Archive for April, 2010

In his new book The Hidden Wealth of Nations (2010, Polity) David Halpern argues, primarily for Europe based on survey evidence, that despite ‘globalisation’ there are tendencies toward diverging values between countries, and converging values within countries.  He sees this as evidence for the enduring significance of national identities, as a kind of social capital that can enhance national well being (see pp 110-116).  You might want to check it out.  For more on the book:


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This BBC news item highlights French sensitivities to the use of the tricolour. The trigger–a contest winning photo of a man using it to wipe his behind…


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Some info about an upcoming conference jointly organised by CRESAB/ASEN … note that the deadline for application is 15 May 2010 …

Upcoming conference 10-11 September 2010: Nationalism and Legitimacy
The notion of legitimacy is essential to the study of nationalism. As Anthony D. Smith has argued, “For nationalists, the nation is the sole criterion of legitimate government and political community. […] [T]oday no state possesses legitimacy which does not also claim to represent the will of the ‘nation’, even where there is as yet patently no nation for it to represent.”
This conference seeks to examine the evolution of legitimacy of the nation-state in the con-temporary world. Notably, we wish to consider how successfully, and in what ways, nation-states (re)define themselves in order to maintain this legitimacy, the ways in which nations and nation-states may reinforce one another’s legitimacy and the extent to which this legiti-macy may be strengthened or undermined by supranational bodies.
The conference will include keynote addresses by leading scholars in the field: John Breuilly and John Hutchinson, of the London School of Economics,as well as panel sessions for the presentation of papers exploring aspects of the relationship between nationalism and legiti-macy. Suggested themes include, but are not limited to:
* The impact of globalization, immigration, and ethnic relations on the legitimacy of nation- states
* Socio-economic aspects of national legitimacy
* The perceived legitimacy of supranational bodies
Both theoretical and empirical approaches are welcome.
The primary focus of the conference will be on the English-speaking world, but we will also consider submissions concerning other geographical regions.
Please send proposals of no more than 500 words by 15 May 2010 to:

Papers submitted to the conference will be considered for publication. Please note that the CRESAB cannot cover travel and accommodation costs. Presenters are expected to register for the conference. Further enquiries are welcome at colloque-cresab@univ-nancy2.fr

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Details of next year’s ASEN conference, as announced last week:

FORGING THE NATION: Performance and ritual in the (Re)Production of the Nation

LSE, 5th – 7th April 2011

Full details will appear shortly on the ASEN webpage – meantime note that the deadline to submit an abstract for consideration will be Monday 1st November.

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Last week’s 2010 ASEN Conference focussed on charisma within nationalist movements and national narratives. Kicked off by John Breuilly’s Gellner lecture on ‘Weber, Nation and Charisma’ there followed keynote speeches by David Martin, Lucy Raill, Meghnad Desai, Mac Knox, Elleke Boehmer, and Erik-Jan Zurcher. The main business comprised the 100+ papers spread across nine panels across three days. A very rich mix of postgraduates, early career academics and some ‘older’ heads, there were some good debates and some very vibrant discussion.

You can access a range of the conference papers here.

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Last week Nationalism Studies had the great pleasure of welcoming (back) Dr Ben Wellings of Australian National University. Ben is a graduate of the Nationalism Studies MSc at Edinburgh and gave us a fascinating preview of his upcoming ASEN 2010 paper on Enoch Powell.

You can find a draft version of Ben’s paper on the ASEN 2010 conference website here.

Further papers are also available from the ASEN 2010 conference website which is well worth a wee browse …

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A Trilingual Sign

Interesting article on the relationship between religion, language and the nation


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