BUILDING SOVEREIGNTY, PREVENTING HEGEMONY:
The Challenges for Emerging Forces in the Globalised World
International and Multidisciplinary Conference in the framework of a commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the 1955 Bandung Asian-African Conference
October 26-31, 2015
The Bandung conference of 1955 was a world-historical event in the post-WWII context of national liberation movements, postcolonial development, and the Cold War. Opposing all forms of imperialism and (neo)colonialism while seeking solidarity and cooperation among newly independent Asian and African countries (Latin America did not participate in the conference at the time), “Bandung” was above all a political project from the outset. It stood for people’s sovereignty, international equality, non-alliance and, with the inclusion of Latin American nations in the spirit and aftermath of the conference, what came to be known as the Third World. It has since become a symbol of struggles of the Global South for social and global justice. Six decades on, despite immensity and intensity of changes in world conditions — local, national, transnational and regional, the goals of Bandung have not been achieved but remain imperative and achievable. To retain our commitment is to develop our analyses in the first place.
The Politics group is one of the five thematic groups of the conference, along with Culture, Ecology, Economy and Religion. Continuing from the program of Bandung+55, we are seeking to focus on power, democracy and politics of emancipation or hegemony and counter-hegemony, concerning the questions of national and popular sovereignty as well as geopolitical issues of regionalization, globalization, south-south relations, and internationalism.
We have already received the following panel and paper proposals. Other panel and paper proposals in line with those themes are welcome.
Panel 1, The Bandung Spirit for the 21st Century:
“The revival of Bandung Spirit and tricontinental internationalism”; “Speaking up: from a capacity to a right – the Bandung spirit and the African decolonization movement”; “Collectiveness and togetherness: A new approach to the Afro-Asian history”; “Beyond nationalism: problems of sovereignty, self-determination, and the Chinese political discourse of the Third World in the Cold War”.
Panel 2, Popular sovereignty:
“Dreaming of Bandung in the age of robotics: space, empires and the reconfiguration of southern sovereignty”; “Popular sovereignty in Africa and Asia”; “Regional identity building in a comparative perspective”; and “Managing election dispute resolution in Nigeria: Patterns mapping and evolution”.
Panel 3, Revisiting the agrarian question:
“Land grabs in Africa” and “Land relations in China and India: toward a new moral economy”.
We welcome more individual and joint submissions from diverse engagements and perspectives to address the central themes as indicated above. The areas of contribution below are merely suggestive:
Revisiting Bandung: the Bandung spirit, the five principles of peaceful coexistence, third-worldism as method and/or strategy, the revival of non-alignment or project of new alignment, cross continental construction of sovereign countries in the developing world; organization and coordination of counter-hegemonic struggles in the south, resistance against military domination and new imperialist interventions; alternative to neoliberal and imperialist globalization – can there be an alternative global system of political economy constituted of equal and autonomous nations? How might such a vision be pushed forward?
Popular sovereignty: national liberation and statehood; social movements in resistance against oppressive and exploitative ruling interests, domestic or foreign; legitimacy challenges to nationalism and regionalism; the role of state in economic and social development, public policies in meeting basic needs, poverty alleviation, and social security and equity; issues of citizenship concerning inclusion and exclusion, democracy as power of the people – are democracies working for the commoners, direct producers and the poor? How might democratization be pursued or deepened?
Social relations: the questions of class, caste, ethnicity, gender, aboriginality or tribal rights since Bandung; capital-labor relations or the dignity and wellbeing of labor; ethnic relations or the protection of minorities and equality among different ethnic groups, gender relations or women’s equal treatment along with children’s protection, and the plight of the peasantry and (semi-)proletarianized migrant workers as the “precariat”. What is the meaning of “cheap labor”? How and why have ethnic or sectarian conflicts risen and what can be done to manage them? Where women have succeeded or failed to improve their conditions?
Political economy: alternative to new forms of unequal exchange and dependent development; state-market-society relations; present responses to the classic agrarian question, issues of land grabbing, land regime and land right, of seeds and food security/sovereignty, of bankrupt petty peasants in the global market; comparative experiences of the politics of development and ecology; loss of farmland to urban expansion, real estate and soil pollution along with depletion of other resource commons which threaten the livelihood of hundreds of millions of people in the capitalist peripheries – is there an alternative to standardized modernity of urbanism and industrialism? Is a new moral economy possible?
Political and ideological struggle: counter-hegemony as a project of transforming received knowledge and knowledge production in social sciences as much as mass media; the question of public commitment and class/social consciousness; the task of new imaginaries of world order and their re-theorization initiated in Bandung. What kind of a feasible world we should desire and begin or continue to create? Which social forces might be the agents of change?
In the Bandung spirit, we aim, through discussions and debates at the conference, at reaching some broad consensus on an assessment of the past, an understanding of the present, and an orientation toward the future, since 1955.
Ms Lin Chun, China/UK (Dr., Political Sciences, London School of Economics) & Mr. Aziz Fall, Egypt/Senegal/Canada (Pr., Political Sciences, Centre Internationaliste Ryerson Fondation Aubin, Montreal)
Ms Amy Niang, Senegal/South Africa
Mr. Boutros Labaki, Lebanon
Mr. Dani, Indonesia
Mr. Hikmawan Saefullah, Indonesia/Australia
Mr. Irwansyah, Indonesia/Australia
Mr. James Okolie-Osemene, Nigeria
Mr. Lazare Ki-Zerbo, Burkina Faso/France
Mr. Martin Uadiale, Nigeria
Ms Polina Nedialkova-Travert, Russia/France
Ms Roswita Aboe, Indonesia
Mr. Samson Bezabeh, Ethiopia
Mr. Tyson Tirta, Indonesia
Mr. Yin Zhiguang, China/UK
Ms Zornitza Grekova, Bulgaria