2nd Global Conference: The Citizen in the 21st Century (November 2013: Athens, Greece)

full name / name of organization: 
Dr. Rob Fisher/ Inter-Disciplinary.Net

2nd Global Conference
The Citizen in the 21st Century

Thursday 7th November 2013 – Saturday 9th November 2013
Athens, Greece

Call for Presentations
We often feel far removed from the decision-makers in our lives. The increasing disconnection between citizens and institutional political processes has been called a 'democratic deficit', yet this conceptualisation suggests that an entire population is subject to a single experience. The changing nature of citizenship means it can no longer be seen as linear, vertical relationships between an individual and a civic agency. Contemporary citizenship embodies multiple relationships that are a function of the way we relate to institutions and those around us. Different sections of the population experience 'citizenship surpluses' and 'citizenship deficits'. Some experience agency and feel empowered, others have disengaged.

The First Global Citizen in the 21st Century Conference was attended by academics and activists, and discussed the 'heterogeneous citizen' across social, cultural, political, economic and environmental dimensions. The second conference aims to expand our understanding of today's complex, diverse and heterogeneous citizen. This citizen is increasingly asked to carry risk as an individual – as solidarity and welfare supports have been dismantled or lost credibility; as private sector interests, non-government organizations, religious bodies, informal networks, interest groups, political movements and supra-national bodies compete with government for loyalty and influence. Whether as a mechanism of resistance or control, citizenship crosses the political spectrum from democracies to dictatorships.

Given our collective failure to end violent conflict, changing migration patterns and refugee movements mean even the 'non-citizen' is shaping the citizenship environment in destination countries. We also consider developments in dual citizenship, technologies, media, changing markers of adulthood, the rise of temporary and precarious workforces, the strength of neoliberal capitalism, and states that lack the power or desire to respond to their citizens' experiences.

A new generation of theorists is adding new dimensions to established understandings of this fluid environment. Our starting point is that citizenship studies must take an interdisciplinary perspective, crossing and combining political, sociological, cultural, economic and trans-disciplinary understandings, to better gauge the developments of the contemporary citizen.

Presentations, papers, performances and artworks are called for, but not limited to, the following topics:

-Who is the 21st Century Citizen?
-What negotiations do citizens undertake in relation to corporations, private service providers, non-government organizations, religious bodies, informal networks and supra national bodies?
-What is the relationship between citizens and new media and technologies, to changing markers of adulthood, success and loyalty?
-How does the citizen of the 21st Century maintain any sense of control over their life to influence the world around them? Maintain a sense of agency, if any?
-How do 21st century citizens understand the various systems and bureaucracies in their lives?
-How have democratic deficits and surpluses been transferred to the surpluses and deficits of citizenship?

In this way, we need to look beyond the legal and political dimensions and also understand the social and cultural practices of citizenship:
~How do we feel about our political and legal rights; are we engaged in formal politics?
~Do we think we have the power (or have the 'agency') to change the things we do not like? ~Can we make our voices heard?

All these dimensions of citizenship are continuously changing: not only because of a changing legal environment, but also cultures changes, from young people experiencing changing transitions to adulthood, to the emergence of new technologies and structural economic adjustments, all influence the way we relate to citizenship.

It is our hope that a number of these interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary dialogues will be ongoing and that ultimately a series of related cross context research projects will be developed. It is also anticipated that these will support and encourage the establishment of useful collaborative networks, and the development, presentation, and publication of research materials.

The Steering Group welcomes the submission of pre-formed panel proposals. 300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 14th June 2013. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 13th September 2013.

What to Send:
300 word abstracts or presentation proposals should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:

a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract.
E-mails should be entitled: Citizen2 Abstract Submission.

Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Organising Chairs

James Arvanitakis: J.Arvanitakis@uws.edu.au
Rob Fisher: citizen2@inter-disciplinary.net

The conference is part of the Persons programme of research projects. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting.

For further details of the conference, please visit:

Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.