook page and shows that Hong Kong nationalism exhibited a high level of internationalism in both inward and outward dimensions, theorised as the willingness to accept foreign influence and to invite international cooperation respectively, and therefore provides evidence against the alleged association between nationalism on the one hand, and xenophobia and isolationism on the other.

Incidental and Purposeful Nationalism in Hong Kong
Milan Ismangil and Florian Schneider
Abstract

This paper examines how semiotic exchanges of what could be called the ‘building blocks’ of nations create the idea of a proto-nation of Hong Kong. Social movements in Hong Kong have led to an explosion of symbolism in artworks, flags, and songs that invoke a sense of Hong Kong. Based on empirical data of the past movements we argue that these semiotic resources work to reinforce the idea of a Hong Kong people: an identity that is not only promoted by the protesters but also by the establishment, which, through its public advertising, inadvertently reinforces the idea of Hong Kong as well. Calls for a Hong Kong identity have increased as the term ‘Hong Konger’ becomes preferred over the term ‘Chinese’, a term which for many is co-opted by the Chinese Communist Party’s conflation of state, party, and nation.
Calls for a Hong Kong nation are still niche; but for many, the one-country-two-systems experiment has failed and the will to imagine different ways of political organization is limited. The world is divided into nations and, for many, recognition as a people is only possible through nationhood. As this paper will show, it has become a seemingly ‘natural’ step for many in the more radical Hong Kong opposition to call for nationhood, while on the government’s side, a nation requires integration of the populace. Ultimately, both are trapped in the dogmatic idea of nations.

Negotiating identity among young South Asian ethnic minorities against the backdrop of the 2019 political crisis in Hong Kong
Mr Keenan Daniel Manning, Zheng Zhou, and Divya Padmanabhan
Abstract

The 2019 political crisis in Hong Kong had a profound impact on the sense of identity and identification in Hong Kong society, particularly among non-Chinese locals, officially known as ‘ethnic minorities’. The formative effect on the identity of many Hongkongers has included some degree of explicit expression of inclusion and cosmopolitanism. However, the recent crisis has also fuelled existing xenophobic and chauvanistic sentiments among some groups; exacerbated by official attempts to establish a top-down, hegemonic definition of national identity. The proposed paper would examine the impact of the political crisis on perceived self-identification as a Hongkonger amongst ethnic minorities. Based on qualitative research done through focus group interviews, our paper argues for the need to see identification as embedded in multiple discourses including majoritanism, cultural uniqueness, and political opportunity. The proposed paper would highlight the factors that underlie the privileging and forefronting of certain identities, while shielding others Furthermore, the paper would stress that while a stronger sense of identification might emerge during a crisis, such solidarity might be conditioned by social, economic, and political factors and could be temporary. Thus, our paper urges that if inclusivity and equality were to be a goal in Hong Kong, it is imperative that identity be seen as a flexible and dynamic phenomenon, and that official policy be targeted more towards inclusivity than prescription.

More Than Bread and Butter – Explaining the Rise of Right-Wing Populism in Hong Kong and Baltic States
Mr Siyang Liu
Abstract

This study seeks to answer why economically advanced regions pursue right-wing exclusionism. Through cross-regional comparison between post-1997 Hong Kong and Baltic States in the late 20th Century, the research builds on Horowitz’s advanced-backward group typology framework and explains the rise of localism in these regions and the rationale behind the selection of enemies of certain ethnic groups. The study holds that identity maintenance enjoys higher priorities than economic calculations in group interactions.
The study has two arguments to make. Whether certain group perceives its counterpart as a threat depends on the role the reference state plays in its nation building and maintenance process. If the reference state has long been perceived as the backward or the inferior “Other”, than it is more likely to be perceived as a threat. Meanwhile, if a group perceives the “Other” negatively, it tends to behave in a more hostile way after inter-group encountering.
Reviewing ethnic interactions in 20th Century Baltic states, the paper argues that Russia has played a negative role after the Baltic states’ national awakening in 20th Century, which arouses their anti-Russia sentiment. Similarly, during the making of Hong Kong nationalism since early 1970s, China’s image has been generally perceived as backward and inferior. Moreover, the influx of immigrants to Baltic states during the Soviet era and post-handover Hong Kong has threatened the identity maintenance of relative groups. For fear that their identity may perish due to the “physical invasion” of their counterpart, they seek exclusion to pursue identity security.

