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
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.
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.
2014, 6-8 November | Giorgio Cini Foundation and University of Padua.
Minorities and the Global Populist Tide. Democracy and Plural Societies Challenged by Ethno-religious Radicalisms.
International scholars and experts will gather for three days to discuss the political, social, cultural and philosophical aspects related to the issue of “Policies for Minorities” between East and West. The subject of state policies in favour of minorities – be they cultural, ethnic, religious, social or involving gender, in the broadest sense of the word – is a crucial issue in the debate on democracy, in particular when democracy develops in a context of cultural and religious pluralism such as in India and, increasingly, also in Europe. The condition of minorities and the manner in which they are treated at a political, institutional, social and cultural level, is a fundamental litmus test to evaluate the levels of democracy, freedom and justice a political system can boast. And yet, policies implemented ‘in favour’ of minorities to guarantee their protection, non-discrimination, social mobility and adequate democratic representation, remain, now more than ever, not only a controversial subject and one often criticised by everyone. It is above all a subject used by what we shall call ‘majority populism’, from India to Europe to the United States, especially during a crisis, to victimise the majorities and to attack minorities portrayed as parasitic and unfairly privileged by a welfare system that is (and is perceived as) increasingly weak and unfair “because of them.”
2016, 12-14 October, Giorgio Cini Foundation.
Identity and Democracy in the Age of Fear
In October 2016, the international association Reset-Dialogues on Civilizations in collaboration with Giorgio Cini Foundation, Ca’ Foscari University and FIND India-Europe Foundation for New Dialogues will host a discussion in Venice about two trends in the global political discourse across the board: the hardening and radicalization of group identities defined around religion, race or ethnicity, and the shift in the politics of democracies towards anti-élite and populist movements, with a resurgence in nationalism, the growing popularity of illiberal forces, and majoritarian tendencies rising to the surface. Reset Dialogues on Civilizations invite speakers and participants to consider the proliferating inequalities that characterize our political and economic situation today: the gap, ever widening, between citizens and non-citizens (including immigrants, guest workers and refugees) in the democracies of Western Europe; between majority communities and minorities in countries like India and Turkey; and everywhere between those who claim to belong and those trying desperately to lay claim to a share of the rights, resources and life-chances that are accessible to so-called ‘full’ citizens. Economic differences and socio-political conflict between different sectional, religious and caste-based (in India) identities are crucial issues in today’s world. A period of growth and at least promised social mobility seems to be drawing to a close. Together with the welfare crisis, poverty, inequalities becoming chronic problems both in the Eastern and Western countries. Moreover, it appears that now there is no plausible political inspiration, ideology, party or leadership capable of breaking this impasse, whether in Europe, India or the US.
2017 - 2018, New Delhi
Reset Dialogues on Civilizations plans to organise a Conference in New Delhi (Fall 2017 or early 2018) to strenghten its work and research on the evolutions of democracy and pluralism between East and West and promote new high quality publications in partnership with Indian and American Universities and Publishing houses.
THE RUSSIA WORKSHOP
22-23 and 25 June 2015, Berlin | Reset-DoC's first conference on the political culture of Russian elites after 1991.
The Evolution of Russian Political Thought 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?
2016, 31 March - 1 April, Washington DC and New York
Locating 'Conservative Ideology' in Today's Russia
Reset-Dialogues on Civilizations together with the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (George Washington University) presented in Washington and New York the second edition of the "Russia Workshop". Russia presents itself as a new conservative power, and promotes so-called conservative values. What does this term of ‘conservatism’ mean? Can it be considered as the Kremlin’s main political language? What are the main places of ‘production’ of this conservatism, who are its main spokespersons? Can we identify diversity and plurality inside this ‘conservative’ spectrum? What does this tell us about Russian contemporary political culture?
