Reset-Dialogues On Civilizations (Reset-DoC) is an Italian non-profit Association (since 2004), based in Rome. It promotes dialogue and intercultural understanding through public meetings both nationally, in Italy and at an international level, through publications and press work dedicated to more profound knowledge as well as the translation of notions and concepts from one into the other universe of understanding, from one into another culture - particularly between ‘East’ and ‘West’ in matters of culture, religion and politics. The Association was born in cooperation with the cultural Italian magazine Reset. We hope to become a reference point for all of those who want to go beyond the much-evoked clash of civilizations towards a pluralism in making. Our Scientific Committee is a network of intellectuals from different cultural backgrounds, who share the same liberal and humanistic values.
Read more about our intents
Scientific and Founding Committee:
Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd (1943-2010), Abdullahi An-Na'im, Abdou Filali-Ansary, Giancarlo Bosetti, Massimo Campanini, Fred Dallmayr, Silvio Fagiolo (1938-2011), Maria Teresa Fumagalli Beonio Brocchieri, Nina zu Fürstenberg, Timothy Garton Ash, Anthony Giddens, Vartan Gregorian, Renzo Guolo, Hassan Hanafi, Roman Herzog, Ramin Jahanbegloo, Jörg Lau, Amos Luzzatto, Avishai Margalit, Krzysztof Michalski (1948-2013), Andrea Riccardi, Olivier Roy, Otto Schily, Karl von Schwarzenberg, Bassam Tibi, Roberto Toscano, Nadia Urbinati, Umberto Veronesi, Michael Walzer.
Chair of the Scientific Committee: Seyla Benhabib
until 2013: Giuliano Amato
Advisory Board (2014-2017)
Katajun Amirpur, Benjamin Barber, Karen Barkey, Seyla Benhabib (chair), Rajeev Bhargava, Akeel Bilgrami, Murat Borovali, Giovanna Borradori, Marina Calloni, Francesca Corrao, Nilüfer Göle, Alessandro Ferrara, Fuat Keyman, Mohamed Haddad, Nader Hashemi, Jonathan Laurence, Alberto Melloni, Fabio Petito, David Rasmussen.
Istanbul Seminars advisory board and executive committee
Asaf Savas Akat, Seyla Benhabib, Giancarlo Bosetti, Alessandro Ferrara, Abdou Filali-Ansary, Nina zu Fürstenberg, Nilüfer Göle, Ferda Keskin, David Rasmussen
Joseph LaPalombara (President)
Caroline Gerry (Treasurer)
Board of Governors
Giancarlo Bosetti (Director), Nina zu Fürstenberg (Chair), Francesco Micheli, Piergaetano Marchetti, Georg Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza (Honorary President)
Managing Editor and Program Coordinator
Funding: The Association's activity and the web magazine are funded by the Swiss "Nomis Foundation" and other private donations. The web magazine has a contribution by Intesa San Paolo Bank and publicity/ sponsorization by Telecom Italy (until 2010) and Enel Italy (until 2011).
Support for Reset Dialogues (US) was provided in part by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York in 2011.
A journal for all world tribes: WWW.RESETDOC.ORG
Resetdoc.org is an online journal, published every two weeks, specialized in issues related to intercultural dialogue. The magazine also exploits the Association activities as well as the contributions of its scientific committee. The editorial staff is working in cooperation with the Italian Reset magazine and produce articles, book reviews, interviews and videos about cultural conflicts - addressing them from a political, philosophical and historical point of view –, the methods and contents of dialogue among civilizations, and human rights. Another relevant initiative is our Lexicon of Interculture. International media and press have been attentively following ResetDoC publications and the Foundations activities and events.
Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/resetdoc
I libri di Reset/Marsilio: together with the Venice based publisher Marsilio we publish and translate several books every year dealing with the dialogue and comprehension.