E4: The discourse of leadership

Battling to dominate the discursive terrain: How Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron have framed terrorist incidents in France.
Mr Miltos Rizakis
Abstract

Crises have become the new normal within the Eurozone for a decade. The sovereign debt crisis was followed by the migration crisis, and a series of terrorist attacks. This paper seeks to examine how the issue of terrorism has been framed by Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron. Islamist extremists have carried out numerous attacks in France since 2010, and Marine Le Pen has been eager to exploit these incidents since they fit neatly within her xenophobic and nationalist discourse. On the other hand, Emmanuel Macron seeks to transcend traditional political boundaries and foster unity.
These different discursive approaches in framing terrorism will be examined in this paper, and if Macron has adopted part of Le Pen’s framing regarding terrorism. By drawing upon the literature on crisis framing the analysis is centred around two important periods: 1) the 2018 Strasbourg attack 2) and the murder of Samuel Paty in 2020. The data was collected from the Twitter accounts of Le Pen and Macron by using the rtweet package of the R programming language, and analysed via the Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) generative statistical model.
The end result is an in depth analysis that showcases the different discursive strategies of the two case studies regarding terrorism. Most importantly, Le Pen’s discourse remained one dimensional during the two time periods focusing almost exclusively on migration and national security, while Macron’s addressed a broader spectrum of issues like the climate crisis and the economic revitalisation of the Eurozone during the Covid 19 crisis.

Official discourses of mega-events in Kyrgyzstan during Akaev’s presidency (1991-2005) and power legitimation
Ms Arzuu Sheranova
Abstract

In the paper, I argue that state-sponsored anniversaries (Manas epic 1000-years anniversary, Osh city’s 3000-years anniversary and the Kyrgyz statehood’s 2200-years anniversary) in post-independent Kyrgyzstan during the presidency of Akaev (1991-2005) more tend to build a power legitimacy of the political leadership, rather than to serve as planned nation-building programs, as existing scholarship claims. Important factors for ‘inventing’ mega-projects were economic hardships and up-coming elections, namely the incumbent regime’s interest in re-election. In the paper I discuss official discourses of state-led celebrations and explain how Manas epic and history of Kyrgyz nation modelled Akaev’s legitimation style to secure own power. In the literature, they have been analysed as merely nation-building projects. However, the paper demonstrates that Akaev’s mega-events are more complex in design and multi-functional. Based on socio-economic and political contexts under these celebrations, the paper argues that mega-events served a legitimacy-building function too, namely with a purpose of re-election.
In the first section of the paper, I describe Akaev’s festive celebrations of Manas epic’s 1000-years anniversary in 1995, Osh city’s 3000-years anniversary in 2000 and Kyrgyz statehood’s 2200-years anniversary in 2003. In the second section of the paper, I analyse president Akaev’s speeches delivered during the mega-events. Finally, to support my argument, in the third section of the paper, I also discuss other political and socio-economic factors which contributed to invention of these mega-events in particular timings and political settings.

Nationalist discourse during the Covid-19 pandemic in Turkey in political speeches of R. T. Erdogan
Miss Karolína Lahučká
Abstract

Contemporary Turkey experiences crisis from many perspectives – economic crisis, the Syrian refugee crisis, the social crisis of rising polarisation, or regime crisis. The last one is Covid-19 pandemic. The crises in modern Turkey have been traditionally connected with the growth of nationalist discourse of political elites. According to observers, Turkish president R. T. Erdogan as the head of political elite has perceived Covid-19 crisis as the opportunity to reaffirm the political legitimacy and restore his image as the saviour of Turkish society relating to his political success in 2002. Alongside, it has been the opportunity to strengthen nationalist-religious identity among Turks, widely promoted in Erdogan´s political discourse during last years. How Erdogan used the nationalism in his political speeches during Covid-19 pandemic in 2020? What are the main nationalist features promoted in his rhetoric? The purpose of this presentation is to investigate the impact of Covid-19 in Turkey on the contemporary wave of nationalism through the discourse analysis of Erdogan´s political speeches between January-June 2020. Erdogan might utilize Covid-19 as a new tool for influencing the society and strengthening his popularity. The main argument is that Erdogan used the crisis to reinforce new nationalism based on the Ottoman legacy, antiglobalism and national independence, and to influence the public opinion on domestic and foreign policy issues for his future political steps. The presentation will contribute to the understanding of Turkey in pandemic and potential post-pandemic era.