2016, 17-18 June, Venice | Giorgio Cini Foundation
State and Political Discourse in Russia
Organized by Reset-DoC in cooperation with Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice and top American, European and Russian universities and the participation of renowned international scholars, this conference will shed light on several pressing questions about Putin and ‘his’ Russia. What political culture do ‘Tsar’ Putin and his men feed upon and what are the features of their political discourse? Which are the new and old ideological constellations that provide the backdrop for Putin’s words and political choices? What are the cultural and ideological references in Russian conservatism that support Putin and shape his political language? What in today’s Russia are the origins and the fate of liberalism initially oppressed by the Soviet Union, then misinterpreted during the years of openness and that has now apparently vanished? If anything remains of it, who are its representatives? With Putin and perhaps beyond him, post-Soviet Russia’s state organisation appears to be a complex, multi-layered apparatus that is able to shape new discourses and ideologies, interact with old ones, create a narrative and an image of Russia in the world and focus the world’s attention and concern on itself. With the world’s greatest experts on contemporary Russia debating these issues, this year’s event will provide an important opportunity to cast light on these questions.
2017-2018, Turin and Williamsburg
A coming conference on Russian Liberalism and Their Challenges will be organised by Reset DOC in partnership with the University of Turin, the college of William and Mary (Williamsburg, Virginia US) and the George Washignton University at the end of October 2017 (26-27) in Turin. The aim is to strenghten the work and research on Russian Liberalism in order to explore the empirical contextualization of what liberalism meant in different times and the specific moments in which Russian liberals met with challenges as nationalism, patriotism, war and how they coped with them.
A further event of this project will be organised in 2018 or 2019 in partnership with the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg (Virginia, US).
RELIGION BETWEEN EXCLUSIVISM AND DIALOGUES
Preparatory seminars, public conference and publications
The Religions Between Exclusivism and Dialogues research project is conceived as a long-term research and editorial project, involving international scholars and researchers who will be invited to gather in several closed-door research seminars in Europe, the Middle East and the United States, leading to one or two larger public conferences.
Two preliminary meetings for this project have already taken place in Amman, Jordan, in Spring 2014 and Spring 2015, as well as in the United States, on the occasion of the conference “Religious Wars in Early Modern Europe and the Contemporary Islamic Civil War” held at Columbia University, New York, in Fall 2014. Further preparatory seminaries have taken place in Italy, in collaboration with the State University of Milan and the chair of Canon Law (Prof. Silvio Ferrari), on the topic “Conversion, Proselytism and Religious Freedom” (April 2015) and another Conference on the topic “Making Democracy One’s Own: Muslim, Catholic and Secular Perspectives in Dialogue on Democracy, Development, and Peace” was organized in May 2016 in collaboration with the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies; the School of Global Studies of the University of Sussex; the John Cabot University Interfaith Initiative; the University of Notre Dame Rome Global Gateway; the Religions in the Global World program of Sophia University Institute; the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See, the Policy Planning Unit of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
2017, 10-11 October, Trento | Bruno Kessler Foundation
A two-days Public Conference will be organized on October 10th and 11th
2017 in collaboration with Bruno Kessler Foundation and will bring together
experts, academics and practitioners from a wide range of disciplines to discuss the role of religions between two extremes, exclusivism and pluralism, and the ambiguity of religions in expressing both a potential for violence and peace. The conference will aim at rethinking the relations between religions and culture, international affairs, tribal local contexts as well as the legacy of religious imagery in socio-political space. The results of these research activities will be published in English in cooperation with leading American and European academic publishers. To this aim, cooperation and exchanges between Reset-Dialogues on Civilizations, Columbia University (USA), the Bruno Kessler Foundation (Italy), the State University of Milan (Italy) and the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies (Jordan) have already been established.
GENEALOGIES OF PLURALISM IN ISLAMIC THOUGHT
A conference dedicated to the Genealogies of Pluralism in Islamic Thought
will be held at Granada Institute for Higher Education and Research by the
end of 2017. This event brings together international scholars and young
researchers to debate the genealogies of pluralism in Islamic history of ideas, or in Islamic thought in short, with main reference to the Quran, Sunna, theology, usul al-fiqh and legal theories, philosophy, and sufism. Its aim is to revisit the sources of plural history of ideas in Islamic thought, with prospects of further investigating the theme and its current manifestations in Islamic political life and public sphere. The project will end with an edited volume, based on the reviewed papers of the contributing scholars.
