Who We Are
Scientific and Founding Committee
Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd (1943-2010), Katajun Amirpur, 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, Nader Hashemi, 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
Reset Dialogues on Civilizations Board of Governors
Giuliano Amato, Giancarlo Bosetti(Director), Nina zu Fürstenberg (Chair), Francesco Micheli, Attorney Piergaetano Marchetti, Georg Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza (Honorary President).
Advisory Board (2014-2017)
Katajun Amirpur, Benjamin Barber, Karen Barkey, Seyla Benhabib (Chair), Rajeev Bhargava, Akeel Bilgrami, Giovanna Borradori, Murat Borovali, Marina Calloni, Francesca Corrao, Alessandro Ferrara Nilüfer Göle, 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)
Managing Editor and Program Coordinator
Nasr Abu Zayd (1943-2010) served as Professor of Literature and Linguistics at Leiden University and held the Ibn Rushd Chair of Islam and Humanism at the University of Humanistic, Utrecht. He is an internationally recognized expert on modern Islamic thought, critically approaching classical and contemporary Islamic discourses. Nasr Abu Zayd got political asylum in the Netherlands in 1995, after several years of severe religious prosecution and finally a formal court decision that led to his apostasy in Egypt. He is the author of Reformation of Islamic Thought: A Critical Historical Analysis and Rethinking the Qur'an: Towards a Humanistic Hermeneutics.
Giuliano Amato served as Secretary of the Treasury in Italy and was the Italian Prime Minister in 1992-‘93 and in 2000-‘01. He was the vice-chairman of the Convention for the European Constitution. He has chaired the Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana Treccani and the Center for American Studies in Rome and he currently serves as e Judge of the Italian Constitutional Court. He has written books and articles on the economy and public institutions, European antitrust, personal liberties, comparative government, European integration and humanities. He has served as the President of Reset-DoCs scientific committee from 2003 to 2013.
Katajun Amirpur is Professor for Islamic Studies at Hamburg University with special focus on Iran and integration of Muslims in Europe. In 2010 she has been teaching at the University of Zurich. Furthermore she is one of the editors of Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik and writes inter alia for Süddeutsche Zeitung, taz and Die Zeit. Her books are on contemporary Islamic and Iranian thinkers: Schirin Ebadi (Gott ist mit den Furchtlosen. Schirin Ebadi und der Kampf um die Zukunft Irans, 2003) and Abdolkarim Sorush (Die Entpolitisierung des Islam. Abdolkarim Sorushs Denken und Wirkung in der Islamischen Republik Iran, 2003).
Abdullahi An-Na’im is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law at Emory University School of Law. He joined the Islamic reform movement of Ustadh Mahmoud Mohamed Taha from 1968 until the movement was suppressed in December 1984. Forced to exile, in 1993 he became the executive director of the Washington D.C-based human right organization Africa Watch. Since 1995 he has been serving as a professor at Emory University School of Law in Atlanta. In February 2009, An-Na`im received an Honorary Doctorate from the Universite catholique de Louvain (UCL, Louvain-la-Neuve) and Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (K.U. Leuven, Leuven), Belgium. Among his publications: Islam and the secular State (Harvard University press, 2000)
Seyla Benhabib is Eugene Meyer Professor of Political Science and Philosophy at Yale University and Director of its Program in Ethics, Politics and Economics and serves as the current President of Reset-DoC's Scientific Committee. She has been awarded with the Ernst Bloch Prize in Ludwigshafen, one of Germany's most distinguished philosophical honors. Among her publications: The Claims of culture: Equality and diversity in the Global Era (Princeton, 2002), The Rights of Others. Aliens, Citizens and Residents (Ralph Bunche award of the American Political Science Association and the North American Society for Social Philosophy award). She is the current Chair of Reset-DoC's scientific committee.
Giancarlo Bosetti is the editor-in-chief of Resetdoc and Reset, a cultural magazine he founded in 1993. He was vice-editor-in-chief of the Italian daily L’Unità. He is the editor-in-chief of the web-magazine Caffeeuropa as well as the webzine www.resetdoc.org He is currently a columnist for the Italian daily La Repubblica and he has been teaching at University La Sapienza, and University Roma Tre. He published La lezione di questo secolo, a book-interview with Karl Popper, Cattiva maestra televisione, (ed.) writings by Karl Popper, John Condry and Pope John Paul II, Libri di Reset, Il Fallimento dei laici furiosi, Rizzoli, 2009. He is one of the founders of ResetDoc.