E5: Citizenship, borders, and crisis

‘Waiting out a crisis’: Unpacking the ‘crisis’ of the Registry test of Citizenship in Assam.
Ms Debasreeta Deb
Abstract

Hanif Khan, a 40 year old man of Silchar, a town in the Indian state of Assam, committed suicide on December 1, 2018. Hanif Khan had not been included in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) draft list which was being drawn in Assam at that time. He hanged himself from a tree, horrified and traumatised about not being included in the list.
The NRC process, a citizenship determination process in Assam aimed at identifying ‘illegal immigrants’ from Bangladesh who have entered Assam on or before March 1971, published its final list on August 31, 2019, leaving out about 1.9 million people from the document and engulfing the state in chaos and agony. The NRC, however, is not just an isolated administrative exercise, rather a process owing its origins to Assamese nationalism seeking to safeguard its identity and culture against the ‘outsiders’ having a distinct ethno-linguistic and cultural identity. However, this majoritarian hegemony has downplayed the exclusionary dimensions of the process that has led to a ‘crisis’ in the form of numerous suicides, dispossession, trauma and anxiety in the state.
Against this backdrop, the paper, based on the field work data collected by the author in the town of Silchar in Assam, through semi-structured interviews of the people left out of the NRC, seeks to address the ‘crisis’ of Citizenship and more particularly the ‘citizen’ in the Indian state of Assam. This crisis is seen in the form of a crisis of humanity and understood through the lens of loneliness.
In doing so, the paper shall use the concept of ‘waiting out a crisis’ in the context of the citizenship and NRC, as elaborated by Ghassan Hage as ‘waiting for something undesirable that has come’ and highlight how human lives have been ‘stuck’ in the citizenship crisis in Assam.

Cold War Compatriots: Ethnic Nationhood after Border Crossings
Dr Phi Su
Abstract

How and why do migrants identify with certain political labels long after the geopolitical crises and events that created these labels have changed? I address this by leveraging a historical circumstance in which two opposing migration streams from the same country of origin converged on what would later become the same country of destination. In the 1980s, Vietnamese refugees began to resettle in West Germany just as Vietnamese contract workers arrived in East Germany. These two migrant communities encountered each other in reunified Berlin after East Germany collapsed. Drawing on interviews and ethnographic fieldwork, I analyze how Vietnamese in post-socialist Berlin embody competing Cold War visions of being nationals, despite identifying as one ethnic nation.
This historically-grounded comparative study argues that state formation and international migration—border crossings—reconfigure ethnic nationhood in enduring ways. It theorizes border crossings as processes that disrupt the idea that a citizen is a member of a state that maps cleanly onto a territory. When a state collapses and reforms, it raises questions about the nation over whom a state should govern. International migration likewise distorts the trinity of people, state, and place by pulling nationals and societies across borders. This study therefore explicates how people’s identities reconfigure after border crossings by uncovering how their routine cultural interactions reproduce political divisions. Looking at individuals caught in processes of state formation and international migration, this study affirms the importance of the nation-state in the lives of those who cross, and are crossed by, borders.

“Permanent crisis and liminality” of Palestinian nationalism. Paradoxical Palestinian material practices between creativity and unsettlement
Dr Magdalena Pycinska
Abstract

Concept of crisis was established as a temporal concept, indicating a turning point, that alternates with stable states of being, from transition periods to war, violence, etc. In recent studies there have been a shift of focus to the so called “permanent crisis”, a kind of conceptual oxymoron that disturbs the main temporal meaning of the crisis. If crises open up a stage of suspension—a liminal stage—in which new social practices are supposed to rise than “permanent crisis” leads to “permanent liminality”, where transitional processes can become trapped. Eric Wolf (1999) approached crisis, arguing that crises are part of social life and the distinction between normality and crisis is spurious. Assuming that the stages of peace and crisis are not objective phenomena but are conditioned by specific discourses and practices, I analyse the applicability and effects of “permanent liminality” on Palestinian nationalism. What constitutes a crisis for the Palestinians for the Israeli occupier is a normalized state, which preservation is one of the most important goals of Israeli politics. I problematize the many ways in which liminal conditions have come to shape the contemporary Palestinian social reality. The paradoxical state of “permanent liminality” is understood as a state where on the one hand it involves freedom from any kind of structure, which sparks creativity and innovation. On the other hand, it is dangerous and unsettling, a state where norms disappear. I analyse this paradoxical state paying particular attention to the material effects of Palestinian practices and actions.