ISTANBUL SEMINARS: Philosophers Bridge the Bosporus
The Istanbul Seminars are an annual highly academic early summer seminar organized in Istanbul (with Bilgi University) by ResetDoC where cultural and scientific thinkers in social sciences, political theory, sociology, legal studies and religion discuss our common future.
June 2008: “Postsecularism” - in response to the current political discussion surrounding Turkey, the seminar topic has been the role of religion in politics and the public sphere. How much religion can politics accept? asked Jürgen Habermas. Giuliano Amato, Andrew Arato, Benjamin Barber, Seyla Benhabib, Ian Buruma, Abdelmajid Charfi, Abdou Filali-Ansary, Hassan Hanafi, Alfred Stepan, Ayse Kadioglu and many other Turkish intellectuals lectured and discussed.
June 2009: “Religion, Human Rights and Multicultural Jurisdictions” - the second edition of the Istanbul Seminars was focused on multicultural and religious claims and their moral and legal implications. The Seminars followed different paths: from the debate on Islam in Europe among Turkish intellectuals to the confrontation with Tariq Ramadan, Nasr Abu Zayd and Avishai Margalit, Ayalet Shachar discussed the limits of religious freedom and the issue of apostasy while Nilüfer Göle reflected on cultural identity, group rights and the politics of memory with Armenian intellectuals. The tangled relations between religion, democracy and secularism have been analyzed by Michael Walzer, Ramin Jahanbegloo, Richard Bernstein.
May 2010: “Realigning liberalism: pluralism, integration, identities” - the third edition of the Istanbul Seminars analyzed the significance of the concepts of dialogue and integration in multicultural and religious societies. Zygmunt Bauman and Alain Touraine discussed on the Turkey/Europe issue. Fred Dallmayr and Abdou Filali-Ansary focused on the impact of religion: A dividing or uniting question? Nilüfer Göle spoke about her experience on learning pluralism through the resolution of conflicts and finally, Seyla Benhabib, Alfred Stepan, Stephen Macedo examined the issues of: human rights, pluralism and democracy, civic education and identity.
May 2011: “Overcoming the trap of resentment”- The fourth edition of Istanbul Seminars centered around the issue of Europe trapped by resentment and fear, a Europe dealing with new waves of immigration with hope but also with uncertainties arising from the uprisings in Arab counties. The Old Continent, overwhelmed by feverish incitement caused by lepenism as well as other localisms and anti-immigrant movements has been placed under observation by the South and the East (from the Maghreb to Turkey, lands of emigrants) but also by the West (the United States, a land of immigrants).
May 2012: "The promise of democracy in troubled times" - Democracy faces several challenges that are notably related to altered material conditions: Western democracies have to find new answers in the face of a severe economic and financial crises and an ageing population. Arab countries invest all their hopes in democracy in order to confront poverty and inequality as well as an unprecedented youth bulge. Which are the methods and limits of democratic participation and political deliberation in economics? Does the Arab Spring lead to more rights for women and citizens in the Arab world? How do claims to justice engage new forms of political responsibility, political judgment and leadership? Speakers 2012
16-22 May 2013: The Sources of Political Legitimacy. From the Erosion of the Nation-State to the Rise of Political Islam. Both the Western and the Muslim world are undergoing a phase of very important transitions that rise questions of political legitimacy. In Europe, the financial crisis has overthrown longstanding traditions of national sovereignty and it has eroded the social basis of democracy. The question Europe is facing is not only if supranational decision-making can have the same democratic legitimacy in the absence of a European nation, but also which institutions can establish and foster the democratic process. Also in the Arab world the nationalist paradigm has lost much of its attraction and has given way to a religious transformation of the public sphere. The issue is how religion, as a source of political legitimacy, comes to deal with such important values as pluralism, toleration and civil rights. Last but not least, on both sides of the Mediterranean governments are increasingly confronted with claims for social justice. Click here for info and registration form
15-20 May 2014 - The Sources of Pluralism: Metaphysics, Epistemology, Law and Politics. The Seminars have analyzed the relationship between these varieties of pluralism. Particular attention will be paid to the fathers of contemporary pluralism – from Mahatma Gandhi to Isaiah Berlin, from Max Weber to Ludwig Wittgenstein – and to the historical sources and major traditions of pluralist thought – from the Edicts of Ashoka and the Ottoman Empire to American pragmatism. Case studies on political Islam after the Arab Spring and on pluralism in Turkey after Gezi Park have completed complete the conceptual analysis of the The Sources of Pluralism.
