CfP: ECPR Joint Sessions. Pisa 24th – 28th April 2016: Postnational challenges: Imminent Tensions between Citizenship and the Nation-State

ECPR Joint Sessions. Pisa 24th – 28th April 2016

Postnational challenges: Imminent Tensions between Citizenship and the Nation-State

Understood as the link between a sovereign political community and the individual, citizenship has served as a contested arena of social, legal and political struggles (Marshall 1950). It has had a particularly strong association with nation-states, where concepts of nationalism, national unity and citizenship have become interchangeable (Bauböck 1994). However, this association is frequently challenged due to the increasing internal ‘diversity’ of states, imagined to be caused by globalisation, migration and the ‘pluralization’ of identities. In the context of the European Union, the objective of ‘bringing Europe closer to its citizens’ seems to require the “dismantling of the nation-state and its associated ideologies of nationalism” (Shore 1993: 787). Equally, the global claim of non-citizens to rights in different states continues to challenges the equation of rights, membership and national belonging. Decolonial struggles, indigenous land movements, Pan-Asia and Pan-African solidarities all equally point to different political orientations both within and beyond the nation-state. Political Philosophers have attempted to think past the ‘national’ model of citizenship through cosmopolitan or ‘post-national’ citizenship (Benhabib 2006; Soysal 1996; Bellamy and Warleigh 1998; Delanty 2002), through ideas of emancipation (Jun 2011), redemption and ‘humanity’ (Mignolo 2006) or through the language of civic or ‘constitutional’ patriotism (Habermas 1997; Laborde 2002; Laborde 2007). Increasingly, citizenship is theorized as a relational ‘act’, involving less a formal status and more a mode of political becoming (Isin & Nielsen 2008). This provides a post-sovereign imaginary of citizenship. However, despite these multifaceted challenges neither nation-states, nor national(ist) ideas, nor national citizenship has disappeared. In fact, they persist to serve as a tool for demarcation between people which often have exclusory and violent consequences (Skey 2011).

 In this workshop we focus on the tension that characterise the relation between citizenship and the nation-state today. In doing this we wish to explore the ambiguous nature of this relationship, and to explore the emergence of political subjectivities across various scales, sites and contexts in order to grasp complexities of contemporary citizenship and its relation with sovereignty. The aim is to gain new understanding of different forms of political agency, political participation, resistance, social struggles and shifting boundaries and intersection of subjects, states and ‘imagined communities’.

 Suggested paper themes include but are in no way limited to the following:

  • How non-citizens and migrants claim rights 
  • Solidarities and identities that complicate national borders
  • Different theorisations of citizenship (eg. global, sexual, imperial, reproductive, digital)
  • Political knowledges and traditions that subvert the Eurocentric equation of subject, nation, territorial state
  • The persistence of nationalism, sovereignty and the nation-state

Workshop director: Katja Mäkinen, postdoctoral researcher, University of Jyväskylä, Finland

Workshop co-director: Joe Turner, university teacher, University of Sheffield, UK


 Please send your paper proposal no later than 1st December through the form available at the ECPR website

Click “Create a new account” if you do not have a My ECPR account yet. If you have any further questions, please email Marcia Taylor at Please note that paper proposals sent directly to workshop directors will not be considered.


 Funding is available for Joint Sessions attendees from Full member institutions in 1st October 2015-18th January 2016. Further information at and from Marcia Taylor at mtaylor(at)


 The format of the Joint Sessions of Workshops, unique to the ECPR, has made them a leading forum for substantive discussion and collaboration between political science scholars from across the world, at all stages of their career.  They are now recognised as one of the major highlights of the world’s political science calendar. In 2016, the Joint Sessions will take place in Pisa, Italy, hosted across three universities – Scuola Normale Superiore, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna and the University of Pisa. Workshops are closed gatherings of 15-20 participants. Topics of discussion are precisely defined, and only scholars currently working in the Workshop’s field, and with a Paper or research document for discussion, are invited to participate.  Participants may attend only one Workshop, and must stay for the duration of the event.  This format ensures intensive collaboration and thorough discussion

Further information:

 Paper deadline 1st December 2105  You need a My ECPR account, which is easy to create at