Panel Session F

F1: Independence movements in North America and Europe

Crisis in questioned nations: Language, identity and the Right in the struggle for the social and political hegemony of Navarre and the Valencian Country
Mr Giovanni Pelegi-Torres
Abstract

This paper seeks to modestly contribute to satisfying two recurring academic gaps: that of the combined analysis between political science and linguistic rights and that of complex identities in Spain. Both are comparable by the idea of perpetual crisis. It analyses concurrently the relation between Catalan in the Valencian Country and Basque in Navarre –where they are minority languages and less spoken than in Catalonia and the Basque Country–, politics, the national identity and how all sets a constant critical situation. It approaches, through a perspective that combines history, philosophy and political science, to the treatment given by the Right to the political action of language and identity in both territories to entail an ideological fight. The resulting comparison establishes a theorization around the nationalizing action of the dominant class and how Catalan in the Valencian Country and Basque in Navarre interact with the Spanish worldview and the Spanish language.

An Empirical Analysis of the Variance in the Left-Right Ideology of National Independence Parties in Canada and Western Europe.
Mr Adam Stokes
Abstract

National independence parties offer a unique challenge to many Western countries. One particularly interesting trait of these parties is the significant variation which exists in their ideological makeups. Not only are there national independence parties on both the left and the right of the political spectrum but also, within both of these subsets, there is further variety, with some parties being significantly more radical than others. In this paper, this element of left-right ideology is referred to as mainstream-radical ideology. This paper runs a quantitative analysis of 320 cases of national independence parties standing in elections. These cases are spread over a 20-year period, coming from 26 nations in 10 countries. This paper measures party ideology against 10 variables. These variables can be sorted into five categories, “Unemployment,” “National State Characteristics,” “Language,” “Party Competition” and “Party Electoral Performance.” This paper finds that unemployment is an especially significant predictor of the left-right ideology of national independence parties and that language is a significant factor in predicting mainstream-radical ideology.

Situations Can Make You a Secessionist. An Age-Period-Cohort Analysis of Support for Secession in Catalonia, 1991-2019
Dr Raül Tormos
Abstract

Support for secession in Catalonia has increased substantially in recent years. This research is devoted to understanding the sources of this evolution. What role has age, period and cohort factors played in it? Making use of an original dataset of repeated cross-sectional surveys that span over 29 years (1991-2019), we apply logistic cross-classified random effects models (both frequentist and Bayesian) to quantify the contribution of each component. Although there is a cohort pattern (and age effects) so that younger generations tend to be more favorable to secession, the key element for understanding the dynamics of Catalan secessionist demands is related to period effects. The political context is a main driver of the evolution of Catalan secessionism for citizens of all age-groups. Individuals from all cohorts have changed their mind considerably about their preferred constitutional arrangement in recent years proving them to be more malleable than expected. We also explore the changing role of ethnic origin and national identification in the evolution of secessionism. Additional models are employed to understand the patterns of change in subjective national identification. Finally, we examine the consequences for secessionist attitudes of future demographic trends in Catalan ethnic divides.

F2: The discourses of responses to Covid

“Best in Covid”: Pandemic and banal nationalism in the rhetoric of the Czech PM Andrej Babiš (2020-2021).
Dr Přemysl Rosůlek
Abstract

In 2020, the covid-19 pandemic initially did not take by surprise political elites of the Czech Republic. Therefore, the Czech PM Andrej Babiš, a businessman, could easily maintain already established media image of an effective political leader at both macro and micro-level. However, the second and the third wave of pandemic in the Fall and Winter of the 2020/21 respectivelly hit the country significantly. The Czech Republic started to be portrayed as managing the covid-19 pandemic poorly. Nevertheless, the PM Babiš barely admitted a bad success nor appologized for any sort of political failure. On the contrary, in his rhetorical offensive, he continued to use nationalism and „othering others“ strategy stressing both internal and external hurdles on the way to the bright future of the Czech nation.
The presented paper will be aimed at nationalistic rhetoric of the PM Babiš during the covid-19 pandemic (2020-21). I argue that in his speeches, the PM Babiš has been often emhasizing importance of the Great Nation of the Czechs. I´m convinced that nationalism is a crucial part in his rhetoric although its manifestations are barely noticable. In his speeches, nationalism is (re-)produced as a routine practices and everyday discourses and majority view it as a natural and non-nationalistic. For this reason, my presentation will be framed in the banal nationalism theory introduced by Michael Billig back in 1995 who viewed the process of building and maintaing of the national identity as, on one hand, vital and, on the other hand, as barely noticable.

