Call for Papers – Panel Proposal for ISA 2023

Politics of the Past, Promises of the Future

There is a growing scholarship in International Relations that examines the role of reconstructing memories and retelling certain narratives of the past in worldmaking. The goal of this panel is to bring together scholars who are thinking through questions probing the political manipulations of nostalgia and narratives of the past for the sake of shaping the future of global order. The panel will explore theoretically and empirically the processes through which reemerging as well as retrenching powers repackage historical narratives, invest in memorializing the past, and reconstruct political memory aiming to expand their influence. Potential themes of interest include but are not limited to: 

  • Thinking theoretically about the role of collective memory in identity-making
  • Theorizing positive and negative nostalgia in foreign policy making 
  • Exploring the intersection of foreign policy making and narratives of the past 
  • Illustrative case studies that show the strategic manipulation of the past in shaping global orders 

Panel discussant is Professor Jelena Subotić (

Please send an abstract of no more than 200 words to Lina Benabdallah ( by close of business day on May 25th. The formed panel will be shared with invited participants will by the 27th. 

Author: Lina Benabdallah, Ph.d.

Lina Benabdallah is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Wake Forest University.

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