Since the nineteenth century, nations and nation states have been one of the major contexts for collective and subjective experiences. National systems of meaning have consigned social and political substance to individual experiences, and the nations have become an important object of action, thoughts, and emotions. Furthermore, one can see nation states as institutionalized experiences which, in turn, create new experiences and expectations for different groups of citizens. In the theme group Lived nation we will focus on three historical phenomena: the experiential basis of national mobilizations; the histories of childhood and youth as part of national upbringing; and the experiences of violence in connection with nation states. Taken together, these three emphases make a novel approach to the nations as lived-through communities.