National identity is not a fixed entity, and through the parallel processes of globalization, migration, and secularization, more traditional and static notions of national identity appear to be under pressure. The NATION project explores ongoing negotiations of the nation in contemporary European societies, based on the empirical cases of Norway, France and the United Kingdom. Nation building is seen not merely as a top-down process, but rather one that includes negotiations of the nation from multiple actors in different positions of power, in everyday life, the media, as well as state actors.
At the final conference NATION researchers will present insights from our data and analysis on negotiating the nation, drawing on top-down as well as bottom-up perspectives, honing in on the role of the media, providing international comparative perspectives, and foregrounding the roles of religion and religious diversity. The presentations will also address the project's research questions, from their contrasting vantage points, reflecting on the boundaries of the nation, as these are produced and reproduced, in more or less conscious and explicit ways.
The project's findings will be discussed and commented upon by scholars of nation and diversity, from Norway and abroad. Reflections from political geographer Marco Antonsich (Loughborough University), drawing on his extensive work on nations and diversity, will provide important perspectives from beyond the NATION-project.
The conference will end with a panel discussion – Negotiating the nation in Europe today? – which will include researchers from the project, and invited guests, and allow for discussion and comments from the audience. The discussion will be moderated by Thomas Hylland Eriksen (University of Oslo).