Fred R. Dallmayr is a Professor at Departments of Political Science and Philosophy University of Notre Dame, Indiana. He is a political theorist specialized in comparative philosophy, particularly non-Western political thought, cross-cultural dialogue, and global human rights. He received NEH and Fulbright fellowships. He is the author of Dialogue among civilizations (Palgrave MacMillan, 2002). In February 2003 he relived Distinguished Scholar Award, presented by International Studies Association (Global Development Section). Among his publications: Dialogue Among Civilizations: Some Exemplary Voices (Palgrave Mcmillian 2002).
Silvio Fagiolo (1938-2011) has been the Italian Ambassador in Germany since February 2001. During his diplomatic carrier he served as First Secretary at the Italian Embassy in Moscow, as Counsellor at the Embassy in Bonn, and as Minister Counsellor at the Italian embassy in Washington. He has been Permanent Representative at the European Union in Brussels. From 2005 he is a Professor of International Relationship at Luiss University in Rome.
Abdou Filali-Ansary has been the director of the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilizations at Aga Khan University in London until 2010. He serves on the advisory board of several academic and cultural institutions. He is a member of the Journal of Democracy’s editorial board, ad co-founder of the bilingual Arabic and French journal Prologues: revue maghrebine du livre.
Maria Teresa Fumagalli Beonio Brocchieri serves as professor of Medieval philosophy at Milan University. Her publications include: Il pensiero politico medievale (Laterza, 2004), and Federico II. Ragione e fortuna (Laterza, 2005).
Nina zu Fürstenberg is the founder and Chair of Reset-Dialogues on Civilizations Foundation. She has been focusing for years on the study of Islam and on the promotion of intercultural dialogue, both working as a journalist for the cultural magazine «Reset». She edited Euro-Islam. L’integrazione mancata by Bassam Tibi, Lumi dell’Islam. Nove intellettuali musulmani parlano di libertà and Europa laica e puzzle religioso with Krzysztof Michalski. She is the author of Chi ha paura di Tariq Ramadan. L’Europa di fronte al riformismo islamico, also German version (2008, Herder Verlag).
Timothy Garton Ash is a Professor of European Studies in the University of Oxford, Isaiah Berlin Professorial Fellow at St Antony’s College, Oxford, and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He has received several honours and awards. He is a regular contributor to the New York Review Books. Among his books: Free World (2004); and, most recently, Facts are Subversive: Political Writing from a Decade without a Name (2009).
Anthony Giddens, former director of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) which he led from 1997 to 2003, he was previously a fellow and professor of Sociology at King's College, Cambridge. In 1985, he co-founded the academic publishing house Polity Press. He has served as an advisor to British Prime Minister Tony Blair and currently he serves as Emeritus Professor at the London School of Economics. His most recent books include: Europe In The Global Age. Over to You, Mr Brown - How Labour Can Win Again (2007), The Politics of Climate Change (2009) and Sociology (2009, Sixth Edition)
Vartan Gregorian has been the president of Carnegie Corporation of New York since 1997. He previously served as president of Brown University and director of the Public Library of New York. He serves on several boards and received many awards and honours including the National Humanities Medal (1998) and the Medal of Freedom (2004). He is the author of Islam: a Mosaic, not a Monolith (Brooking Institution Press, 2003) and he is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts of Sciences. Among his publications Mosaico Islam. Alcune cose essenziali che dobbiamo smettere di ignorare (2006).
Renzo Guolo serves as professor of Sociology of Islam at Turin University. He writes for the Italian daily La Repubblica. His research interests focus on issues concerning the relationship between religion and politics, contemporary fundamentalisms, conflict and integration in multicultural society and the cultural dimension of globalization. His books include Il Partito di Dio. L’islam radicale contro l’Occidente (Guerini, 2004), I fondamentalismi (Laterza 2002), America/Islam (Donzelli, 2003) e Il volto del Nemico: fondamentalismi e religione (Eut, 2006), Generazione del fronte e altri saggi sociologici sull’Iran (Guerini e Associati, 2008).
Hassan Hanafi is a Professor of Philosophy and a leading authority on modern Islam. Hanafi studied at the Sorbonne in Paris. Since 1967, he has been Professor of Philosophy in Cairo, as well as a visiting professor at universities in France, the United States of America, Belgium, Kuwait and Germany. He is also a member of the Association for Intercultural Philosophy, which encourages a dialogue among philosophers from all over the world. He has a long list of publications, including translations of Western academic texts on philosophy, culture, and religion into Arabic. Hassan Hanafi is the Secretary-General of the Egyptian Philosophical Society. Hanafi is the author of 30 books in French, English, and Arabic including: Contemporary Issues, Volume I on Arabic thought (1976) and Volume II on Western thought (1977); Tradition and Modernism (1980).
