ISSN 2225-5060

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Сonference “The Return of the Nation?” (Budapest, 29-30 August 2019)

Organized by the Nationalism Studies Program at Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

In the past years, nationalist parties throughout the world have become major political players. The maintenance of national sovereignty has been a key element of right-wing populist discourse. Populist nationalist parties throughout the world call for defending the economic as well as cultural boundaries of nation states. In their discourse, global trade, liberal democratic values and migration threaten national economies as well as national cultures.  More recently, some left-wing and liberal theorists have also embraced nation-centered politics. In their view, democratic governance as well as the welfare state requires strong national governments that can effectively moderate the impact of free global markets. It is also claimed that nationalist ideology and the defense of national culture can be squared with and tamed by liberal and multicultural values.

The focus of the undergraduate summer conference “The return of the nation?” will be the revival of nationalist politics.

Special attention will be given to themes discussing the relationship between mass population movements, economic crises and nationalism.

The Nationalism Studies Program at Central European University invites proposals by current BA and (first year) MA students. We welcome proposals devoted to comparative perspectives on nationalism-related contemporary and historical case studies as well as papers on theoretical/normative approaches that need not be grounded in any particular geographic region. Disciplines represented include political science, sociology, international relations, legal studies, history, anthropology, economics, philosophy, political geography, sociolinguistics, literature, and related fields.

Topics covered in the conference will include:

• “Nationalisms and Crises,” on the impact of economic and social crises on nationalist politics and discourses;
• “Nationalism and Right-Wing Populism”, on the rise of nativist populist rhetoric in economic and political crises;
• “The Nationalism of the Left”, on the normative dilemmas of left-wing nationalist politics;
• “Nationalism and the Politics of Fear,” on the securitization of migration and global trade;
• “Nationalism and Minorities,” on the securitization of ethnic and national minority issues;
• “Migration and Globalization,” on the social and political challenges related to migration and the integration of immigrant communities in modern societies;
• “Liberal Nationalism” on the possibility of liberal nationalist politics;
• “Nation-building and Empire,” on the politics of nation-building under and after empires and supra-national political entities;
• “Borders and Boundaries,” on nationalist challenges to the territorial and political order;
• “History, Politics and Memory,” on the construction and contestation of the memory of historical events in particular sites, political discourses and historical research;
• “Ethnicity and Violence,” on the construction of personal and group identity and its potential mobilization in violence perpetrated against culturally-defined groups;
• “Long-distance Nationalism,” on diaspora nationalism and transborder nation-building;
• “Nationalism and Cosmopolitanism,” on the normative disputes over the scope of solidarity and obligations.

A limited number of grants (covering travel expenses and free accommodation in the CEU dormitory) offered by the Nationalism Studies Program at CEU. Applicants for the travel grant should indicate the requested amount in the online application form (see below).

Deadline for proposals: May 15

To apply, please

– submit the online application form;
– submit a writing sample in English (any essay or seminar paper written in English) to;
– submit your CV to

The language of the conference and the papers is English.

The receipt of the application will be promptly acknowledged electronically, with some delay during deadline week, due to the high volume of proposals.

The submitted proposals will be reviewed by the faculty of the Nationalism Studies Program. Applicants will be notified by May 30, 2019 at the latest.

The conference fee is 75 EUR and includes:

– three nights’ accommodation in single rooms in the CEU Residence Center (optional)
– breakfast
– coffee breaks
– conference dinner
– free Wi-Fi

The Conference Organizing Committee:

Szabolcs Pogonyi
Luca Váradi

Conference website

Deadline for proposals: May 15, 2019.

For inquiries, please e-mail Lilla Kukor at


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