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Brown Bag Session - Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken and Natalie Koch - TNGO

341 Eggers Hall

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The Maxwell Citizenship Initiative, Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs present: 

The Brown Bag Sessions

Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken, Director, The Transnational NGO Initiative

Digitally Enabled Activism: A New School of Citizenship?

The internet – broadly speaking – has enabled many citizen groups to mobilize for social change – the Arab Spring, Euromaidan, Occupy Wall Street, or the Turkey Gezi Park protests have all been facilitated by the diffusion of social media and other digital tools. Digital technology is changing how citizens engage in politics, advocate for social change, give to causes they care about, and connect with people motivated by the same issues as they are – but are these tools creating new and lasting habits of citizen engagement? Many campaigners with traditional NGOs are aware that their campaigning tactics and strategies are outdated for the digital era. Much of the focus among the sector is now on using digital tools to empower distributed, decentralized networks of individual campaigners who can organize and mobilize for action in their local communities. Why have some NGOs been more successful at implementing these changes than others and what has been the outcome?

Natalie Koch, Associate Professor & O’Hanley Faculty Scholar

Is Nationalism just for Nationals? Civic Nationalism for Noncitizens in Qatar and the UAE

Is nationalism just for nationals? Two small monarchies on the Arabian Peninsula suggest the need to reconsider this assumption. In Qatar, citizens account for about 12 percent of the country’s 2 million inhabitants. Of the UAE’s 8.2 million residents, 13 percent are citizens. Citizen-nationals enjoy significant legal privilege in these states, preserved by their jus sanguinis citizenship regimes, which preclude noncitizens and their children from naturalizing. But, as this study of “National Day” holidays in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) illustrates, an incipient form of civic nationalism is increasingly being used to narrate state-based belonging on the part of noncitizen “expats.” Through textual analysis of celebration discourses in the lead-up to the 2013 and 2014 holidays in the UAE and Qatar, supplemented by participant observation, I analyze the political geographical imaginaries at work in these ostensibly inclusivist narratives.

Lunch will be provided.

For information on accessibility, or to request accommodation, please contact Marc Albert 315-443-9248.

Sponsored by the The Maxwell Citizenship Initiative and the Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs

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Exterior of Maxwell in black and white when there was no Eggers building

We’re Turning 100!

To mark our centennial in the fall of 2024, the Maxwell School will hold special events and engagement opportunities to celebrate the many ways—across disciplines and borders—our community ever strives to, as the Oath says, “transmit this city not only not less, but greater, better and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us.”

Throughout the year leading up to the centennial, engagement opportunities will be held for our diverse, highly accomplished community that now boasts more than 38,500 alumni across the globe.