A Euro-Arab Initiative for democracy, inclusive secularism and human rights
Starting point: Tunisia
Reset-Dialogues on Civilizations organized two preliminary conferences in
Rome (3 December 2014) and in Tunis (28 January 2015) with European,
Tunisian and American scholars, on the topic “Democratic Transitions: Comparing Experiences” in order to prepare for the Mediterranean Forum project with Arab and European partners. Speakers have discussed the current challenges of Tunisia’s democratic transition as well as the concept of political ‘compromise’ and reciprocal legitimation in politics, when democracy is threatened by radicalization and violence. Why Tunisia? The successful democratic transition of Tunisia after the collapse of the Ben Ali regime is a unique case among today’s post-Arab spring countries, and a case in which the culture and politics of compromise among different actors – especially between seculars and Islamists – have prevented the radicalization of social and religious tensions, resulting in an inclusive
Constitution, a mutual recognition of opponent parties, and free and fair elections. This unique and precious experience has a great potential and could work as an example in different environments, above all in the Arab societies. Thus, the Tunisian case must be better understood everywhere – from Europe to other Arab countries – in order to mobilize support and build
knowledge of the conditions that allow a democratic regime to be created
and consolidated. The Tunisian Exception: a first conference within the framework of the Mediterranean Forum project was organized on November 2015 in Rome in collaboration with LUISS Guido Carli-Department of Political Sciences and LUISS Guido Carli School of Government on “The Tunisian Exception. A Nobel for the Future of Democracy in the Arab World”. The conference aimed at capturing the attention of the Italian and European public opinion on Tunisia’s fundamental experience in the wake of the Nobel Peace Prize that has highlighted the capacity of the Tunisian society and politics to overcome the critical moments of the past years with a crucial agreement among secular and religious political movement and thanks to the very important role played by an active and resolute civil society. The conference explored the specific reasons and features of Tunisia’s ‘success story’ and the role that Europe and the international community play with regards to Tunisia’s exceptional although still fragile democratic transition.
State building in Libya: a second conference was organized in Tunis on
September 30th 2016 in cooperation with the Observatoire Arabe des Religions et des Libertés, and the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East at
the Atlantic Council on the topic “State-building in Libya. Integrating Diversities, Traditions, Citizenship” to open a debate on a real state building process that could point the way to the consolidation of the rule of law within Libya’s borders. The conference offered an exceptional occasion to explore, from a social, political and juridical perspective, the obstacles to a real state building process and the developments that could lead to positive outcomes.
The Casablanca School
An International Symposium on Religious Pluralism, Education and Political Liberties
Reset-Dialogues on Civilizations in cooperation with Association Racines
(Morocco) launches an annual 3-weeks symposium on religious pluralism,
education and political liberties. The main goal of this project is to promote an intellectual native response to the rise of extremist strands of Islamic thought. The project focus on the multiple historical, theological, social, philosophical and legal-constitutional dimensions of the relationship between religion and politics in MENA countries, with a special attention to the role played by education – and religious education in particular – in the historical evolution of this relationship. This initiative will combine an international conference addressing the broader public as well as workshops and ad hoc activities specifically targeting young scholars, researchers, journalist and media professionals, teachers and theologians.
In the context of this framework, the main objectives of the project are: to return a sense of historicity and pluralism in Muslim, Christian and Jewish traditions; to provide a sense of the evolution of the relationship between political power and religion; and to provide a critical perspective on religious teaching as it is perceived and practiced today.
The participants to the symposium will conduct the activities through teaching and discussions based on an interdisciplinary methodology including: the historical evolution of the religion-politics relationship in different national, cultural and religious environments; the theological and philosophical premises of the regulation of this relationship; the impact of the relationship between religion (and religious authorities) and political power on the social evolution of different countries and regions; and the multiplicity of juridical culture(s) and constitutional frameworks regulating the relationship between religion and politics.
Reset-Dialogues on Civilizations plans to publish every year the proceedings
and minutes from the Casablanca
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.
