Between Nation and Empire. Liminal Modernities and Collective Imaginaries of Security and Insecurity

Monday, 11 July 2016: 10:45-12:15
Location: Hörsaal 21 (Juridicum)
WG02 Historical and Comparative Sociology (host committee)

Language: English

Parting ways with Fredrik Barth’s perspective, we work from the assumption that collective identities should not be approached as dyadic structures but rather as triadic ones, meaning that between self and other lies the liminal character. Whilst collective identities refer to specific ways employed by societies to depict their own self, collective imaginaries describe the relationship between society’s self and its outer environment. In this case, liminality chiefly illustrates peripheral societies that have vacillated among different power centres and thus have been subjected to multifarious “othering processes’’ that left a mark on their collective imaginaries. 
The focus of our section will be on exploring intellectual traditions or schools of thought crystallized in societies endowed with low capacity states that carried out unfinished nation-building processes and, thus, run into troubles in their attempt to stabilize collective identities. 
We welcome contributions that bring to the fore the occurrence, evolution, discontinuities and the reframing of civilizational discourses in economically retarded societies that have sought recognition as a certain type of being from their “significant others’’. Beside theoretical contributions that describe the way the civilizational thesis has been used either to dispute or to reinforce the in-betweenness of liminal societies, we also welcome empirical studies that grasp the influence of civilizational discourses on collective imaginaries. Obviously, we are also interested in those contributions that manage to examine the development of the civilizational thesis over long periods of time.
Session Organizer:
Lucian DUMITRESCU, The Institute for Political Sciences and International Relations, The Romanian Academy, Romania
Alash Orda – the (Un)Finished Kazakh Nation?
Ozgecan KESICI, University College Dublin, Ireland