[URBANTH-L]Call for Papers - XVI ICAES - Kunming

G.B.Prato at kent.ac.uk G.B.Prato at kent.ac.uk
Mon Mar 26 16:53:32 EDT 2007

XVI ICAES, 15-23 July 2008, Kunming, China
Humanity, Development and Cultural Diversity
Session on: Socialism, Liberalism and the Urban Question
Session Convenors: Dr Italo Pardo (University of Kent, U.K.) and Dr Giuliana Prato – e-mail:
i.pardo at kent.ac.uk 
Deadline for submission of paper proposals: 30 June 2007

This session aims at stimulating debate on issues of substantive citizenship, identity, social and ethnic interactions in the project of multiculturalism, the relationship between the public and the private, and that between the rulers and the ruled, also raising issues of legitimacy and responsibility in the management of power and political decision-making.
Different political ideologies, such as Socialism and Liberalism, have influenced notions of citizenship and the ways in which people’s participation in the decision-making process has been either encouraged or frustrated. These two ideologies have been portrayed, respectively, as a modified version of the Jacobean nationalist project and as a servant  of market capitalism.
Similar to the Jacobean project, which rejected rival loyalties to the nation-state, the Communist version of Socialism does not accept rival loyalties to their god, proletarian dictatorship. In such contexts, citizenship has become an abstract concept based on a formal, rather than substantive, definition that apparently granted political rights while aiming at affirming a superior ‘neutrality’ of values and lifestyles and at manufacturing people’s unquestioning loyalty to their rules.
On the contrary, Liberalism advocates the individual’s entrepreneurial role in the political, cultural and economic development of society. Classical Liberalism has been concerned with urban problems, such as poverty, housing and education, arguing for minimum state intervention to give individuals an opportunity to develop their potentialities and improve their social position, thus benefiting society.
The geo-political events of the late-twentieth century, have brought about a resurgence of neo-Liberal approaches based on tolerance, pluralism, individual freedom and opportunity for all. However, as exemplified by the ill-thought-out multicultural project, not always the Liberal ideals of tolerance, respect of human rights, and freedom have produced positive results. In such a situation, the city has become a crucial arena for the renegotiation of citizenship and of the democratic process.
This complex situation increasingly affects urban and national life across the world and needs to be urgently understood and addressed specifically and comparatively. Given their commitment to in-depth and detailed empirical research, anthropologists are particularly well suited to offer invaluable insights into such a complexity. This session will bring together ethnographically varied contributions in an attempt to build up an informed comparative understanding.

Dr Giuliana B. Prato
Co-Chair, Commission on Urban Anthropology, IUAES
Department of Anthropology, Marlowe Building
University of Kent, Canterbury,
Kent CT2 7NR, UK
Tel.: +44 (0)1227 700366 (personal)
         +44 (0)1227 823942 (Dept. Secretary)
Fax.: +44 (0)1227 827289

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