Every year, the minutes of the Istanbul Seminars are published by the renowned academic journal Philosophy&Social Criticism, SAGE Publications (Access the volumes and single articles online: Vol. 36 n.3-4, 2010; Vol. 37 n.4, 2011; Vol. 38 n.4-5, 2012; Vol. 39 n.4-5, 2013; Vol. 40 no.4-5, 2014, Vol. 41 no.4-5, 2015; Vol. 42 no. 4-5, 2016). The volume Toward New Democratic Imaginaries – Istanbul Seminars on Islam, Culture and Politics, edited by Seyla Benhabib and Volker Kaul, gathered nine years of works and dialogues and has been published and presented at Columbia University and Yale University at the beginning of December 2016. The presentation of the book has been carried out by Seyla Benhabib, Giancarlo Bosetti, Jeffrey Alexander, Benjamin Barber, Volker Kaul, Anthony Appiah, Ian Buruma and Charles Taylor. The book will be also presented in Italy on 23rd March 2017 at University of Milan.
The Power State is Back? The Evolution of Russian Political Thought After 1991
Editor: Riccardo Mario Cucciolla, IMT Institute of Advances Studies, Italy
Giancarlo Bosetti: Presenting “The Russia Workshop”.
A new Insight on Contemporary Russia
Preface Riccardo Mario Cucciolla: The Importance
of Understanding Contemporary Russia
Introduction, Timothy J. Colton: What do We Mean
by “Russian Political Thought”?
Toward New Democratic Imaginaries. Istanbul Seminars on Islam, Culture and Politics
Editors: Seyla Benhabib, Yale University, USA
Volker Kaul, LUISS Guido Carli University, Italy
Publisher: Springer International Publishing AG
Preface: Giancarlo Bosetti, Director of Reset-Dialogues on Civilizations
Introduction: Seyla Benhabib
PUBLICATIONS IN PROGRESS
Minorities and Populism: Democracy and Plural Societies Challenged by Ethno-Religious Radicalisms, from Europe to India
A collection of essays analysing the issue of increasingly “pluralist” and fastevolving democracies from Europe, to India, to the United States put under pressure by populist movements, now often expressed by ethnic-religious radicalism, anti-politics, ‘majorities’ expressing resentment against minorities rejection of dialogue and by widespread conflict. This book will be divided into three sections, followed by conclusions.
1. The re-emergence of populism in 21st century democracies
2. Europe’s new populisms between globalization, decline
of welfare and anti-politics
3. Democracy and cultural pluralism: a bond under threat?
The case of India.
Authors: Rajeev Bhargava, Mauro Calise, Marina Calloni, Will Kymlicka
Avishai Margalit, Binalakshmi Nepram, Vincenzo Pace, Mujibur Rehman
Rowena Robinson, Ananya Vajpeyi, Giuseppe Zaccaria
Religions and Violence: Faith, piety and religious beliefs from spreading conflict to building peace
In recent decades, the world has witnessed more and more frequently conflicts that are characterized by a more or less explicit reference to what we commonly call “religion”: the rise of radical Islamist movements in the Middle East (not forgetting the numerous wars with Israel), in Asia, in Africa, the conflicts in Bosnia, Somalia, Nigeria, the revolt of Tamils in Sri Lanka. This along with several different kinds of Islamic terrorist movements (From Boko Haram to Daesh, Afghanistan, Iraq), as well as Hindu and Jewish fundamentalism. At a first glance, the existence of such conflicts and movements seems to endorse the controversial hypothesis expressed by Samuel Huntington in his famous book “The Clash of Civilizations” (1996) according to which the political scenario that opened after the end of the cold war would has been increasingly characterized by clashes in the “divided country” and on “fault lines” (the lines between civilizations). The differences between religions, according to this vision,
necessarily lead to confrontation, and so-called “religious wars” are hardly
solvable because they involve the identity of individuals and their membership, but, at the same time, also a reference to transcendence. For these reasons, conflicts that refer (or are linked to) to a religious background (or maybe it would be better to say “faith”) are often very disruptive. The double aim that inspired this editorial project wants to be in contrast to the mainstream narrative in the media: on the one hand the aim is to understand what the actual role of what we call “religion” from a Western perspective is in this organized violence of recent years, and on the other hand this project aims to reflect and stimulate reflection on the role of religions as peace-builders. Both issues point to a far