26-30 May 2015 | Politics Beyond Borders. The Republican Model Challenged by the Internationalization of Economy, Law and Communication. For at least two centuries, Republicanism has been the political ideal of the subjugated people around the world, from the French Revolution to the anti-colonial struggles. The Republic has come to be seen as the place that realizes true freedom and self-determination independently from gender, religious or ethnic backgrounds. However, in the last decades, Republicanism has been challenged by the progressive weakening of state borders as guarantee of sovereignty. More and more Republicanism has become the synonym of state nationalism and very often of authoritarianism, taking into account only poorly, if ever, pluralism, cultural differences and the rights of minorities. Republican thought has to face the internationalization of politics, law, economy and communication through the power of information technology and social media. The Arab Spring contested explicitly Republicanism as a political model. Yet, how to move ahead? So far the Arab Spring resulted into political turmoil without bringing forth a viable and legitimate alternative political system. At the same time even in Europe the Republican tradition is threatened by populist and illiberal movements and by independentist parties which challenge the state unity. What, if anything, remains of the Republican dream in a plural world without borders. Does Republicanism still have emancipatory potential or does it have to be replaced by other, more cosmopolitan oriented models?
24-28 May 2016 | Religion, Rights and the Public Sphere
Whereas religiously inspired social movements, political parties, institutions of charity make an important contribution to society in terms of civil life and social cohesion, every religion can also play a negative role in radicalizing identities, in making compromises more difficult, in provoking violence and wars. That religious traditions risk to be a double-edged sword is today particularly evident in the Muslim world, where democratization and modernization processes risk to be obliterated by radical Islam, terrorism, the escalation of the Shia-Sunni conflict. This rises important questions with regard to what makes religions contribute to the foundations and legitimacy of democracy and why, on the contrary, at times religions turn to be source of extremism and intolerance. What is the connection between religious radicalism and the colonial and postcolonial legacy? Is radical Islam a consequence of imposed and fragile state-building processes confiscated by secular authoritarian regimes or vice versa? Can it be explained by the collapse of nationalist and socialist ideologies or by underdevelopment and inequalities? Do religious doctrines bring forth the radicalization of identities quite autonomously and independently from the political and social context? Accordingly, the Istanbul Seminars ’16 will discuss how much religious pluralism is a matter of politics, law and economy and to what extent it is also a matter of theology.
THE VENICE-DELHI SEMINARS: A Plural Future
2010, New Delhi, India Habitat Centre
Cultural and Religious Pluralism: The Muslim Minority in the Indian Democracy. East-West Comparison
The Conference focused on multiculturalism and the relation between majorities and minorities within a State. Theoretical and political aspects of the multicultural challenge in liberal states have been be presented together with more empirical issues, such as: how to reconcile dress code and religious symbols in social life, the role of media, and gender issues. Speakers were among others: Rajeev Bhargava, Nilüfer Göle, Dipankar Gupta, Ramin Jahanbegloo, Tejbir Singh, Shoma Chauduri, Roberto Toscano, Giovanna Melandri, Benjamin Barber, Ruchira Gupta.
2012, Venice, Fondazione Giorgio Cini
Cultural differences in times of economic turbulence. Social tensions, cultural conflicts and policies of integration in Europe and India.
