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Rethinking Ethnicity and Ethnic Strife: Multidisciplinary Perspectives
Central European University/Cornell University/University of Michigan

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Dates: Budapest, September 25-27, 2008
Submission Deadline: April 15, 2008


Ethnicity and ethnic strife continue to dominate the political economy, politics and society of many countries, especially those in the developing world.  From extreme manifestations of civil war and genocide, through the periodic “ethnic riots” that disfigure the social and political landscape, to the quotidian politics of ethnic allegiance, ethnicity has come to the forefront of the development discourse.  Not surprisingly, academic researchers in economics, sociology, anthropology and political science have over the last decade and half given special attention to this subfield and produced fresh theoretical and empirical insights that have enriched the debate in each of these disciplines.

What is surprising, however, is how little systematic communication, let alone interaction, there is between researchers across these disciplines.  Part of the reason, of course, has to do with the disciplinary languages and boundaries that make interdisciplinary communication difficult.  But part of the reason is also quite simply the lack of venues for interaction between researchers from different disciplines.  This conference aims to provide such a venue.  Over three days, researchers in economics, sociology, anthropology and political science will present their research to each other, and try to learn from each other’s methodologies, perspectives and empirical evidence.

The conference is being organized by Ravi Kanbur, Professor of Economics at Cornell University, Prem Kumar Rajaram, Associate Professor of Sociology and Social Anthropology at the Central European University, and Ashutosh Varshney, Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan.

The organizers invite submissions of completed papers or substantial abstracts (5-7 pages) from the full range of social science disciplines. Possible themes for the papers include:
*Emergence and transformation of ethnicity
*Globalization, ethnicity and ethnic strife
*Ethnicity and the state
*Ethnicity and public goods
*Ethnic fragmentation and economic growth
*Privileged and marginalised identities
*Decentering ethnicity
*Factors promoting, or dampening, ethnic violence
*Ethnic strife and identity formation 
*Religion versus ethnicity in politics
 
These themes are listed only for illustration. The organizers will consider submissions on a wide range of themes and topics, provided they address the central issues of ethnicity and ethnic strife.

In addition to this call for papers, we will also have invited papers from some of the leading scholars on ethnicity in each of these disciplines.  Those who have confirmed their participation in this category are as follows:

Political Science: David Laitin, Stathis Kalyvas
Sociology: Craig Calhoun, Andreas Wimmer
Economics: Frances Stewart, Eliana La Ferrara
Anthropology: Paul Richards and Yael Navaro-Yashin

It is the organizers intention to publish an edited volume with a high quality University Press, and/or a special issue of a major journal.  Papers presented at the conference will be considered.  We believe such a volume, perhaps the first that bridges several different disciplines in the study of ethnicity, will have a major research and policy impact.

Submission should be sent electronically to Krisztina Bradeanu (bradeanuk@ceu.hu) by April 15, 2008. Selection decisions will be communicated by June 15, 2008. Conference version of the papers will be expected to be delivered by September 1, 2008.

The conference will provide accommodation and meet travel expenses of one author per paper selected.

 


 

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