What and Where Is the State?
Sociologists and other scholars began in the 1990s to discuss the emergence of a globalized world in which the role and power of the nation-state would decline. Pointing to trans-national human rights, massive trade organizations (like the EU and NAFTA), and open human migration, the nation-state seemed to be of declining importance to understanding post-modern life.
With the rise of ethnic nationalism in Europe, the BREXIT vote to remove the UK from the European Union, and Trump’s closing of boards to many refugees, the place of the state in everything from collective identities to the administration of peoples is now again a critical issue. In Canada, Prime Minister Trudeau has ramped up state apparatuses to “welcome” Syrian refugees, especially. He invites Canadians to imagine themselves as humane by way of this conspicuous state action.
This session invites papers that discuss the contemporary state in terms of migration, nationalism, xenophobia, collective identity, borders, Islamophobia and the like. How does the nation state function vis-à-vis the global world? How does it appear in media and collective imaginations? How is the state a tool for reactionary and/or progressive action?
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