Special Issue "Nations in Time: Genealogy, History and the Narration of Time"

A special issue of Genealogy (ISSN 2313-5778).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 July 2018

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Atsuko Ichijo

Department of Politics, School of Law, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Kingston University, Thames KT1 2EE, UK
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Interests: Atsuko Ichijo is Associate Professor, Department of Politics, the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Kingston University, UK. Her research is on the issues related to nationalism and modernity including theories of nationalism, nationalisms of the British Isles and Japan, European integration, the normative claims of nationalism, sovereignty, citizenship. She is a member of the editorial team of Nations and Nationalism and has acted as an international expert for the European Commission for several occasions.

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Like any other human community, one of the fundamental roles nations play is to embed individuals in a particular point in time and space. In other words, nations and nationalism, an organisational principle of social life, work to provide individuals with a sense of who they are and where they belong. While nations are not the only form of community to serve human kind in this manner, they are the most privileged due to their intricate relationship with the nation-state, the dominant form of political organisation.

The ways in which nations and nationalism give shape to and maintain awareness and consciousness of time to members of nations and the importance of interpretation of the past in maintaining nations have been widely examined in the study of nations and nationalism under various headings including the use and abuse of history, the distinction between official and ‘ethno-‘ history, nations without history and so on. Building on these works, the special issue aims to examine the specificity of genealogy as way of comprehending time in the formation and maintenance of nations and in articulating nationalism. In other words, what does genealogy bring to nations and nationalism that history, chronology, myths or legends do not?

The term genealogy immediately suggests ancestry, which in turn suggests some form of blood relationship. In the study of nations and nationalism, the reference to blood relationship is linked to the understanding of ethnic nationhood, which is often seen as problematic in the liberal democratic normative framework. But is this the only contribution genealogy makes to the study of nations and nationalism? The special issue invites contributions to investigate the relationship between nations and time focusing on the characteristics of genealogy as a way of making sense of time and the past.

There are a number of questions to be addressed including:

  • What does genealogy provide in the formation and maintenance of nations that history and other forms of narrating time and the past do not?
  • Is the significance of genealogy limited to the formation and maintenance of ethnic nations? How would genealogy work in a civic nation?
  • Does the significance of genealogy vary across time? Is its significance eroded with modernisation/democratisation/secularisation?
  • What are the factors that privilege genealogy in narrating the nation’s life? Would genealogy in describing the nation be more important in societies which are heavily influenced by Confucianism, for example? Would the rise of a middle class with interest in family history strengthen the position of genealogy as a main way of understanding the nation’s past?
  • When does genealogy, or family history, of a nation become a history which is shared publicly? Examining genealogies (i.e. critical junctures) of national identity or national political community.
  • How do different paradigms of national community (primordialist, liberal-democratuc, etc.) mobilize the idea of the nation-as-genealogy or family history?
Dr. Atsuko Ichijo
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Genealogy is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) is waived for well-prepared manuscripts submitted to this issue. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • nations
  • naitonalism
  • genealogy
  • history
  • dealing with the past
  • ethnic vs civic nationhood
  • time consciousness

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Time, Kinship, and the Nation

Abstract: There remains both a great deal of confusion over the nature of kinship and an inappropriate resistance to understanding the nation as one form of kinship. Despite the relatively early and occasional analysis of the nation in terms of kinship, for example, by Lloyd Fallers, anthropologists, including paradoxically Ernest Gellner, have avoided understanding nationality in this way. Despite Anthony Smith’s attention to ethnie, those associated with nationalism studies have also generally avoided analyzing the nation in terms of kinship, as can be seen by the ill-informed hostility to the category “primoridal.” This article rectifies this mistake by re-examining the category of kinship, along both its vertical, temporal axis and horizontal, geographical axis, with attention to nation in general and, in particular, in antiquity.

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