Call for papers: Beyond Nationalism: Clashing Identities between Islamism and Authoritarianism in the Post-Arab Spring

Following what was once hailed as an Arab ‘Spring’ or ‘Arab Awakening’, the Arab region has been plagued with violence, socio-political clashes and rising poverty. From a brutal civil war in Libya, Syria and Iraq to a clash between Islamist groups and the military in Egypt and rise of the so-called jihadist group IS (Islamic State), events in the region remain fluid and unpredictable. What is prevalent, however, is a conflict over identity, religion and social boundaries in the post-Arab Spring.

Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism (SEN) would like to invite contributions to a panel at the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) conference taking place on November 17-20, 2016, in Boston. Accepted participants will be invited to submit their full articles for consideration for a special issue on the SEN-MESA panel. Submissions should tackle questions related to emerging identities and social boundaries in the post-Arab Spring. What were the key events, discourses, ideologies, and (re)allocations of power rooted in the Arab Spring that encouraged the establishment of some social boundaries over others? Possible topics include but are not restricted to the following:

  • Social and political conflicts over identity in the Arab region following the Arab ‘Spring’.
  • Existing and potential conflicts over religion between secularism, political and militant Islam, including the rise of militant groups such as ISIS.
  • Human rights, particularly of minority groups, in the region following the Arab ‘Spring’.
  • Where does the question of nationalism in the Arab region stand today.
  • The relationship between identity politics and socio-economic policies following the Arab ‘Spring’.

Panel organizers welcome submissions of work in progress as well as contributions from established scholars, research students, post-doctoral fellows and lecturers in the early stages of their career. We invite scholars to submit an abstract between 250-500 words on the topic for consideration. If accepted, authors will be asked to edit their abstracts according to the submission guidelines of MESA for a collective panel submission before February 16, 2016.


Deadline for submission: February 09, 2016


Please send an abstract and a short bio (not exceeding 200 words) to for consideration. Authors will be notified on the status of their submission on February 12, 2016.

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