Archive: 23 Gennaio, 2019

• CFP Eugeo 2019 – The end of endism?

Session Title: The end of endism? The Revival of the Nation State in Global Geopolitics

 

Session Convenors: Elena Dell’Agnese, Virginie Mamadouh, Università di Milano-Bicocca / Universiteit van Amsterdam 

Email: v.d.mamadouh@uva.nl

 

 

While (political) geographers have long questioned the end of the nation-state and the end of state borders narratives, their sudden dismissal around the world has bewildered them equally. This dismissal has been unexpected and highly contagious: a wave ending endist narratives and bringing nationalism and sovereignty back to fore of political debates. Such narratives have been articulated by (new or refurbished) political parties and broader movements that met unexpected electoral success in Hungary, Poland, and more recently in the US, Austria, Italy, Brazil. They take the form of populist discourses suggesting the existence of a monolith “people” with an essentialist identity and a clear national interest that has to take back control from a cosmopolitan elite thanks to a charismatic leader. These new frames echo nationalist narratives in Russia, China, India or the Philippines where autocratic leaders are in fashion too. Whether targeting globalization and free-trade, international migration and multiculturalism, Europeanization and international governance, or all of the above at the same time, new nationalist sovereignty narratives have emerged in places as varied as England and Italy, with one resulting in Brexit, the other in defiance of EU budgetary rules. Catchy mottos such as America First have a direct and deep impact on inclusion and exclusion processes, affecting social cohesion, identities, and power relations. They also guide foreign policy and affect international relations (border disputes, trade agreements), global governance (asylum, climate change) and regional collaborative efforts such as the EU. The Commission on Political Geography of the IGU sponsors a session for papers that analyze and theorize the political geography of this revival of nationalism and sovereignty in Europe and beyond. Papers may focus on domestic political geographies, on international relations or the interaction between populism, identities and geopolitical visions. Case studies, comparative studies and conceptual papers are welcome.


 

Please send your abstracts (maximum 250 words) to Virginie Mamadouh (v.d.mamadouh@uva.nl) and Elena Dell’Agnese (elena.dellagnese@unimib.it)  by January 21st 2019.

• CFP Eugeo 2019 – Borders of Populism

Session Title: Borders of populism in the European Union

 

Session Convenors: Anna Casaglia, Raffaella Coletti, University of Trento; Sapienza University of Rome, Dept. Memotef

Email:

raffaella.coletti@uniroma1.it

anna.casaglia@unitn.it

 

https://www.eugeo2019.eu/
 

Research on populism is animating academic debates in light of the growing relevance of this trend, which is indeed a rising global phenomenon. Populist movements differ a lot across space and time; however, in its very basic definition, populism is the movement of the ‘pure people’ and their will against the ‘elites’; or, more precisely, a struggle between a reified ‘will of the people’ and a conspiring elite.

Populism is diffusing widely in the European Union and a common feature of these movements is their anti-EU positions, or the inclusion of European institutions and European representatives in the list of “corrupted” elites to be confronted by the new generation of “people” in power. As such, the diffusion of populism challenges the present and future of EU structure and integration.

 

The contribution of geography to the study of populism has been limited so far, even if borders, globalisation, inequalities, sovereignty, which are crucial variables in the current populist wave, are also traditional topics for geographers. In this frame, and in the case of the European Union specifically, the role of borders looks particularly important.
Indeed, (territorial and relational) borders are crucial sites  in understanding processes of EU integration, and political geographers have widely explored the ‘nature of the beast’, interrogating the role of bordering practices and imaginaries in the making of the European Union. Consequently, EU borders and bordering processes are pivotal to exploring and understanding the rationale and the implications of the current shifting political landscape of the EU, and potential mechanisms of EU (dis)integration.

Moreover, borders are central in populist discourse and ideology, not only as ‘containers’ of national identity, but as crucial markers of sovereignty against supranational regulations. Populist parties all over Europe have been exploiting borders and the so-called ‘refugee crisis’ to securitise migration and human mobility and to promote the defence of national identity in the face of cultural invasion. In most countries where populism has been politically successful, like Hungary, Belgium, and Italy, the ‘pure people’s’ claims have soon met racist, homophobic and islamophobic politics invoking the closure of borders, the defence of traditional Christian values, and the strengthening of national bonds. The imaginary power of the nation-state seems to have risen again with a chauvinist revival and a strong feeling that Our security is threatened by Others.

 

This session aims to collect theoretical or case-study based contributions that explore the link between populism and borders in the European Union in two main directions: on the one hand, to understand if and how European bordering processes can be used as key variables in exploring the emergence and the features of populism; on the other hand, to analyse how European populism affects border practices, imaginaries and regimes at European internal and external borders.

 

Please send your abstracts (maximum 250 words) to Raffaella Coletti (raffaella.coletti@uniroma1.it) and Anna Casaglia (anna.casaglia@unitn.it) by January 28th 2019.

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