more profound aspect which must be taken into account: the ability of religions to interpret and express the ambiguity of the human condition, including its potential for violence and its strategies for interpreting it and handling it. The book will be divided into four parts: I. Politics; II. Sociology of religions; III. Anthropological Philosophy; IV. Sciences of religions
Editor: Debora Tonelli and Pasquale Annicchino, Researchers
Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Italy
Authors: William Cavanaugh, Abdelmajid Charfi, David Cook, Paolo Costa,
Hamid Dabashi, Wendy Doniger, Alessandro Ferrari, Silvio Ferrari, Samir Frangieh, Mark Juergensmeyer, Gilles Kepel, Alberto Melloni, Martha Nussbaum, Fabio Petito, Perry Schmidt Leukel, Abdolkarim Soroush, Debora Spini, Michael Walzer, Robert Yelle
Muslim Reformism. A historical critique
This book provides an overview of Muslim reformism, its advent, its promises and its limitations, the reasons for its faltering and those for its return, its fundamental methodological elements and its problems, etc. A “critical” history of reformism is more than ever useful in order to really and authentically understand the debates in course in the Muslim world, as well as in Muslim communities in the West. The issues addressed are the same that continue to shake the Arab world following the revolutions, in particular the problem posed by the “civility of the state” (madaniyyat al-dawla), developed over a century ago by Muhammad ‘Abduh, one of Muslim reformism’s figure heads and often mentioned in this book. The book was already published in French and Italian (2011, 2013, 190 pages) and only needs to be translated and updated.
Mohamed Haddad is currently the UNESCO Chair in Comparative Studies
of Religion at La Manouba University’s Faculty of Humanities in Tunis. He is
vice-president of the Fondation Espace du savoir Europe -Méditerranée
(WEMI- Stuttgart), and has served as vice-dean of the Faculty of Humanities in Manouba university (2002-2005). He is the founder and chair of the Observatoire Arabe des Religions et des Libertés, based in Tunis. Haddad focused his concentration of study on seeking reconciliation between Islamic legacy and modernity. He received his Ph.D. in Arabic and Islamic Studies, Université de la Sorbonne nouvelle in Paris. He has published numerous works, including: Religions et réformes religieuses (Ed.), 2007; Les règles d’une pensée éclairée (ar), 2009; La notion de sécularité, 2009; L’enseignement du fait religieux à l’ère de la mondialisation (Ed.) 2009; Petit traité d’histoire de religions, 2010
–L’islamisme tunisien (Préface, ar, 2011) Una Riforma religiosa nell’Islam è
ancora possibile ? (it), 2011.
State and Political Discourse in Russia
The collapse of the Soviet Union coincided with the delegitimization of Marxism- Leninism as the state and political discourse in post-Soviet Russia. Nowadays, instead of building an official and explicit ideology, the Russian political space offers a multiplicity of political discourses associated with the contemporary state and its various organs – such as the Party, the presidential administration, the bureaucracies and media – or with the different places of ideological production – such as scholars, think tanks and other intellectuals – revealing plurality and fluidity within their political languages. The main neo-conservativist ideological constructs promoted by Moscow, its statism, counterrevolution and anti-Maidanism, traditional values, sovereign democracy, unique civilization, nation, real Europe etc. apparently have correlation in terms of mutual influences, adaptations, imitation or rejection with similar notions existing in the West. As well, the appearent demise of Russian notions of Liberalism; the multiplicity of ‘liberalisms’ in contemporary Russia; the influence of Soviet
experience, perestroika, the uncertainity of the 1990s and of Western thought and foreign policies on Russia’s liberal ideas and expectations; thus determine the role of the remaining institutions and actors promoting political, economic, and constitutional liberalism and manifestss an alternative discourse that, although weakened, is still credible.
Editor: Riccardo Mario Cucciolla
Authors: Nadezda Azhgikhina, Alexey Barabashev, Anton Barbashin
Giancarlo Bosetti, Riccardo Mario Cucciolla, Maria Engström, Nina Khrushcheva, Mark Kramer, Olga Malinova, Andrei Melville and Vladislav Zubok