Ramin Jahanbegloo is an Iranian-Canadian philosopher. He lived in Iran for several years, and he has been a researcher at the French Institute for Iranian Studies and a fellow at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. In 2006-07, was Rajni Kothari Professor of Democracy at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in New Delhi, India. In April 2006 Dr. Jahanbegloo was arrested in Tehran Airport charged with preparing a velvet revolution Iran. He was placed in solitary confinement for four months and released on bail. He is presently a Professor of Political Science and a Research Fellow in the Centre for Ethics at University of Toronto. Among his books Conversations with Isaiah Berlin, Penser la Nonviolence, Iran: Between Tradition and Modernity and and very recently The Spirit of India.
Jörg Lau is editor of the German weekly paper Die Zeit, based in the Berlin office. He writes about foreign politics, integration and immigration issues and recently has been focusing on cultural debates about the role of religion and the dialogue between the “West” and “Islam”. Prior to his position at Die Zeit, he was in charge of the literary desk at Die Tageszeitung, a Berlin based daily paper. He has written a biography of German poet and essayist Magnus Enzensberger, published by Suhrkamp in 2000.
Amos Luzzatto, physician and essayst, is the president of the Italian Union of the Jewish communities. He has been reconfirmed for a second term until 2006. He defines himself as a “physician and historian of Jewish culture”. He enlisted in many conferences and lectures on this topic, he also taught on Jewish readings by the department of History of the Religions (University of Venice). Currently, he’s the President of the Primo Levi Foundation. Among his publications: Autocoscienza e identità ebraica, in Storia d'Italia. Annali, XI.2 (1997), Una lettura ebraica del Cantico dei cantici (Firenze, 1997), Il posto degli ebrei (Einaudi, 2003), A proposito di laicità. Dal punto di vista ebraico (Effatà, 2008), Libertà (Emi, 2008).
Piergaetano Marchetti is one of the most notable Italian notary public. He is the chairman of RCS Media Group and RCS Quotidiani. He serves as Professor of Commercial Law at Bocconi University of Milan where he also serves as pro-rector. He also wrote several books on private and commercial law and has been an advisor for several institutions according to publishing and regulations matters.
Krzysztof Michalski (1948-2013) was the Rector of the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen in Vienna, and co-chaired at the Interuniversity Centre in Dubrovnik on Hermeneutics and the Arts, worked as Fellow Commoner of Churchill College in England; as a Thyssen Fellow at the University of Heidelberg, and as Visiting Professor of Philosophy at the University of Vienna. In 1986, Michalski was appointed Visiting Professor and in 1990 Professor of Philosophy at Boston University. Pope John Paul II’s last book, Memoria e Identità (Rizzoli 2004), derived from a dialogue between Tischner and him during the Castelgandolfo Seminars which Michalski organized.
Francesco Micheli is a member of the board of several companies and cultural institutions. In Italy he has managed successful economical and financial initiatives: the acquisition and development of Finarte, the creation of of Fastweb, e.Biscom and Genextra.
Avishai Margalit is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is currently the George Kennan Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He has just been awarded the 2007 Emet Prize by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for his work in political thought, ethics, and philosophy. Margalit has published widely in various philosophical journals, on a variety of philosophical topics, including philosophy of language, logical paradoxes and rationality, social and political philosophy, and the philosophy of religion. His most recent book is Occidentalism: The West in the Eyes of Its Enemies (with Ian Buruma). He is a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books. He is member of the scientific committee of Reset-DoC.
Andrea Riccardi is the founder of the Community of Sant’Egidio, a worldwide known laique Christian community. He serves as professor of History of Christianity and History of Religions at the Third University of Rome. He was among the mediators in the negotiates that, after 16 years of war, brought the peace back to Mozambic. In 2004 he won the Balzan Award for Peace. Recently he was awarded in Aquisgrana with the renewed “Carlo Magno Award”. Among his last publications, L' inverno più lungo. 1943-44: Pio XII, gli ebrei e i nazisti a Roma, Laterza 2008 and Paolo. L'uomo dell'incontro - Paoline Editoriale Libri 2008.