COVID-19 crisis as nativist´ politics accelerator in Central Europe?
Mr Ladislav Cabada
Abstract

Already before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemics the democracy backsliding in East-Central Europe was discussed. Many regimes in the group of so called new EU-member states evince in the last decade strengthening of populist and anti-liberal tendencies as well as nationalism and xenophobia. The COVID-19 crisis presents here new challenge that replenished and upgraded the already existing and ongoing crises after 2008. The extraordinary situation brought new financial challenges and fear from crisis that might be comparable with the 1920s/1930s global crisis. The retreat of state became visible political as well as media cliché compared with the alleged weak reaction or even passivity of the EU´s institutions. In my paper, I focus on selected Central European countries (Czechia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Austria) and their response on the COVID-19 crisis. I especially stress the strengthening of nativist tendencies in these states. Such tendencies include for example notions about better “cultural” or other preconditions for dealing with the crisis compared with other nations, alienation and verbal attacks against the “others” such as foreigners, workers commuting over the border, tourists that “brought the illness from abroad”. As typical nativist tendencies in power politics I observe the effort to keep the borders closed, declarations about the necessity of (food) autarky, about the obligation to spend the holidays and more generally financial sources “at home” etc. As the research method I use the discursive analysis.

Vaccine Nationalism and Public Responsibility: A Discursive Analysis of Taking Credit and Apportioning Blame during the UK’s Third Wave
Mr Louis Strange
Abstract

While the UK government was accusing the EU of playing the game of “vaccine nationalism” (BBC News, 2021), they were also proudly crowing of the successes in administering doses of the vaccine to the domestic population, or taking credit for the work of scientists in Britain. On the other hand, when it came to enforcing lockdown rules, government messaging focused on individualising responsibility for the pandemic (with the exception that the national collective was invoked insofar as individuals were letting “us” down with their reckless behaviour). This conveniently elides the government’s own role in the crisis, with the public encouraged (if not threatened) to return to work or to “Eat Out to Help Out” (a scheme which offered taxpayer-funded discounts to those dining out restaurants in the summer of 2020). These twin dynamics, I argue, are two sides of the same hegemonic discourse (Özkırımlı, 2010), which cherry-picks whether to frame the pandemic in collective terms or to fragment the public sphere according to whether such a discursive framing favours the maintenance of the prevailing hegemony or not. This demonstrates how neoliberal hegemony operates within the context of the coronavirus pandemic, repurposing a classic rhetorical trick from the nationalist playbook. In the mould of Stroud and Mpendukana (2009, p. 367), who tracked “chains of representations across different types of media”, I draw on data from a number of sources, including government statements, social media and Public Health England poster campaigns, to trace the two sides of this discursive coin.

F3: Illiberal responses to crisis in the USA

Dominant Publics and Violence in the Time of COVID.
Miss Caitlin Graziani
Abstract

Covid-19 has restructured what it means to belong to a public, particularly among those whose sense of belonging is directly tied to access and control of publics. For White people in the United States, the public sphere has been their locus of control and maintenance of White supremacy. There is ample scholarship on the dominant public as a White, cigendered, heterosexualized space that allows or disallows belonging based on those criteria. This belonging is supported and reinforced through a history of public violence—mass shootings, lynchings, genocide and war. How then, has the pandemic and the responses to it, changed how belonging and identification with Nation changed through expressions of violence? My paper utilizes a variety of theoretical approaches, including theories of publics, race/racisms, and media studies, to explore the shifts in the public sphere and in violence to maintain identification with the Nation. I draw a line from historical uses of the public sphere and nationalism to the current moment, exploring how bombings, militia presences, the storming of the Capitol, and the proliferation of nationalist conspiracy theories are navigated in news ways in the time of COVID. The production of a new framework for understanding violence and publics during a pandemic will help us situate these spectacles as demonstrations of a White supremacist nationalism.

Ethnonationalism and White immigration attitudes
Mr Jack Thompson
Abstract

In this paper, I explore how much of White Americans’ opposition to impmigration – opposition that is often grounded in fears of the threat that immigration poses to the robustness of America’s national identity– is shaped by ethnonationalism, a set of beliefs concerning which traits are important for being a “true” American. Drawing on data from the 2016 ANES, I examine how ethnonationalism shapes White Americans attitudes towards immigrants. I find that ethnonationalism is positively associated with anti-immigrant attitudes among Whites, with the effect size of my ethnonationalism measure being larger than that of any other variable in my OLS model. Critically this includes a number of variables that are already known to be strongly predictive of White attitudes towards immigration, such as Republican partisanship. Beyond anti-immigrant attitudes, I also find that ethnonationalism also predicts support for policies that would restriction immigration. Finally, I also present evidence that ethnonationalism is an important moderator of the relationship between anti-immigrant attitudes and favorable estimations of Trump.

