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26.10.2019 12:47 Alter: 288 days

Citizenship Across Borders

Call for Papers

Theme: Citizenship Across Borders
Subtitle: New Forms in a Post-national World
Type: International Conference
Institution: Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs,
Syracuse University
  Syracuse University Centre in Strasbourg
  University of Strasbourg
  DRES Research Centre of French National Centre for Scientific Research
Location: Strasbourg (France)
Date: 22.–23.10.2020
Deadline: 30.1.2020

In the United States and in several European Nation-States,
understandings of citizenship have shifted rapidly. In the midst of
the so called “global refugee crisis”, and the ensuing backlash
against immigration, the notion of citizenship has been destabilized
as a right and a privilege. Politicians and policymakers have
proposed ending birthright citizenship and establishing citizenship
tests, thereby transforming, de facto and de jure, the classic
understanding of the principles of Jus Soli and Jus Sanguinis.
Especially in the Western context, the new populist discourse has led
to the refusal to accept the return of the children of citizens who
joined terrorist organizations; to the accelerated deportation of
undocumented and documented immigrants; to the detention of children
and other vulnerable groups; to the arrest of citizens who have
chosen to help immigrants and refugees; and to an increase in
tensions between local, regional, and national governments. A new
type of nationalism is now challenging our traditional understanding
of who is a citizen, or deserving of citizenship, and, as a
consequence, is directly threatening political, religious, and
individual rights. Thus, even the infamous slogan of the French
National Front of 1995, “being French is inherited or merited”,
already shocking at that time, now seems outdated; for those who
“inherit” their citizenship from their parents are now suspect if
they have an immigrant background. 

The right to vote, long a hallmark of citizenship, has been
implemented and defended unevenly across democratic countries, and
has become more vulnerable to manipulation, disillusion, and apathy.
In 2020, the United States will recognize the 100th anniversary of
the 19th Amendment, one part of the long and ongoing struggle for
equal citizenship for women around the world, but it comes at a time
when voter identification laws, gerrymandering, and outright cheating
have compromised these hard won rights. 

Our conference will propose an examination of citizenship that
transcends disciplinary and national borders. The conference will be
held at the University of Strasbourg in cooperation with the Syracuse
University Centre in Strasbourg (France), a geographic and
intellectual crossroads for discussions of citizenship. The city of
Strasbourg is an international nexus, and home to the University of
Strasbourg, the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, and the
European Court of Human Rights. Since 1975, Syracuse University has
offered a study abroad program in the city, enabling students to
explore European and transnational politics, diplomacy, history and
human rights. On the main campus, the Maxwell School of Citizenship
and Public Affairs of Syracuse University has been teaching and
studying citizenship since its founding in 1924. At this crucial and
transitional moment in the history of citizenship, our conference
will bring together scholars to consider the history, politics, and
laws of citizenship within and across borders, as well as the
national, social, and cultural crises prompted by the movement of
people. The goal of this conference will be to produce an edited
volume that offers new directions in the scholarship on citizenship.

This two-day conference will be inaugurated by a keynote address by
Elizabeth Cohen, Professor of Political Science at Syracuse
University, the author of Semi-Citizenship in Democratic Politics
(Cambridge University Press, 2009) and The Political Value of Time
(Cambridge University Press, 2018). Six sessions over two days will
focus on different themes related to the new forms of citizenship.

The conference language is English. Proposals including the title and
an abstract of 200 words will be sent to Samim Akgönül
( and Carol Faulkner ( by
January 30th 2020. Selected papers will be published in an edited


Samim Akgӧnül
University of Strasbourg

Carol Faulkner
Syracuse University