The process of continuous definition and institutionalisation of the concept of nation is an important dimension of political and social realities throughout the world. The phenomenon of nation-building  permeates multiple areas of politics and everyday life, acquiring diverse forms. Laboratories for numerous nation-building projects across time, post-communist societies can be said to offer a privileged position for observing this protean nature of nationalism.

Far from losing its significance, nationalism in Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the Caucasus and Central Asia adjusted itself to changing circumstances, political regimes and social orders. Arguably  incommensurable, the nation-building strategies and manifestations of nationalism specific to the communist and post-communist periods respectively are strongly connected through a burgeoning “nation-talk”, i.e. the permanent usage of nation and ethnicity as key categories of social and political practices.

The student conference organized by the Department of Political Science, University of Bucharest, in collaboration with Universite Paris 1 - Pantheon Sorbonne, Universite  Libre de Bruxelles (CEVIPOL), and the Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes and the Memory of the Romanian Exile (Bucharest), is an invitation to reflect upon the changing nature of nationalism in communist and post-communist societies. The last decades have brought forth a wide range of mutations from and denials of the traditional nation-state-centred nationalism, which in the view of Ernest Gellner sought the congruence of cultural and political boundaries. The different transborder and substate models of nationalism or the long-distance nationalism (Benedict Anderson) facilitated by new communication technologies can be seen as indications of these developments.

We welcome theoretical or empirical papers addressing the following or related topics:
• communism and nation-building;
• nationalism and transition to democracy;
• memories of past conflict and the politics of reconciliation;
• nationhood and ethnicity in everyday life;
• ethnicised aggression and aggressive ethnicity;
• ethnopolitical settlements, relationship between majorities and minorities;
• transborder nation-building;
• long-distance nationalism, migration and diasporas;
• regional identities and substate nation-building;
• border identities;
• racism, xenophobia;
• human rights and minority rights, group rights, pluralism.

The conference is open to both undergraduate (final years) and postgraduate students from different fields of social sciences and humanities:  Political Science, Anthropology, History, Sociology, Economics, etc.

The conference will take place at the Political Science Department, University of Bucharest: 8, Spiru Haret Street, 010175, Bucharest (District 1), Romania.

Applications, in English or French, consisting of a paper abstract of 250 words and a short CV (one paragraph) must be submitted by 30 March 2012, to: Please mention if partial funding for travel or accommodation costs is needed (currently available funding is very limited).

The selected papers should be submitted by May 7th (cca. 20, 000 – 25, 000 characters) . The languages of the conference will be English and French. However, the final paper can be written in Romanian, English, or French.

The conference is part of the activities undertaken by the consortium Universite Libre de Bruxelles – University of Bucarest – University of Wroclaw – Babes-Bolyai University, within the framework of the common MA program «  Central and Eastern European Politics and Societies » (

It is organized in partnership with  Babes-Bolyai University, European Studies Department, Ambassade  de France en Roumanie. Service de Cooperation et d’Action Culturelle, Bucharest; Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie, Bucharest, Delegation  Wallonie- Bruxelles International, Bucharest; The Policy Center for Roma and Minorities, Bucharest; Europe Direct CENTRAS, Bucharest  and Political Science Students Association University of Bucharest.