Nationalism and Legitimacy (September 10-11, 2010)

full name / name of organization: 
University of Nancy 2 (France), CRESAB Research Group

CALL FOR PAPERS: 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 contemporary 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 legitimacy 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 legitimacy. 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 April 1, 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