Event — Call for papers

Future Practices of Citizenship in Asia and the West. The Care of the Self III

‘Future Practices of Citizenship in Asia and the West’ will be a two-day hybrid conference organised in Leiden on 25-26 April 2022.

We invite the submission of paper abstracts of maximum 300 words by 17 December 2021. Selected papers will be presented as work in progress and should consist of previously unpublished material. At the event you will receive feedback from convenors, fellow participants, and audience members. A selection of papers will then be made into a book.



    This conference forms part of the Care of the Self project which has been investigating human agency in society, taking Michel Foucault’s concept of the care of the self as its point of departure. The project’s focus on citizenship and human rights in Asia and the West (and comparisons between them) is one of its unique selling points. Follow the links for more information on previous publications and events.

    This event is intended to be multi-disciplinary, with contributions from (but not limited to) anthropology, architecture, geography, history, philosophy, political science, religious studies, social science, urbanism, etc. The point of departure is citizenship in Asia and/or the West. Papers should deal with current or imminent challenges to citizenship with regard to (among other things) the built environment, climate change, increasing inequality, the rise of Big Data, Covid-19 and its responses, etc. Papers are free to propose their own definition of citizenship, and those that make comparative analyses between, within, or across the themes listed below will be particularly welcome.

    Finally, this conference will be a hybrid event, meaning that while we strongly encourage participants to join in person in Leiden, should this not be possible then arrangements will be made to accommodate online participation by successful applicants. We would prefer, however, for people to attend in person, as this makes the initial peer-review process so much stronger.

    Day 1: Citizenship

    • Human rights: the right to the city, free speech, protest, democracy, religion, ethics, and values
    • Cities from the bottom up: migration, refugees, race, gender, public space, privately owned public space, privatisation, shrinking commons, wealth imbalance
    • Health: physical/mental, populations (shrinking, ageing)
    • Surveillance Capitalism: Personal Information Economy, Big Data, data mining, social media, public sphere, right to privacy, digital divide, Dark Net, ransomware, Artificial Intelligence
    • Infrastructure: Belt & Road Initiative, Build Back Better World
    • Sustainability: resilience, climate change preparedness
    • Other issues

    Day 2: Covid-19

    • Covid-19: pandemics, preparedness
    • Responses to Covid-19: Asia, the West, politicisation of, track- and-trace, vaccine nationalism, disinformation, integrity of science
    • Ethics
    • Human rights: Asia, the West
    • Other issues
    Submit paper

    Abstracts should be submitted via the form below.

    Deadline: 31 December 2021
    Notification of acceptance: 31 January 2022

    Please note that neither the IIAS, UKNA, TU Delft, nor Universiti Teknologi Malaysia will be able to help fund contributors’ trips to the conference should they be selected.

    Selected papers will be presented as work in progress and should consist of previously unpublished material.

    Paper submission form




    A selection of the best papers from this event will be gathered into a peer-reviewed publication. This will be the final instalment in a trilogy dealing with citizenship and society in Asia and the West. The first two books were Ancient and Modern Practices of Citizenship in Asia and the West (2019) and Contemporary Practices of Citizenship in Asia and the West (2020), published by Amsterdam University Press.

    For information on previous publication go to https://www.iias.asia/books/asian-cities


    Nurul Azlan (Universiti Teknologi Malaysia)

    Nurul AzlanNurul Azreen Azlan teaches in the Masters of Sustainable Urban Design programme at the Faculty of Technology and Informatics Razak, UTM Kuala Lumpur. Her academic focus leans towards the politics of space, where she is predominantly interested in the availability of space for people to participate in public life. As such, she is interested in how and why spaces and infrastructure are produced and governed in relation to politics, the impact of privatisation of public goods, and how historical processes, particularly colonisation, has shaped the resultant built environment and spatial practices.

    Nurul graduated as a Part II architect from University Technology Malaysia before pursuing a Masters in Urban Design at the Bartlett UCL. She completed her PhD at the Technology University of Delft, where she wrote a dissertation on the spaces of protest in post-colonial Kuala Lumpur.


    Gregory Bracken (TU Delft)

    Gregory BrackenDr. Ir. Gregory Bracken is Assistant Professor of Spatial Planning and Strategy at TU Delft and one of the co-founders of Footprint, the e-journal dedicated to architecture theory. From 2009-2015 he was a Research Fellow at the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) Leiden where he set up (with Dr. Manon Ossewijer) the Urban Knowledge Network Asia (UKNA) with a €1.2 million grant from Marie Curie Actions. While there he also established the annual IIAS-TU Delft conference series called the Care of the Self which generated the books Contemporary Practices of Citizenship in Asia and the West: Care of the Self, Volume II (2020) and Ancient and Modern Practices of Citizenship in Asia and the West: Care of the Self, Volume I (2019). Other publications include Asian Cities: Colonial to Global (2015), The Shanghai Alleyway House: A Vanishing Urban Vernacular (2013, and translated into Chinese in 2015), and Aspects of Urbanization in China: Shanghai, Hong Kong, Guangzhou (2012). G.Bracken@tudelft.nl


    Paul Rabé (IIAS/UKNA)

    Paul RabéDr. Paul Rabé is academic coordinator of the cities cluster at the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) in Leiden, the Netherlands, which includes two networks of urban scholars: the Urban Knowledge Network Asia (UKNA) and the Southeast Asia Neighborhoods Network (SEANNET). In addition, Paul is Lead Expert in Urban Land Governance at the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam, where he heads the Land Management team. He is a political scientist by training, with a doctoral degree in policy, planning and development from the University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Policy. Paul’s motivation is to bridge the divide between academia and practice when it comes to our approaches to cities. His engagement is in both worlds: he has over 20 years of experience in advisory work and capacity building as well as research and teaching on urban policy topics. His research and professional interests focus on urban land governance and access to land for social, economic and environmental uses. His current focus is on the intersection of land policy and the management of water resources in urban and peri-urban areas.