An interdisciplinary Symposium on Belonging is taking place today and tomorrow (18-19 April 2018) at the Open University Law School. The event is organised by Dr Simon Lavis and Professor Simon Lee and hosted by the Citizenship and Governance Strategic Research Area.
A combination of factors and events has contributed to a feeling of a crisis of belonging among some groups, and a concomitant upsurge in a sense of belonging among other groups, in Europe and the Americas. The 2014 election of President Erdogan in Turkey, the UK’s ‘Brexit’ vote in the EU referendum in June 2016, the election of Donald Trump to the US presidency in November 2016, and the rise of populism across the western world in recent years are all well recognised occurrences that nevertheless are the source of reflection on what it means to belong to a state, nationality, institution, group or society, and the ‘other’ side of the coin of belonging: exclusion.
In the current environment, a number of questions have once again come to the fore: what does it mean to belong; how is belonging fostered; who belongs to which nation, society or group; what happens to those who are judged not to belong; and must belonging always lead to exclusion. This symposium aims to tackle such questions by exploring four broad aspects of belonging: dominance, governance, identity and memory.
A series of papers related to the subject of Belonging will be presented by invited speakers from UK and European universities, as well as academics from The Open University, covering disciplines including law, politics, sociology, geography, history, business and communications. You can follow tweets & discussions from the symposium on Twitter using #BelongingOpen .
As a part of the Year of Mygration, next week we will be featuring posts related to a number of selected papers from the symposium.
Please contact Simon Lavis or Simon Lee if you have an interest in the work of the group.