Imagined Sovereignties: Frontiers of Statehood and Globalization

Led by Åshild Kolås
Mar 2013 - Dec 2016

​​Through an investigation and comparison of three empirical cases; Northeast India, Cyprus and the Basque country, this project explores the changing conditions and spaces for exercising and demanding sovereignty in the contemporary world, and how sovereignty is imagined under these conditions.

Drawing on anthropological perspectives, sovereignty is understood as imagined in similar ways as the ‘imagined communities’ that make up the ‘people’ of sovereignty demands. The project highlights how sovereignty is context-dependent and historically constructed, asking the following key questions:

  • How do changing practices of governance and new means of contestation affect the claims made by states and their contenders in conflicts over sovereignty?
  • How is the evolving global or transnational order reflected in everyday contestations and struggles over sovereignty?
  • How do sovereignty practices affect the course of conflict, including negotiations to end conflict?

The project explores how sovereignty is imagined and debated in different socio-cultural and political contexts, examining how conflicts over identity (e.g. indigeneity, ethnicity, nationhood) and governance differ in the ways in which key actors and their constituencies draw on culturally shaped notions of identity, territoriality and legitimacy in their imagining of different ‘sovereign’ futures, despite having basic ideas of statehood and global influences in common. The project thus aims to shed new light on the changing nature of conflicts over public authority, political representation, citizenship rights, and territoriality in a globalizing world.

Partners in this project are the International Catalan Institute for Peace (Institut Català Internacional per la Pau) and Omeo Kumar Das Institute of Social Change and Development (OKDISCD).

For project members: Access the Imagined Sovereignties Intranet Workspace

Publications

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Kolås, Åshild (2017) Truth and Indigenous Cosmopolitics in Shangrila, The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology 18(1): 1–20.
Fangen , Katrine & Åshild Kolås (2016) The “Syria traveller”: Reintegration or legal sanctioning?, Critical Studies on Terrorism. DOI: 10.1080/17539153.2016.1192260: 1–19.
Kolås, Åshild (2015) Framing the tribal: Ethnic violence in Northeast India, Asian Ethnicity. DOI: 10.1080/14631369.2015.1062050 : 1–16.
Bryant, Rebecca (2014) Living with Liminality: De Facto States on the Threshold of the Global, Brown Journal of World Affairs 20(2): 125–143.
Deka, Arunima (2013) Indigenous People and the International Discourse: Issues and Debates, Journal of Humanities and Social Science (IOSR-JHSS) 17(1): 87–99.
Kolås, Åshild (2013) Indigenous Rights, Sovereignty and Resource Governance in the Arctic, Strategic Analysis 37(4): 499–504.

Book Chapter

Kolås, Åshild (2016) Sovereignty at the Frontiers: Contests and Contradictions, in Dilip Gogoi, ed., Unheeded Hinterland: Identity and Sovereignty In Northeast India. New Delhi: Routledge India (17–29).
Tunander, Ola (2014) Diskurs, identitet och territorialitet: Kjellens tankar om ett europeisk statsfôrbund [Discourse, identity and territoriality: Kjellen's thoughts on a union of European states], in Edstrôm, Bert; Ragnar Bjôrk; & Thomas Lunden, eds, Rudolf Kjellen. Geopolitiken Och Konservatismen. Stockholm: Hjalmarson & Högberg (203-223).

Edited Volume

Ibarra Güell, Pedro; & Åshild Kolås, eds, (2016) Basque Nationhood: Towards a Democratic Scenario. Oxford: Peter Lang. Nationalisms Across the Globe.

Non-refereed Journal Article

Baruah, Sanjib (2016) Naga peace: Road ahead still uncertain, The Seminar 677: 64–68.

Popular Article

Tunander, Ola (2016) Et Norge mellom stormaktene [A Norway among the great powers], Ny Tid.
Tunander, Ola (2016) «Spør Vadsø» [«Ask Vadsø» ], Ny Tid.
Tunander, Ola (2016) I milliardærenes lommer [In the pockets of billionaires], Ny Tid.
Tunander, Ola (2016) Saudi-Arabia direkte involvert i 11. september? [Saudi Arabia directly involved in 9/11?], Ny Tid.
Tunander, Ola (2016) Hvem skyter statsministre? [Who shoots prime ministers?], Ny Tid.
Tunander, Ola (2016) Var drapet på Palme et statskupp? [Was the murder of Palme a coup d'etat?], Ny Tid.
Tunander, Ola (2016) Var det Russland? – Ukraina er saksøkt [Was it Russia? – Ukraine has been sued], Ny Tid.
Tunander, Ola (2015) Brevet til Jeltsin [The letter to Jeltsin], Ny Tid.
Tunander, Ola (2015) Taushetens diktatur [The dictatorship of silence], Ny Tid.
Tunander, Ola (2015) Politisk taskenspill fra den kalde krigens kokebok [Political fraudulence from the cookbook of the cold war], Ny Tid.
Tunander, Ola (2015) Norges ansvar for katastrofen i Middelhavet [Norway's responsibility for the catastrophe in the Mediterranean], Ny Tid.
Tunander, Ola (2015) Snowdens val [Snowden's choice], Ny Tid.

Conference Paper

Kolås, Åshild (2015) Sovereignty revisited: The Basque case, presented at International Workshop on ‘A Multidisciplinary Approach to Processes of Sovereignty Construction: The Basque Case’, Oñati International Institute for the Sociology of Law (IISL), 14–15 May 2015.
Tunander, Ola (2014) Rudolf Kjellen and the Birth of Geopolitics: A Geopolitical Scholar of the First World War, presented at The International Studies Association Annual Convention, Toronto, 26 March 2014.

Book Review

Kolås, Åshild (2015) Review of The Arctic Contested, in International Affairs 91(2): 423–424.

Projects

Related pages