Olivier Roy was research director at the CNRS (French National Centre for Scientific Research) in the “Monde Iranien” research unit. He currently lectures at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) and the Institut d'Etudes Politiques (IEP) in Paris. Since 1984, he has acted as a consultant to the French Foreign Ministry. His book Secularism Confronts Islam, Columbia, 2007, offers a perspective on the place of Islam in secular society and looks at the diverse experiences of Muslim immigrants in the West. Roy examines how Muslim intellectuals have made it possible for Muslims to live in a secularized world while maintaining the identity of a "true believer." His last publications is La Sainte Ignorance Le Seuil, 2008.
Otto Schily, founding member of German Green Party, is the Former Minister of Interior of Germany. Today he is fallowing his legal practice again. He has been a member if the Bundestag in these years, active on affairs of former East Germany and coordinating various legal policies of the SPD. He is also Member of the German Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Karl von Schwarzenberg served as Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech republic until 2009. Schwarzenberg was also the Council President (Responsible national minister) of the European Union. Previously he has been member of the Czech Senate. He is the former chancellor of Vaclav Havel at the presidency of the Czech republic and president of the International Helsinki Federation. In 1989, he received together with Lech Wałęsa, the Council of Europe Human Rights Prize. In 2008, he received the Grand Cross of the Federal Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Bassam Tibi is one of the most notable scholars of fundamentalism and Islamic culture. He was Professor for International Relations at Göttingen University. Later he was at Harvard University in a variety of affiliations, the latest from 1998 to 2000 as The Bosch Fellow of Harvard and White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University. He co-authored with Roman Herzog Preventing the clash of civilizations (New York, NY: St. Martin's Press, 1999). Among his publications, Political Islam, World Politics and Europe. Routledge, New York, 2008 and Islam’s Predicament with Cultural Modernity. Religious Reform and Cultural Change Routledge, NY and London, 2008.
Georg Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza is the Chairman of the Thyssen Bornemisza Group (TBG). His schooling took place in Austria and Germany; with university studies completed with a law degree in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1978.Thereafter he joined TBG in various functions in the corporate legal department, in corporate development and as chairman of a quoted German subsidiary. In 1983 Mr. Thyssen was appointed CEO of TBG and in 1991 Chairman and CEO. In 2007 he stepped down as CEO but continues to serve as Chairman of the General Management until today.
Roberto Toscano has been Italian Ambassador in Tehran for the last years and is currently the Italian ambassador in Delhi, India. In the diplomatic carrier since 1969, he directed for several years the activities of the analysis and programming unit of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He published several essays on the topics of human rights and of the ethics of international relationships. He taught International Relationships at LUISS University in Rome. Amongst his books Soviet human rights policy and Perestroika. He is President of the Intercultura Foundation.
Nadia Urbinati is a political theorist who specializes in modern and contemporary political thought and the democratic and anti-democratic traditions. She co-chaired the Columbia University Faculty Seminar on Political and Social Thought and founded and chaired the Workshop on Politics, Religion and Human Rights. She is teaching also at Scuola Normale Superiore Sant'Anna in Pisa. In 2008 the President of the Italian Republic awarded Professor Urbinati as Commendatore della Repubblica (Commander of the Italian Republic) "for her contribution to the study of democracy and the diffusion of Italian liberal and democratic thought abroad." Professor Urbinati is the author of Representative Democracy: Principles and Genealogy (University of Chicago Press 2006).
Umberto Veronesi is the scientific director of the European Institute of Oncology in Milan, Italy. He is one of the main expert in cancer treatment. He received several international awards and eight honorary degrees. He served as Minister of Health in Italy from April 2000 to June 2001. Currently he’s a member of the Italian Parliament. He is the author of several books, among which Il diritto di morire. La libertà del laico di fronte alla sofferenza, Mondadori, 2005 and L'ombra e la luce, Einaudi, 2008.
Michael Walzer is a Professor Emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and editor of the magazine «Dissent». He has written on a wide range of topics, including just and unjust wars, nationalism, ethnicity, economic justice, social criticism, radicalism, tolerance, and political obligation. He is also a contributing editor of The New Republic and a member of the editorial board of Philosophy & Public Affairs. To date he has written 27 books and has published over 300 articles, essays, and book reviews. He is a member of several philosophical organizations including the American Philosophical Society. Among his publications: Just And Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument With Historical Illustrations, Spheres Of Justice: A Defense Of Pluralism And Equality, Arguing About War.