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The concept of culture has changed in the course of time.

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The concept of modernity can be analysed from various points of view. A sociological perspective sees modernity as the historical era arising from feudal society’s profound transformation processes and that, starting with the Protestant Reformation, sees the emergence of the new bourgeoisie..

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The Kurds

An ethnic and linguistic minority in the Near East, the Kurds now live divided between Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria, in a region unofficially known as Kurdistan, where they have always been the object of persecution and oppression.

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The Mediterranean

Mediterranean: literally the sea in the middle of lands, a bordering sea, and linking these lands. This characteristic makes the Mediterranean a sea that does belong to all the countries overlooking it, but to none in particular, a shared sea, not available for becoming private property..

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Islamism is a highly militant mobilizing ideology selectively developed out of Islam’s scriptures, texts, legends, historical precedents, organizational experiences and present-day grievances, all as a defensive reaction against the long-term erosion of Islam’s primacy over the public...

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A month of ideas.
Giancarlo Bosetti Editor-in-chief
Association for dialogue and intercultural understanding
Freedom and Democracy

Voluntary Repatriations of Afghans
Reality or Only an Euphemism?

Virginia Pietromarchi

Alireza was in Kabul when he received his father’s call urging him to leave the country. A letter signed by the Taliban requested the immediate closure of the English institute that Alireza was directing in Ghazni. After having received a second letter including death threats, Alireza understood he and his family had no chance but to flee the country. The father sold his bakery and the house and paid a smuggler 32.000 dollars to get Alireza, his wife and his two other children out of Afghanistan.

Freedom and Democracy

Can Trump's Executive Order
Meet the Challenge of International Law?

Gaetano Pentassuglia

The latest of a raft of measures adopted by US President Donald Trump only a few days after he was sworn into office, the executive order on immigration has sparked heavy criticism in the country and around the world. The measure is intended primarily to suspend the national refugee system temporarily, and the Syrian refugees programme indefinitely, and to deny entry to the US to individuals from seven named, majority-Muslim countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen) for 90 days.


Trump and the Supreme Court:
the risk of an anti-abortion turnaround

At the dawn of Trump's presidency, we selected a shortlist of our analyses on the path and consequences of his rise to power.

What is now the job of the American left? Michael Walzer on Dissent 2/01/2017
IT The attacks in Norway

Europe: the time has come to reflect

Stefano Allievi, University of Padua

Muslim communities all over Europe sighed with relief when they heard that the Norwegian massacre had not been carried out by one of their own. If that had been the case, the price to pay would have been a terrible one. Many non-Muslims also breathed their own sigh at not having to confirm their prejudice against Muslims. This reaction is disquieting in its triviality and automatism. The press in Muslim-majority countries is pointing out these inconsistancies, asking “Why is this not called Christian terrorism?” "Why are we not creating a plot theory?" 

East and West

Europe? No longer an “essential objective” for Turkey

Nicola Mirenzi

Stop and go is a continuous scenario in the relations between Turkey and Europe. For every step forward there is another one back. Doors wide open, then an impasse once again. Now we have reached a point in which the rope can no longer be pulled. Perhaps! Fifty years after taking the first step towards European integration Ankara could be prepared to let everything go up in smoke. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was the first to break this taboo by stating that entry into the European Union is no longer an essential objective for Turkey.

Intercultural dialogues

Foreigners in my class. On “cultural” pluralism in Italian (and other) schools

Davide Zoletto, University of Udine

This paper is an elaborated version of the contribution that David Zoletto, a Researcher at the Department of Human Sciences, University of Udine, presented on December 12, 2013 in Milan, for the last meeting of the series of conferences "Words and ideas for a plural world. An intercultural lexicon" sponsored by Reset-DoC and Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Foundation. The 2014 edition of our Milan-dialogues, this year dedicated to the theme of "inclusive citizenship", begins April 17 with a lecture by Constitutional Court Judge Giuliano Amato on "A new season for citizenship in Europe."


Former Concentration Camp to become Migrants’ Cemetery

Azzurra Meringolo

A toll booth on the ill-famed Salerno-Reggio Calabria motorway. It is not just any old toll booth, but the one that most keeps alive the memories of the wounds Fascism inflicted on our history. Tarsia, the exit leading to Campi Ferramonti, the largest concentration camp built in Italy following the proclamation of racial laws. It is on this strip of land extending all the way to the River Crati, where on September 8th, 1943, 2,200 people were crowded, that the cemetery for migrants will be built. An international burial ground created to provide a dignified resting place for the thousands who have perished chasing the dream of coming to Europe, the continent in which they placed all hope of redemption from hunger and destitution.

After the Newtown tragedy

Freedom, law and responsibility. Specular discussions between East and West

ResetDOC's debate

The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting is a tragedy that obliges us to question the relationship between freedom and security, between democracy and violence. Political theorist Benjamin Barber and Jim Sleeper from Yale explain why, at last, the American establishment should find the courage to defy society's steadily advancing culture of death and to confront the powerful gun lobby that fuels and exploits it. For Giancarlo Bosetti, the discussion on the relationship between the use of freedom and responsibility aroused by this terrible event can also help us better understand the challenges newborn Arab democracies will soon have to face.

The First Amendment, something too hot from Newtown to Tunis?
Giancarlo Bosetti

Gun Lovers, as 'Normal' Now as Segregationists Once Were
Jim Sleeper

Obama's Speech in the Wake of the Newtown Massacre

Benjamin Barber

What We Should Tell the Gun Lobby and Producers/Editors

Jim Sleeper

IT France

French elections: what does normal stand for?

