Panel 16 – Minorities, Borders, and Precarious Citizenship in Conflict-ridden Areas

Mercoledì 18, ore 11.30-13.30   AULA A

Convenors: Andrea Fisher-Tahir, Antía Mato Bouzas

Andrea Fisher-Tahir, Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO), Berlin
Neoliberal Techniques at Work: Claiming Citizenship through Journalism in Iraqi Kurdistan

Antía Mato Bouzas, Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO), Berlin
Dubious Citizens in contested Borderlands

Eva Savelsberg, European Centre of Kurdish Studies, Berlin
From Subject to Citizen: Local Governance as a Strategy to support Participation in Syria

Thomas Schmidinger, University of Vienna
Precarious Citizenship in the Periphery of Former Empires: the Example of Gora


The panel aims to discuss issues of citizenship in local and regional settings structured particularly by conflicts over borders. Taking examples from Kashmir, Kurdistan, and the Balkan, the panellists turn the attention to territorial, political, economical and cultural dimensions of citizenship. The concept of citizenship, as it has usually been defined by western philosophical thinking, entails ideas of membership and rights to political participation in a bounded polity. At the same time, it involves a dialectical relationship with otherness, and with inclusion and exclusion, which again touches on issues of territoriality. The question then is how to reconcile these two opposite understandings. Moreover, experiences of territory and territoriality widely differ between societies and this is at the core of the demands brought forward by many groups that are caught between the national boundaries of two or more states, particularly in the non-Western world. Against this background, the panel contributions will examine how actors of minority groups claim citizenship in locations where the realm of the “national” has been or is still being contested, which has consequences for political representation and the legitimacy of political rule. The papers also highlight the impacts of boundaries and changing border regimes on notions of citizen and citizenship, as well as on economic and cultural scopes of action.

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