Call for Papers

IPSA Call for Papers: a pre-Congress Workshop on Gender, Nationalisms and Nation-Building

IPSA Call for Papers for a pre-Congress Workshop on 

Gender, Nationalisms and Nation-Building

To be held 18 July, 2014 (prior to the Montreal Congress)

Joint Call by RCs 7, 19, 52

Gender is now understood as key to processes of nationalism, nation-building, and the formation of national communities. Studies show that ‘the nation’ is not gender-neutral, but constructs and mobilises specific gender regimes and dominant conceptions of masculinity and femininity. Considerable research exists about how women, women’s movements and feminisms relate to nationalisms, nation-state formation and nation-building. In various disciplines, the resulting literature displays great diversity in its findings. However, mainstream theories of nationalism and of national processes virtually always ignore this literature. Disrupting mainstream assumptions calls for systematic comparisons of gender/ national relations that eventually can inform general theories.

Discourse also has an important role to play in these analyses. Within nationalist discourses, women are often presented as reproducers of the nation and its boundaries, as signifiers of the national identity, and transmitters of culture. Although the construction of masculinity is less often explored, studies show that nationalist discourses often reify a hegemonic notion of masculinity associated with conquest, control and the consolidation of power. Such studies suggest that nationalist discourses often help to institutionalise dominant forms of masculinity and femininity, ignoring in-between positions.

The workshop will build on these analyses. From historic cases and processes of post-colonialism, war or intra-state armed conflicts, to peaceful processes of nation-building, notably in post-industrial societies, and at the supranational level, (e.g. the EU, UN) the workshop hopes to examine how gender regimes are constructed and mobilized; and how dominant versions of masculinity and femininity are politically exploited in  contexts associated with ‘nations’  ‘nationalism’ and ‘nation-building’.  The workshop also will explore intersectional aspects of gender/ nation interactions, notably their effects on sexual, ethnic, linguistic and race minorities. The workshop organizers especially welcome papers comparing cases and panel proposals viewing cases from different perspectives. 

Those proposing papers might consider these questions:

  • Why do women’s and men’s experiences with nationalisms so often differ?
  • Why do women’s experiences with nationalisms differ across time and place?
  • Why do women who are part of majority or minority cultures relate differently to   nationalisms and nation-building?
  • Why do organized women participate in some national projects, but are alienated from other projects?
  • In what contexts does participation in nationalist movements benefit women? •What conditions are associated with negative gender/nation relations?
  • How does women’s presence or absence affect the nature, rise and intensity of nationalisms?
  • How do the gender scripts in nationalist discourses vary and what role do such scripts play in nationalist and/or gender politics?


Abstracts of no more than 500 words should be sent to Jill Vickers ( and Sarah Maddison ( by December 15, 2014.  

Participants will be notified by February 1.

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