The Tower of Babel in America: Anti-scientific agendas, alternative facts, and their implications for national security in the United States
Ms Kimberly Consroe
Abstract

As Populism swept the United States during the 2016 election cycle, simmering agendas opposed to objective scientific and historical discourse came to a boil and further polarized an already divided nation. Americans — Right and Left — debated the facts and attacked their sources, including government agencies, journalists, doctors, and academics. Meanwhile, social media and Big Data targeted and reinforced provocative beliefs so individuals in the same household co-existed with radically different epistemologies, while fringe-dwellers found each other and proselytized across the continent. Ethno-nationalist fervor, finding fertile ground in these echo-chambers, inflamed discourse surrounding critical issues and continues to prevent consensus and collective action because Americans no longer seem to speak the same language.

Growing suspicion of experts and anti-establishment sentiment created strange bedfellows, international and domestic, who continue to peddle dangerous misinformation and degrade faith in long-standing secular institutions. Consumption of self-affirming alternative sources of scientific information jeopardizes belief in urgent national security issues like pandemic mitigation, climate change, and ethno-nationalist violence. At risk are the fundamental and long-term security, health, and global standing of the United States and its people.

Using original statistical data from social media sites, with academic and journalistic sources, this research analyzes anti- and pseudo-scientific discourse in American politics today. The result is an interdisciplinary report about the threat agnotological material poses to national security. Solutions to this dilemma are explored, focusing on salvaging trust in, and support for, the institutions capable of the unprecedented actions needed to overcome the crises we face today.

‘Any nation so conceived: Did America’s civil war mark the beginning of the end of liberal democracy in the United States?’
Prof Susan-Mary Grant
Abstract

When Abraham Lincoln spoke at Gettysburg in 1863, in the middle of the American Civil War, he dedicated the cemetery for the Union dead to the promise ‘that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.’ This paper explores the extent to which America’s civil conflict, so far from achieving that ideal, in fact set the United States on a path leading to the fraying of liberal democracy, both nationally and, to an extent, globally. It argues that the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, which began in the United States but has gone on to have global resonance, is the litmus test for liberal democracy’s decline in the twenty-first century, but also indicative of the degree to which this process began in the act of secession, its military defeat, and the political aftermath of the nation’s internecine conflict in the middle of the nineteenth century. Tilly famously argued that ‘wars make states,’ but they can unmake them, too, perhaps especially when the state in question appears to have emerged not just militarily but morally victorious to become the ‘leader of the free world.’ ‘When nationalists achieved power,’ John Hutchinson has observed, ‘their attempts to realize their utopian dreams were disastrous’ (Nationalism and War, 2017, 68). The United States is no exception. This paper argues that recent racial and political crises suggest that the time has come to reassess the nature of American nationalism; its historical roots and its contemporary realities.

F4: Historical antecedents of national identity

Nation and Mother Tongue in Crisis. The Discourse about the Decline of National Character in Late 18th–Early 19th Century Hungary
Dr Henrik Hőnich
Abstract

At the turn of the 19th century, a vast transformation took place in the discourse of national character in the Kingdom of Hungary. On the one hand, the number of statements (mainly in form of pamphlets and treatises) on the importance of mother tongue increased sharply in relation to former periods. As a result, a new precept was elaborated in the early 1790s and developed further around 1805 that held that the mother tongue is one of the pivotal, distinctive ‘features’ of the nation. Besides, the tendency to identify various degenerative phenomena on the collective level dominated in the texts.
In my paper, I would like to analyse this discourse of national decay in the period from 1790 to 1810 and to demonstrate its impact on the long-term process of nation building in Hungary. One crucial element of the methodological framework is planned to be the concentration on the discursive and conceptual levels. My chief aim is to explore the discourse itself and its key themes, as well as to reconstruct the main semantic tendencies, with special regard to the term ‘nation’. This approach is informed in the most part by the social constructionist perspective, and a dynamic, fluid notion of national culture, conceiving it as an object of continuous negotiation, revision, and reinterpretation on the discursive level.
Furthermore, there will be made an attempt to make some conclusions on the theoretical level of nationalism studies, as well. Through the analysis, I am going to give an example how one can transcend some of the classical questions of modernist and ethnosymbolist theories: instead of searching for the essence or the genesis of modern nations and nationalism in general, the emphasis will be placed on how nationalism functions, operates, and reproduces itself on the level of political discourse.

