Call for Papers – Nationalisms in Europe

2nd Workshop on the Dynamics of Nationalist Evolution in Contemporary Europe

Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

‘Sovereignty Formulas between Autonomy and Independence: Towards a Reconfiguration of Europe?’

Foresight Centre, University of Liverpool, 14-15 May 2015 (provisional)


This workshop aims to bring together academic experts and policy practitioners to examine proposals presented by nationalist parties aimed at attaining degrees of political or fiscal sovereignty for the territories in which their national communities are based. It will consider the drivers behind such proposals and consider whether there is scope for accommodating further enhancements of autonomy and home rule within member state and EU contexts. Are these nationalist-led processes (and contemporaneous wider regional assertiveness) the first steps towards a reconfiguration of Europe?

The holding of a referendum on independence in Scotland and attempts to hold one in Catalonia, together with earlier moves by Basque nationalists advocating a ‘right to decide’, make the UK and Spain key international reference points for proposals ranging from ‘Devo-max’ to ‘co-sovereignty’. The workshop will focus mainly on the agendas of Scottish, Basque and Catalan parties but we also welcome comparative and European-centred studies and other case studies that have had European resonance.

Over-arching questions also include:

  • To what extent are the challenges to existing state structures attributable to nationalism, as opposed to other less identity-based drivers?
  • Are demands for fiscal sovereignty easier to accommodate than those for political forms of sovereignty?
  • Are nationalist demands for partial or co-sovereignty realisable in an interdependent Europe?
  • What are the prospects of negotiation and compromise between political forces engaged in referendum confrontations?
  • Is there a prospect of decentralising demands leading to stable new governance structures in Europe, or are interests and agendas so incompatible that even the attempt to negotiate territorial reform might actually fuel fragmentation in the medium-to-longer term?

We welcome proposals by email to both organisers (below) consisting of brief CV (one page maximum) and abstract (300 words).

Deadline: 30 September 2014

Richard Gillespie

Caroline Gray     

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