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“Pan-Arabism” is a movement the objective of which is the unification of Arab peoples and nations. This is a modern cultural trend with political finalities, arising as an answer to colonialism and the West’s involvement in the Arab world..

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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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The process resulting in the definition of one’s own identity – hence an “us” – in an oppositional manner by, explicitly or implicitly comparing ourselves with “others”, is considered a universal movement in every society.

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In the strictest sense Enlightenment means the cultural movement of philosophical origins that spread through Europe after the beginning of the 18th Century until the French revolution and that is characterised by trust in reason and its clarifying power.

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Following the conquest of the Americas, the word “mestizo” was used to indicate children born of parents belonging to different races, usually and an American Indian woman and a white man (or vice versa).

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A month of ideas.
Giancarlo Bosetti Editor-in-chief
Association for dialogue and intercultural understanding
Philosophy and Religion
IT Thursday, 12 May 2011


Istanbul Seminars 2011 - Philosophers bridge the Bosphorus

The topic of Istanbul Seminars 2011 is Overcoming the Trap of Resentment. How to counter the politics of fear in an age of migrations and uncertainty? Islam and the West: the challenge of pluralism as a new political attitude to be opposed to the polarization of cultures and identities. The research of antidotes to radicalism and xenophobia. A special focus of this year will be on the role of Islam in the public sphere of democratic countries and Muslim minorities in Europe, particularly the Turkish minority in Germany. The discussion will also touch upon the changes in progress in several Arab countries and their implications for Europe and all the Mediterranean area. More information by clicking on this link.

What are the Istanbul Seminars?

Istanbul Seminars are an annual meeting designed to promote “Close Encounters across all Divides” and to bring together renowned intellectuals and young scholars from all cultural backgrounds to reflect on ways of bridging all divides in matter of culture, religion and politics. The Seminars were established in partnership with Bilgi Istanbul University in order to gather international scholars and students involved in intercultural issues. Istanbul was chosen since its crucial geopolitical and cultural position, also acknowledging the much discussed EU enlargement to Turkey and the growing attention of the Arab world to the Turkish political experience. Thus, Turkey is reasonably going to play a major role once the new sociopolitical scenario in the Arab countries is defined. Over the last three years we discussed “Postsecularism”, “Multiple Jurisdictions” and “Politics of Mutual Learning”. You can check topics, program and speakers clicking on the respective link. The proceedings of Istanbul Seminars 2008 and 2009 are published by the journal Philosophy & Social Criticism 36/3-4, 2010 and the proceedings of Istanbul Seminars 2010 are forthcoming.

This year's Program:


Istanbul Bilgi University – Santral Campus
Eski Silahtaraga Elektrik Santrali
Kazim Karabekir Cad. No. 2/13 Eyüp / Istanbul.
Seminar Room: Santralistanbul E1.301

Thursday, May 19, 2011

10.00 a.m. – 10.20 a.m. Official Greetings
Remzi Sanver, Acting Rector of Bilgi University
Giancarlo Bosetti, Director of Reset-Dialogues on Civilization

10.20 a.m. – 10.40 a.m. Introduction
Nina zu Fürstenberg, President of Reset-Dialogues on Civilizations

11.00 a.m. – 12.30 p.m.
Rajeev Bhargava: The Difficulty of Reconciliation
Abdullahi An-Na'im: Coping with Shared Human Vulnerabilities: The Cultural Mediation of Resentment and Retaliation
Chair: Nina zu Fürstenberg

2.30 p.m. – 4.00 p.m.
ROUNDTABLE: The Roots of Resentment in Politics: between Identity Claims and Economic Fears
The roundtable will be opened with a reading of Charles Taylor's Interculturalism or Multiculturalism.

Abdullahi An-Na’im, Anthony Appiah, Akeel Bilgrami, Seyla Benhabib
Chair: Asaf Akat

4.15 p.m. – 5.00 p.m
Discussion with Young Scholars

Friday, May 20, 2011

10.00 a.m. – 11.30 a.m.
Stefano Allievi: Reactive Identities and Islamophobia. Muslim Minorities and the Challenge of Religious Pluralism in Europe
Zaid Eyadat: Dialoguing Islams: Alternatives and Prospects
Chair: Albena Azmanova

11.45 a.m. – 1.15 p.m.
Beate Rössler: Authenticity, Culture, and Autonomy
Anthony Appiah: Misunderstanding Cultures: Islam and 'the West'
Chair: Banu Bargu

2.30 p.m. – 4.00 p.m.
ROUNDTABLE: Islam, West and the Politics of Fear

Abdou Filali-Ansary, Nilüfer Göle, Ramin Jahanbegloo, Ferda Keskin, Tariq Ramadan, Roberto Toscano
Chair: G. H. Thyssen Bornemisza

4.15 p.m. – 5.00 p.m
Discussion with Young Scholars

Saturday, May 21, 2011

10.00 a.m. - 11.30 a.m.
Ayhan Kaya: Securitization, Politicization and Stigmatization of Migration in the West as a Mode of Governmentality
Jose Casanova: Islam in Europe, Islam in the United States: the Politics of Nativism
Chair: Ayten Gündoğdu

11.45 a.m. – 1.15 p.m.
Dick Howard: The Resistance of Those who Desire not to be Ruled?
David Rasmussen: Post-secularism, Religion and the Crisis of Modernity
Chair: Volker Kaul

3.00 p.m. – 5.00 p.m.
ROUNDTABLE: Immigration and Integration in the European Union and Turkey

Giuliano Amato, Anthony Appiah, Pavel Fischer, Ibrahim Kalin, Ferhat Kentel, Tariq Ramadan
Chair: Nilüfer Göle

Sunday, May 22, 2011

10.00 a.m. – 12.00 p.m.
ROUNDTABLE: Promises, Challenges and Expectations of the 1989 of the Arab World

Giuliano Amato, Abdullahi An-Na’im, Seyla Benhabib, Akeel Bilgrami, Soli Özel, Otto Schily
Chair: Giancarlo Bosetti

12.15 p.m. – 1.45 p.m.
Fred Dallmayr: Radical Changes in the Muslim World: Turkey, Iran, Egypt
Alessandro Ferrara: When Conjecture Fails: Hyperpluralism and the Multivariate Polity
Chair: Maeve Cooke

Monday, May 23, 2011

11.30 a.m. – 1.00 p.m.
Fuat Keyman: Enacting citizenship and democratic consolidation coping with identity politics
Nouzha Guessous: Women rights in Muslim societies: Lessons from the Moroccan experience
Chair: Barbara Henry

2.30 p.m. – 4.00 p.m.
Claus Offe: Political Liberalism, Group Rights, and the Politics of Fear and Trust
Akeel Bilgrami: The Mentality of Identity and the Mentality of Liberalism
Chair: Joseph LaPalombara

4.00 p.m.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

10.00 a.m. – 11.30 a.m.
Open Discussion with Young Scholars and Proposals for Future Editions of the Istanbul Seminars

The following program might be subject to changes. Please consult our website www.istanbulseminars.org for possible changes.

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