Pre-modern Hungarian national identity in crisis: the Bocskai uprising and national unity (1604–1606)
Mr László Kövecses
Abstract

The Fifteen Years War (1591–1606) between the Habsburg and Ottoman Empires devastated Hungarian society in different aspects: military, economic, religious and legal certainty. In this crisis situation, István Bocskai stepped forward and became the leader of a general uprising with the goal of curbing the power abuses of Emperor Rudolph I. This paper analyses correspondence among and manifestos by the participants of the uprising in order to detect characteristics of national thought at the time. Existing literature points to the rapidly increasing occurrence of the terms “nation” and “homeland” in 15-16th century Hungarian written sources. Seven letters and three manifestos explicitly indicate that this era was indeed a turning point in the societal widening of the category of nation. First of all, commoners, serfs and the paramilitary group of Hajdus, were the initial actors of the movement, as opposed to medieval traditions of warfare associated to nobility. Secondly, these commoners called upon the nobility to join in, since “all are one in the nation”, thus kinship ties between the nobility and the serfs also appear in the argumentation. We can witness a bottom-up and a top-down approach parallel to each other, as the leader of the uprising himself was a nobleman, yet stressed the patriotic duties of “all persons loving their nation and homeland”. The findings of my research challenge the mainstream modernist school of nationalism studies and highlight the significance of ethnosymbolism in the case of Hungarian national identity.

Juxtaposing the “National Crisis” and the “New Better World”: The Kosovo Myth of Slobodan Milosevic between ethno-nationalism and socialist Yugoslavism
Dr Matvey Lomonosov
Abstract

In nationalism studies, biological theorizing of ethnicity and nationalism has always been associated with primordialism. The major theoretical works and overviews in the field not only criticize biological expiations of ethnic and nationalist phenomena but also express skepticism over its theoretical contributions. By reviewing relevant life sciences literature including our own animal studies in social memory, we conclude that (a) the scholars of nationalism need to distinguish the three waves in life science theorizing of ethnicity and nationalism, (b) in progression from one wave to another, the scope of the life science explanations has narrowed, while their empirical backing has widened, (c) currently, biological primordialism in academia, unlike its analogs in political arena, public sphere and folk understandings, can mostly be seen as a strawman. The first post-WWII academic efforts to explain ethnicity and nationalism relied on evolutionary perspective. The second wave of biologizing ethnicity and nation coincided with the development of the Human Genome Project, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and country-specific research associated with them. The recent decade witnessed a rapid growth of neuroscientific research and understanding of ethnic and national categorization, identification and cognitive processing. These studies invoke the theories of social cognition and employ the novel techniques of empirical research such as fMRI. In particular, breakthrough research in social memory and its neural base in CA2, amygdala, oxytocin led to serious advancement. Thus, the concrete form of social identity, its salience, the magnitude of ingroup bias and specific intergroup behaviors depend on contextual, environmental factors.

The Zionist Consciousness and the Hebrew Bible: A Cultural Dimension of Jewish Nationalism
Dr Yitzhak Conforti
Abstract

This study aims to examine the position of the Bible in the Zionist consciousness from its inception until the establishment of the State of Israel. In the nineteenth century, with the growth of the Enlightenment and Jewish nationalism, the Hebrew Bible regained its place as the formative book of modern Judaism. Both movements viewed the ancient religious text as a tool for modernization and secularization. Identifying with the Bible strengthened the structural weakness of the Jewish national movement: the absence of language and territory. The return to the biblical text enabled Zionism to reimagine the Jewish people as a modern nation. This study analyzes the relationship to the Bible of the various branches of the Zionist movement, from the secular radicals to the religious conservatives. Prominent Zionist intellectuals and political leaders addressed the Bible with deep gravity. Some wrote academic studies on it, others published Journal articles, and others wrote curricula for teaching it in schools. In so doing, they formulated a Zionist consciousness of the Hebrew Bible. A nationalistic interpretation of the Bible changed the traditional emphases. It stressed the geographical location of the Land of Israel, the kingdom, and the prophetic vision, as opposed to the religious aspects of Judaism expressed within it and the relationship between the Jewish people and its God. The Bible had a particularly strong influence on the Zionists in Palestine until 1948. This study aims to understand the inner cultural world of the Zionist movement based on the approach of Anthony D. Smith.

