International Symposium: Cities Against Nationalism?

Kent Interdisciplinary Centre for Spatial Studies (KISS), University of Kent (18th June, 2019)

Demonstration against nationalism in city streets
  Kiev Protests 2013. Credit: on Flickr, used under CC BY-SA 2.0.:

The Cities against Nationalism? one-day international symposium, hosted by Kent Interdisciplinary Centre for Spatial Studies (KISS) and the School of Anthropology and Conservation, aims at investigating the relatively under-theorised research field of urban geopolitics and nationalism.

Given the recent resurgence of ethnic and territorial nationalism, the symposium will explore the rising tensions between national and urban regimes, with particular reference to the plight of minorities and immigrants. The discussion generated by the symposium aims to make a contribution to the theorisation of both nationalism and urban studies.

The event is free and open to all.
For the Public Keynote Lecture, please register on the Eventbrite page.
If interested in attending the symposium sessions, please contact Dr Jonathan Rock Rokem.

Programme of events


11:30 – Arrival & Coffee

12.00 – Welcome: Dr Jonathan Rock Rokem (University of Kent)

12.05 – Session I: Cities in Europe against Nationalism?

Chair: Professor Michael Gentile (University of Oslo)

  • Dr Francesco Chiodelli (Gran Sasso Science Institute, Italy) – Resisting exclusionary nationalism-populism in the urban arena? The contradictory case of urban policy for migrants in Italy
  • Dr Abigail Gilbert (Barking and Dagenham Council, London) – What role for ‘New Municipalism’ in addressing the Populist Impulse? 
  • Dr Igor Calzada(University of Oxford) – Small European Stateless City-Regions: Constructing (Civic/Metropolitanised) Nationalism?
  • Amny Athamny (University of Toronto) – Dutch Cities: Going Dutch or Not?

Respondent: Dr Moriel Ram (SOAS/UCL)

14:15 – Session II: Contested Cities against Nationalism?

Chair: Professor Camillo Boano (UCL)

  • Dr Nufar Avni(The Hebrew University of Jerusalem) – Between the national and the urban: The double-edged sword of Neighbourhood Councils in East Jerusalem
  • Professor James Anderson (Queen’s University, Belfast) – How do cities shape nationalist conflicts?
  • Nada Elfeituri (UCL) – The Re-Emergence of Traditional Governance in Cities of the Middle East and North Africa: The Case of Benghazi Libya
  • Dr Gruia Badescu (University of Konstanz) – Towards syncretic place-making: Architectural practice and resistance to nationalism in conflict-cities 

Respondent: Dr Sobia Ahmad Kaker (Goldsmiths, University of London)

15:30 – Coffee

15:45 – Keynote Lecture: Professor Oren Yiftachel (Ben Gurion University, Israel/UCL) – Urban Displaceability and the rise of (Neo)Nationalism

Respondent: Dr Gruia Badescu (University of Konstanz, Germany)

16:15 – Discussion: ALL

Public Keynote Lecture


17:30 – Drinks reception [School of Anthropology and Conservation Reception, Marlowe Building]

18:00 – Public Lecture [Grimond Lecture Theatre 3]

18:00 – Welcome: Dr Robert Fish (University of Kent)

18:05 – Public Keynote Lecture: Professor Michael Gentile (University of Oslo) – Geopolitical Fault-Line Cities in a world of Contested Cities

Respondent: Professor James Anderson

Vote of thanks: Dr Jonathan Rock Rokem

19:15: Concluding Discussion

Symposium abstracts


Symposium Location: Swingland Room,School of Anthropology and Conservation, Marlowe Building,University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NR: see map here.

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