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Nationalism and Internationalism in the Post-Cold War Era

(1997, NS 102)
September 8-10, 1997
Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
Organizers: Professors Kjell Goldmann, Ulf Hannerz and Charles Westin, Stockholm University.

The purpose of the symposium was to gather internationally leading specialists from different scholarly disciplines and geographic regions to analyze whether developments since the end of the Cold War justify revising established conceptions about nationalism and internationalism. Participating in the symposium were 28 invited, internationally leading researchers in such fields as history, philosophy, sociology, social anthropology, political science, migration research and mass communication research. The symposium program comprised six sessions; at each session, two papers were presented, after which a third symposium participant initiated a discussion based on these contributions. Without exception, these discussions turned out to be extremely lively. The sessions were attended by some 15 younger researchers and doctoral students as observers.

Four main themes can be discerned in the work of the symposium.

One part of the discussion concerned the role of ethnicity and religion in nation-building and nationalism, a major issue in the literature on these topics. Norway's Fredrik Barth discussed Islamic fundamentalism in this perspective. Ali Mazrui, State University of New York at Binghamton, presented observations based on developments in Africa. Liah Greenfeld, Boston University, examined ethnicity and nationalism in relation to democracy.

A second theme was developments in the former Soviet sphere of influence: Jerzy Tomaszewski, University of Warsaw, covered Poland; Katherine Verdery, Johns Hopkins University, analyzed developments in Romania; and Seteney Shami, The Population Council, Cairo discussed the Caucasus and the Middle East.

A third category of symposium contributions had in common that, in different ways, they analyzed the problems of multinational coexistence. Arjun Appadurai, University of Chicago, especially emphasized the emotional power of national identities and raised the possibility of replacing them with complex, mutually overlapping identities. Kalevi Holsti, University of British Columbia, reported empirical findings that support the thesis that different national communities ordinarily live together peacefully as part of the same state; we have tended to exaggerate the role of exceptions from this rule, he maintained. Joseph H. H. Weiler, Harvard University, discussed the relationship between national and supranational by analyzing the European citizenship introduced by the Maastricht Treaty.

Finally, several presentations dealt with the conditions for internationalism in a world of nationalisms, as one contributor, Stanley Hoffmann of Harvard University, expressed it. Hoffmann sketched a new world order within the framework of what he regarded as practical politics. Reiner Bauböck, European Center for Social Welfare, Vienna, contributed a discussion of the principles behind arguments for secessionism and federalism, respectively. Yael Tamir, Tel Aviv University, critically examined the arguments in favor of the generally accepted thesis that a world government is neither possible nor desirable.

The symposium contributions have been revised for publication in a book which appeared in 1998.


Saturday - 6 September Arrival in Stockholm
Monday - 8 September Juristernas Hus - Reinholdssalen
09.30 a.m. Chair: Kjell Goldmann
  Arjun Appadurai - The Grounds of the Nation-State: Soil, Identity, Sovereignty
  Seteney Shami - Loyalty, Politics and Identity: Minorities and Majorities in the Context of Shifting Geographies

Discussant: John Breuilly
13.30 a.m. Fredrik Barth - Are Islamists Nationalists or Internationalists? or On the Wellspring of Fundamentalism
  Ali Mazrui - Subnational Ethnicity, Subnational Religion and Vice Versa: The Contradictions of Africa's Primordial Experience
  Discussant: Stanley Tambiah
Tuesday- 9 September  
09.30 a.m. Chair: Charles Westin
  Katherine Verdery - Nationalism, Internationalism, and Property in the Post-Cold War Era
  Jerzy Tomaszewski - From Internationalism to nationalism? Poland 1944-1966

Discussant: Louk Hagendoorn
14.00 p.m. Kalevi Holsti - From Khartoum to Quebec: The Rise and Decline of the Multicultural State
  Joseph Weiler - Belonging in Europe: Eros and Civilization

Discussant: Robert Keohane
Wednesday - 10 September  
09.30 a.m. Chair: Ulf Hannerz
  Rainer Bauböck - Beyond Nationalism : A Pluralist Approach

Liah Greenfeld - Democracy, Ethnic Diversity, and Nationalism

Discussant: Robert Goodin
14.00 a.m. Yael Tamir - Who is Afraid of a Global State? Stanley Hoffmann - Nationalism and World Order

Discussant: Barry Buzan

Summary and closing of the Symposium by Ulf Hannerz.


Title Surname First name
Professor Appandurai Arjun
Professor Barth Fredrik
Dr. Bauböck Rainer
Professor Breuilly John
Professor Buzan Barry
Professor Goodin Robert
Professor Haagendoorn Louk
Docent Hedetoft Ulf
Professor Hoffman Stanley
Professor Holsti Kalevi
Dr. Hutchinson John
Professor Keohane Robert
Professor Greenfeld Liah
Professor Löfgren Orvar
Professor Mazruhi Ali
Professor Parekh Bhikhu
Professor Robertson Roland
Professor Schlesinger Philip
Professor Smith Anthony
Professor de Swaan Abram
Professor Shami Seteney
Professor Tambiah Stanley J.
Dr. Tamir Yael
Professor Tomaszewski Jerzy
Professor Tägil Sven
Professor Verdery Katherine
Professor Waltzer Michael
Professor Weiler Joseph
Professor Österud Öyvind


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