The second edition of the Venice Delhi Seminars was held in October 2012 at Giorgio Cini Foundation in Venice and gathered scholars from India, Europe and the United States. We have analyzed the challenges that cultural differences and composite growing minorities are presenting to European democracies in times of financial turbulence, and on the other, Indian society’s intense pluralist experience during this phase of extremely rapid growth, while still dealing with dramatic poverty and acute inequality. As far as Europe is concerned, papers will concentrate on social tension, cultural conflict and the problems posed by the integration of migrants in these current critical times.
2013, 10-12 October, New Delhi, India Habitat Centre
Religious Pluralism and Freedom of Expression: Coexistence and Mutual Respect, Rights to Protect, Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Worship, Blasphemy, Ethics of Responsibility in Europe, India and other countries.
The third Venice-Delhi Seminars will take place from October 10 to 12, 2013 at the India Habitat Centre in Delhi with the participation of the Indian magazine Seminar, and Jamia Millia Islamia, the Islamic University of Delhi. The aim of this third round of the project will be to critically examine the growing tension between the democratic need to protect differences and the right to freedom of expression and the vital need for modern democracies to guarantee peaceful coexistence between majorities and minorities, as well as freedom of worship in conditions of cultural and religious pluralism protected from the extremist excesses of demands based on ethnicity and identity. We will therefore also analyze the public visibility of radical and extremist tendencies from the United States to Europe, to Muslim-majority countries and India. Analysis will take place from a perspective paying particular attention to the manner in which this wave of violent opposition to dialogue and cultural differences challenges liberal democratic order, tested by a new need to implement rights and respect of minorities. Specific importance will be attributed to conditions experienced by Muslim and Christian minorities. The subject of respect between communities and the rights of minorities will be analysed also in the European context. European, Indian and American scholars will attend.
Program and information can be accessed by clicking here
THE RUSSIA WORKSHOP
Berlin 22-23 and 25 June 2015 | Reset-DoC's first conference on the political culture of Russian elites after 1991.
The topic: Almost 25 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the process of “re-composition” of a Moscow-dominated political space is still under way. Under the influence of different traditions, factors, events and interests, Russia seems to have developed a new version of the “power state” that dominated European history until the 20th century’s tragedies. What was the weight of the Soviet legacy and of the crises of the 1990s in this development? What has been the influence of political leaders and intellectuals, siloviki, and economic elites on the current Russian political thought? To what extent have external factors – such as NATO enlargement, the enlargement of the European Union toward East and the ongoing crisis over Ukraine – contributed to shape this thought? What place for minorities and cultural differences does this political trend leave? How does the idea of a “power state” influence Russia’s foreign policy and international relations?
Further workshops on contemporary Russia will be held in Washington DC on 31 March-1 April 2016 and in Venice, Italy, on the 17th and 18th of June 2016.
SOME INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES
Cairo, Egypt 2006 Conference: “Beyond Orientalism and Occidentalism. Thinking Dialogue Among Civilizations”, papers were presented by the Italian Minister of Domestic Affairs Giuliano Amato, Former German Minister of Domestic Affairs Otto Schily, Fred R. Dallmayr, Charles Burnett, Dimitri Gutas, Jörg Lau, Karel Schwarzenberg, Bassam Tibi, and Egyptian intellectuals among whom Gaber Asfour, Hassan Hanafi, Emad Abu Ghazi, and Mohamed Salmawy. The meeting took place on March 4, 5 and 6, and was carried out in cooperation with the Egypt Supreme Council of Culture and the Italian Embassy in Cairo.
Unesco World Philosophy Day 2006 (Rabat) and 2007 (Istanbul): ResetDoc organized a round table during the Unesco World Philosophy Day first in Rabbat in Nov.06 on “Religious Revivals and Open Society”, with Fred Dallmayr, Alessandro Ferrara, Abdou Filali - Ansary and Giuliano Amato and then in Istanbul Nov. 07 on ”What is Secularism” with Giancarlo Bosetti, Alessandro Ferrara, Ramin Jahanbegloo, Faruk Birtek and Nina zu Fürstenberg.
