The XXXth Annual ASEN Conference
Nationalism & Crisis

πŸ™œ Call for Papers

This call for papers is also available to download as a PDF.

This year’s conference theme seems inevitable, given the global impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, on top of many other episodes of social and political instability over the last few years. Crisis can take many forms (and can be used too loosely) but for those who study nationalism it evokes the question of existential strains on national communities and the world that nationalism made. The ways in which incidents are framed as national crises – by governments, academics, journalists, and other public-facing interpreters of events or spokespersons of various national and international organisations – tell us something about particular conceptions of the nature of nationalism and national identities.

Prominent at the current moment are pressing planetary issues such as Covid-19 and climate change. But these planet-wide, global crises themselves arise in a period of geopolitical crisis linked to the huge economic shifts from West to East, as well as the breakdown of established international institutions. In the liberal democratic West, national governments are under pressure from populist movements – national movements which are inward-looking, exclusivist, authoritarian, and opposed to large-scale immigration. These types of national movement are seen as threatening liberal democratic polities, challenging their political pluralism and implicit or explicit flexibility of their national membership. Authoritarian regimes are also in crisis, under threat and fractured by liberal, national, and people-centred movements, as in Turkey, Syria, Belarus, and Hong Kong. Finally, the rekindling of ethnic strife in the Caucasus shows the return, if not persistence, of historical ethnic crises.

The economic impacts of the 2008 financial crisis linger on in many parts of the world, compounded by the current global pandemic. Cultural, ethnic, racial, and class divisions become sites of contestation under crisis conditions. As always, scrutinizing historical cases of nationalism and crisis can help us gain perspective on the present, and theorising our terms of inquiry can contribute to scholarship.
Possible subthemes:

  • Covid-19 as a crisis impacting nations and nationalism
  • Is liberal democracy in crisis?
  • Political polarisation and crises of political legitimacy
  • BLM as a response to crisis
  • Globalisation in crisis in the face of populism
  • Is Brexit a national crisis?
  • Ecology, including climate change as a source of crisis for nations
  • Demographic change (e.g. shifting age structure) as posing crises for nations
  • Crises of authority in science, religion, and cultural institutions
  • Representations of national history in crisis?
  • The shaping of national identities by crises (past and/or present)
  • How do we define β€˜crises’, and assess their impact on nationalism?
  • Is national identity, belonging and solidarity in crisis?
  • Crises’ impact on borders and citizenship
  • Trade-off between democracy and authoritarianism in addressing Covid-19

πŸ™œΒ  Abstracts πŸ™ž

Please submit your abstract by 15th January 2021 The deadline for submissions has been extended to 1st February 2021.

Abstracts should be no longer than 250 words and they must include a working title and the position and affiliation of the author. They should be submitted using the form at You should expect to speak for no more than fifteen minutes.

We will take into consideration proposals for panels. However, papers are considered on an individual basis and panel paper submissions may be split up.

Abstracts will be reviewed by the Conference Committee and a decision will be announced at the beginning of February.

πŸ™œΒ  Notes on Abstracts πŸ™ž

ASEN Conferences are topic-based instead of discipline-based. Thus, we accept abstracts from all disciplines and methodological backgrounds such as anthropology, political theory, large quantitative studies, etc. The selection committee is composed of experts from many different disciplines and we welcome both descriptive and prescriptive abstracts. Therefore, there is no single way to write an abstract that will be accepted.

Nevertheless, the conference committee values abstracts that explicitly state its theoretical framework, that make clear its analytical points, that mention what is its methodology, that explain its contribution to their field and that set out what are its case studies and time frame. Interdisciplinary research is welcomed and encouraged.

Please, abstain from sending descriptive abstracts that simply explain an interesting case study. Instead, summarise the case in two or three lines and explain your analytical points and methodology.


πŸ™œΒ  Timings πŸ™ž

We are scheduling the conference so that it is possible for people to attend from as many time zones as possible. The conference will run each day from 1400UTC to 1830UTC; the timings for some cities are below as a guide to what this will be in your location.


Los Angeles New York London Paris Ankara
Start 0700 1000 1500 1600 1700
End 1130 1430 1930 2030 2130

πŸ™œΒ  Fees πŸ™ž

We are offering registration at the substantially discounted price of Β£15. There is no charge for members of ASEN. You can register for the conference at


πŸ™œΒ  Events πŸ™ž

As well as access to the panels, attendees can join in with a β€˜meet the editors’ event with representatives of Nations and Nationalism and Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, and a panel on getting your first paper published.

πŸ™œΒ  Logistics πŸ™ž

The conference will be held on Zoom, which can be accessed on computers, tablets, and smartphones; it will also be possible to join by phone call if necessary. We ask panellists to check their equipment and connection in advance of the conference. For more information and technical help, please visit

πŸ™œΒ  Plenaries πŸ™ž

Our plenaries will be broadcast on Facebook Live for anyone to watch. Confirmed speakers include Professor Cynthia Miller-Idriss and Professor Jasbir K. Puar. For the latest additions to the roster of speakers and biographies, please visit

πŸ™œΒ  2020 Conference Panellists πŸ™ž

While we cannot guarantee paper acceptance, we will look favourably on abstracts submitted by those who had papers accepted for the cancelled 2020 conference.

πŸ™œΒ  Further Information πŸ™ž

For the latest information and updates, please visit the conference website at

If you have any questions, please contact us at or find us on social media at Facebook or Twitter.