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Welcome to the 2019 New Zealand Political Studies Association Annual Conference

"Security, Community, Humanity"

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Friday, November 29 • 9:00am - 10:30am
Nationalism, Citizenship, and Identity

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Esme Hall
Uncovering Silences in Collective Memory: How France deals with challenges to Republican nationalism from memories of Algeria

Collective memories of Algerian colonialism and independence are constructed to reinforce the French republican national identity. To do this, the ways this dominant identity has produced inequality and violence for Algerian people is forgotten and silenced. This article uncovers elements of silenced memories through analysis of a series of historical snapshots beginning with France’s early colonial period and spanning to the Algerian War of Independence (1954-1962), post-war ‘forgetting’ in France, the 1990s ‘memory wars’ and present-day discrimination against Algerian and other North African Muslim French people. Tracing this history demonstrates that the French republican values of liberty, equality and fraternity have only ever applied to the dominant, white ethnic group in France. However, this group exercises discursive power to shape collective memory and silence the challenges to republican French identity by history in Algeria. Silences continue to shape historical memories of Algerian colonialism, the Algerian War, and limit fair assessment of contemporary racism in France.

Tayyaba Latif
Civic and Ethnic Nationalism in Pakistan

Pakistan emerged as a new nation-state in 1947, a Muslim majority state constituted of two halves East and West Pakistan and with a serious challenge of developing a homogeneous national identity for its people. The divided interpretation of broader national culture, local cultures of different provinces and religious culture formed the basis for three preferred forms of culture and subsequent forms of nationalisms in Pakistan from the beginning. According to Gellner, in modern states the national education system planned and provided by the nation-state plays a fundamental role in building a homogeneous national culture in heterogeneous societies. However, it is important to understand that if the elites in government have a divided view on the preferred form of national identity then it is less likely that they agree on a uniform educational discourse leading to the formulation of a shared national identity. Educational policy shifts in Pakistan reflect divided focuses over the years leading to divided ideas of shared national identity. I argue that deeply divided high and folk cultures and their integration with religious identity affect the national integration process in Pakistan.

Maileenita Penalba
Conceptualising Citizen Competence in a Multicultural Society

To become a good citizen in a democracy entails developing a level of competence that facilitates the proper and effective conduct of politics. Political scholars, however, agree that there exists a “deep and widespread political ignorance” among most citizens (Somin 2006, 256) that (potentially) limits their competence. The conventional model for developing competence by increasing political knowledge is widely accepted. The literature on competence, unfortunately, fails to provide a more complex analysis of other social and political factors affecting competence especially in multicultural societies. This paper offers a discussion of various forms of competence and their key characteristics. Factors that facilitate and/or hinder the development of citizen competence are presented as well. The paper highlights why citizen competence needs scholarly focus despite multiple and wide-ranging studies already done on the topic. In conclusion, this piece offers an initial framework for studying citizen competence in a multicultural setting.

Dominic O'Sullivan 
Indigenous Voice and the Politics of Treaty Making: reframing Australian debates about citizenship, democracy and self-determination
Proposals to establish an elected indigenous Voice to the Australian parliament and to negotiate treaties between states and indigenous nations raise theoretical and practical questions about the nature of citizenship, democracy and self-determination. What liberal justifications exist for indigenous citizenship to be exercised distinctively from that of other citizens? May the presumption of ‘one person, one vote of equal value’ be developed to a presumption of ‘one person, one voice of equal value’ to make democracy work better for indigenous citizens? Might treaties help the state to acquire the moral legitimacy it lacks in indigenous eyes? What differences could treaties make for indigenous peoples. Through these questions, the practical nature of the indigenous right to self-determination is examined.

avatar for Esme Hall

Esme Hall

University of Otago

Tayyaba Latif

University of Canterbury

Maileenita Penalba

University of Auckland

Dominic O'Sullivan

Charles Sturt University

Friday November 29, 2019 9:00am - 10:30am NZDT