Nilüfer Göle

The vote for Hollande is not so much as a radical desire for change as a possibly illusory desire to go back to the pre-crisis period. The socialists, however, have also opened up a new alternative approach to the economy. But ‘racism from above’ has led the way on this historic fight over what is normal.

Europe and the Arab world

Future Scenarios for a Common Mediterranean Culture

Mohammed Hashas

The West and the Arab world have for a period of time developed into two civilizations, with two different social classes and hierarchies, different government systems, economy, and urbanism, channeled through technological development. To go for one system of thought and governance immediately without educating the two of their common values and practices will endanger the idea envisaged here. A ‘Common Mediterranean Civilization’ will take more time than a ‘Common Mediterranean Culture’; the latter precedes the former.

AR Islam and America

Ground Zero Revisi­­ted

Sadik J. Al-Azm

In my estimation, the Ground Zero Muslim construction project shows, at its best, lack of tact, inconsiderate approaches and bad live-and let-live strategies and tactics. This can only be of great disservice to a religious minority, like the Muslims, in a country such as the USA where the disabling backlash phenomenon is pervasive, powerful and so well known. At its worst, the project is open to charges of gratuitous provocation, bad faith, and hypocrisy. So, all in all I am for moving the Center and Mosque to another and more suitable location in New York City to prove good faith and honorable intentions. In any case the organizers and financial backers of the project have already made so many concessions to the opposition as to render the whole idea pointless.

FR In depth

Gülen, Erdogan and the AKP. Behind the scenes of Turkey’s battle for hegemony

Tigrane Yegavian

The rise to power of the Fethullah Gülen confraternity has transformed Turkey since the 90s. This spiritual movement has given rise to a vast media and financial empire, doubled by an imposing network of schools, universities and residences within Turkey, but also on a global scale. Scattered throughout all levels of social and political life, its members weigh heavily on government choices. Yet, the movement’s omnipotence is no longer compatible with the ambitions of its former ally Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.    

Human Rights

Homeland Palestine. The Relentless Eclipse of the Right of Return

Andrea Glioti

The hard daily lives of Palestinian refugees remain stuck between the impossibility to return to their homeland and the difficulties presented by naturalization: all Arab countries oppose it for political reasons and the West is criticized for understanding any new citizenship as a renouncement to the right of return. And today, in the face of a new exodus from Syria, the assistance of Palestinian refugees is in the hands of a neglected UN agency, sidelined by the marginalization of the only UN-sanctioned route to improve their conditions: the right to return to Palestine. Andrea Glioti for Reset-DoC.

UNRWA: an agency neglected to forget about its mission

Palestinian refugees stuck between naturalization and right of return

IT Arab Spring

Hope After the Dictators

Silvio Fagiolo

In Egypt, as in Tunisia, democracy is something still to be shaped, but these societies are not voiceless, nor are they without public opinion. The oppositions consist of a broad galaxy of movements, but they are not burning Israeli or American flags in the streets. They are demanding rights, transparency and legality. Resetdoc presents an article by our late and much missed friend Silvio Fagiolo, a scholar and former ambassador to Egypt, who died a few days ago. This article was published in the March-April 2011 issue of our magazine Reset, devoted to the Arab Spring.

IT 2001-2011: Ten Year Anniversary

How 9/11 changed us

Stefano Allievi, University of Padua

For a few years, for far too long, ideas became radicalized, language was militarized, reasoning impoverished, reduced to simplistic and misleading pairs, such as black/white, good/bad, with God pitted against God (with God of course privatized by all parties involved). In this sense al Qaeda’s school of thought won the day and was reflected in the arrogant Bushism of the Iraqi adventure (based on lies and producing more terrorism than it defeated, not to mention the thousands of innocent victims, including the western soldiers sent to die there pointlessly), until recently all dominant and winning paradigms. But, today, something has changed.

Previous Issue

How Ethics Change. Words and Ideas for a Plural World


“Cultural pluralism” is a recent concept in Europe to the extent that many do not know what it means. While political pluralism and freedom of thought are deeply-rooted in our continent, and everyone is capable of distinguishing a democratic regime from one that is not, there are some extremely extravagant and vague opinions concerning pluralism of cultures and the relationship between the various religious, linguistic and ethnic cultures. Intellectuals and scholars from all over the world are helping Reset-DoC and its Intercultural Lexicon project to foster cultural pluralism with their contributions to our publications, debates and public conferences. Today, Anthony Appiah from Princeton explains what the evolution of honor codes can mean to cross-cultural understanding.

Cultural Pluralism, The Challenge of our Time
Giancarlo Bosetti

The Honor Code
Kwame Anthony Appiah

Archive - Meister Eckhart Award Lecture

Human Rights and the Critique of “Humanitarian Reason”

Seyla Benhabib, Yale University

On February 16, 2014 The New York Times Magazine ran an article called “Container City.” “Container City” refers to the Kilis camp in southern Turkey housing 14, 000 refugees from Syria. Protected by high gates and surrounded by barbed wire, Kilis from the outside shares features with many refugee camps all over the world that make them indistinguishable from prisons or criminal detention centers. Kilis houses its population in 2,053 identical containers, spread in neat rows. The pictures that accompany the article remind one of shipping containers at a harbor. Each container is a 23 by 10 foot trailer with 3 rooms; and a color TV with close to 1000 channels, probably picking up programs from all the surrounding countries of the Mediterranean.

IT Art, society and culture

India, its women and cinema.
Interview with film director Aparna Sen

Maria Grazia Falà

Constant attention to the world of women, to Indian social situations and policies that are only now slowly changing; violence, rape, or threats made against women, only nowadays at times reported with all the risks and dangers this involves, are words the Bengali director Aparna Sen, born in 1945, has always used with the special attention she has always paid to social issues and especially the feminine universe.

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