F5: The politics of citizenship

The Politics of Crisis: Immigration, Nationalism, and Racialized Citizenship in the United States
Ms Emma-Claire LaSaine (withdrawn)
Abstract

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the end of a fervently anti-immigrant U.S. presidential administration, questions regarding what exactly constitutes a “crisis” are particularly relevant in scholarship of migration. This paper takes as its cases broadcast news discourse on U.S. immigration during 2018, 2014, and 1994. These years each contain a migration “crisis,” with Cuban refugees caught up in political negotiations in 1994, an increased influx of unaccompanied minors in 2014, and the infamous “family separation policy” of 2018. I take a discursive constructionist approach to nationalism, qualitatively analyzing news coverage using grounded theory method to answer three questions: First, what constitutes an immigration crisis? Second, whose safety and interests are perceived to be at risk? Finally, who are the primary actors applying this label, and to what political end? I will argue that depictions of such “crises” rarely focus on the geopolitical contexts shaping migration or the impact of historical exclusionary immigration policies and practices, instead prioritizing the interests and perspectives of domestic actors in the receiving country. Further, these “crises” are often constructed as political or logistical problems to be solved, rather than in terms of human suffering. When considered in tandem with the broad racialization of U.S. immigration, these discussions take on an ethnonationalist boundary-making function that has broader implications for our understanding of U.S. national identity and the disjuncture between rhetoric and practice in so-called “civic” nationalisms more broadly.

The quest for international mobility through ancestry: a comparative analysis of citizenship application procedures in Schengen countries by persons from the Global South and from a post-Brexit United Kingdom
Prof Dr Melissa Martins Casagrande
Abstract

This paper builds upon previous research analyzing the contemporary rise in applications for the recognition of the right to nationality by descendants of persons from Schengen countries who migrated to the Global South in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The main factor prompting such applications is the possibility of regular migration, and, therefore, formal employment, in stable economies in Europe, with applications peaking in times of recession and unemployment in the applicants’ birth countries. The rise in applications for the recognition of the right to nationality of European countries by British citizens, prompted by Brexit, challenge some of these findings. A review of this outcome, factoring in the phenomenon of “European citizenship-belonging applications” in connection to Brexit, is therefore necessary. The analysis proposed in this paper sheds light in the fact that a significant number of applications are related to a perceived “right to mobility beyond borders”, a wider guarantee of opportunity, present and future, rather than being related mostly to economic factors. Moreover, the paper also addresses an observed unprecedented tendency for beneficiaries of the right to touch upon an often-painful past of (forced) displacement in order to ensure belonging and mobility to a larger territorial area. Thus, the paper explores the premise of “mobility lost; nationality found” in the larger context of social and political belonging and a reclaiming of a right to mobility on the basis of historical migration, contrasting it, furthermore, with the current scenario of contemporary migrant integration in Europe.

Citizenship and Legal Identity in Post-Soviet De Facto States
Mr Ramesh Ganohariti
Abstract

Most discussions on achieving Goal 16.9 have focused on how UN members can improve civil registration. Discussion on access to legal identity outside their control have largely been footnotes in (academic) studies on citizenship and nationalism.
Documents assist in creating social reality and the materiality of the identity document shapes individual personhood. The issuance of civil documents is seen as a symbol of states sovereignty/identity, and thus non-state authorities in order to create legitimacy and show capacity to function as a state have often issued identity documents. This creates a dilemma, where the right to legal identity has been legally codified (Art.16 ICCPR, Art.7 CRC) but the legitimacy of non-state authorities providing legal identity documents has been contested.
One way is to allow de facto state citizens to possess an additional citizenship of a recognized state. However, not all states may recognize these documents (e.g. Georgia and Ukraine). Other pathways to include instances where opposing parties recognized each other’s documents via bilateral agreements (Transnistria-Moldova (2001) and Kosovo-Serbia (2011)). Despite this, internationally the documents can lack recognition (e.g. Kosovo passports in most post-Soviet states). This shows that the recognition of an individual’s legal identity is not universal but is dependent on time and place. Furthermore, the lack of a recognised legal identity may also hinder the conflict resolution process. By taking post-Soviet de facto states as cases, this paper explores the pathways chosen by de facto states (and their citizens) to overcome issues of contested legal identity.