Doha, Qatar – Media and Dialogue 2008 and 2009
February 2008: intellectuals, politicians and mass media experts discussed “Global Media between Dialogue and Clash. When Enemies Boost the Ratings” (in cooperation with Georgetown University Doha). The aim was analyzing the effects of TV on the understanding among peoples of different cultures, verifying the distortions brought about in the Other’s images by news fragmentation and dramatization, as well as political partisanship and prejudices, and, ultimately, identifying new proposals.
April 2009: “East and West: Women’s perception through Media’s eyes”, in collaboration with North -Western University.
New York December 9th 2011 - The Background of Xenophobia: Cultural and political roots of anti-immigrant fanaticism in Europe and United States - The conference was held at the Institute for Public Knowledge, New York University. Among the speakers Seyla Benhabib, Benjamin Barber, Ian Buruma, Jytte Klausen, and Giancarlo Bosetti.
28 March - 2 April 2012 - NYU, Yale, Columbia
New York University - March 28 2012- Democracy for Women: The promise and the risk of arab political change
Columbia University - March 29 2012 - Expanding and Shrinking Areas of Liberty: Morocco, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and Syria
Yale University - April 2 2012 - Arab democracy and women. A Moroccan Perspective on Gender Politics and Law Reform
Speakers included: Seyla Benhabib, Nouzha Guessous, Joseph LaPalombara, Andrew March, Radwan Masmoudi, Tarek Masoud, Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, Alfred Stepan.
Tunis 25 June 2012 - Pour un lexique du dialogue: Les promesses de la démocratie entre réformisme civil et réformisme religieux
The conference was held at Académie Tunisienne des Sciences, des Lettres et des Arts Beit al-Hikma. Among the speakers: Paolo Branca, Francesca Corrao, Hichem Djait, Ikbal al Gharbi, Mohamed Haddad, Sebastiano Maffettone, Mohsen Marzouk, Radwan Masmoudi.
8-9 November 2012 - Orientalism Revisited
From colonial prejudice, to post-colonial resentment, towards a new season of dialogue? Speakers have discussed a topic that has gained new meaning with the Arab Spring. Although the famous dispute between Edward Said and Bernard Lewis belongs to another age, it is interesting to now explore whether and how reciprocal prejudices and misperceptions have endured, especially when we look at the European (and other) views of post-revolutionary developments. Indeed, the new season of hope opened by a political change seems able to overcome both the ethnocentric view of Europeans on the one side and postcolonial resentment on the other side. A new, fairer relationship based on dialogue among equals may be within reach. Re-reading and re-examining Orientalism and postcolonial studies has helped us to define this new relationship.
In Italy we introduced intellectuals and philosophers to a wider audience, by organizing their presence in many events:
Mohamed Arkoun (1928-2010), Nasr Abu Zayd (1943-2010), Nilüfer Göle, Seyla Benhabib, Lance Bennett, Ramin Jahanbegloo, Abdolkarim Soroush, Timothy Garton Ash, Carlos Thiebaud, Navid Kermani, Avishai Margalit, Jürgen Habermas, Ernst- Wolfgang Böckenförde, Nadia Urbinati, Claudio Magris and many others have given lectures in festivals, theatres, universities and seminars.
Some elaborated contributions to the first and the second edition of the Istanbul Seminars have been picked up in “Special issue: Postsecularism and multicultural jurisdictions” published in Philosophy &Social Criticism, an international, inter-disciplinary journal, vol. 36 nos 3-4 March&May 2010. The contributions to the third edition have been published in spring 2011. Contents available on http://psc.sagepub.com, May 2011 issue (4).
Seminar 621, 2011 “Minorities and Pluralism”- Proceedings from our first symposium in New Delhi (2010) were published in the n.621 2011 special issue of Seminar magazine: contents of this issue are available for free by clicking here.
Seminar 649, 2013 “Living Together, Differently” - The September 2013 special edition of Seminar magazine (n.649) is drawn from our 2012 Venice conference, with contributions by leading scholars from around the world. Contents can be accessed by clicking here