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The 20th Century was par excellence the century of nationalisms. It is sufficient to remember that the causes of the two world wars were directly linked to the consequences of nationalist doctrine exalting all that belongs to one’s own nation..

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It is possible to participate in a brutal event – such as gang rape, lynching, an ethnic cleansing operation – or in a humanitarian event – fund raising, collective adoption, sacrificing oneself in an exchange of prisoners..

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

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Transnational migrations and global interdependence challenge the liberalism of western countries, which is becoming increasingly national and less universal.

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While empathy breaks down the barriers of borders, ethnocentrism – the supposed superiority of one’s own cultural world – is addressed at strengthening them, and if possible, at raising new ones.

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A month of ideas.
Giancarlo Bosetti Editor-in-chief
Association for dialogue and intercultural understanding
Resetdoc Videos
IT Friday, 1 June 2012

Are Democracies Still Sovereign?

Seyla Benhabib, Craig Calhoun, Fuat Keyman, David Rasmussen, Joseph LaPalombara

The fourth Roundtable of Reset-Dialogues Istanbul Seminars 2012 (May 19-24 2012) "The promises of democracy in troubled times" took place on May 22nd, 2012 at Istanbul Bilgi University. Seyla Benhabib, Craig Calhoun, Fuat Keyman, David Rasmussen and Joseph LaPalombara discuss the subject "Are Democracies still sovereign? The Challenge of Transnational Institutions". More roundtables will be screened online soon.
More info about Istanbul Seminars 2012 here

"Are Democracies still Sovereign? The Challenge of Transnational Institutions"


Seyla Benhabib
is Eugene Meyer Professor of Political Science and Philosophy at Yale University and Director of its Program in Ethics, Politics and Economics. She has been awarded the Ernst Bloch Prize in 2009. Her research ranges from discussions of communicative ethics, to democracy and difference, to identities, allegiances and affinities, and gender, citizenship and immigration. Among her recent publications are The Claims of Culture: Equality and Diversity in the Global Era (2002), The Rights of Others. Aliens, Citizens and Residents (2004) and Another Cosmopolitanism: Hospitality, Sovereignty and Democratic Iterations, with responses by Jeremy Waldron, Bonnie Honig and Will Kymlicka (2006). She is member of the Scientific Committee of Reset-Dialogues on Civilizations and the Executive Committee of Istanbul Seminars.

Craig Calhoun has served as the president of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) since 1999. He also holds the title of University Professor of the Social Sciences at New York University and is the founding director of NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge. Calhoun has written on culture and communication, technology and social change, social theory and politics, and on the social sciences themselves. His most recent books include Cosmopolitanism and Belonging (2011), and Nations Matter: Culture, History and the Cosmopolitan Dream (2007), and the University of Chicago Press is publishing a collection of his historical essays, entitled The Roots of Radicalism.

Fuat Keyman is the Director of Istanbul Policy Center and Professor of International Relations at Sabanci University in Istanbul. His work focuses mainly on the theories of globalization and the notion of citizenship. He also studies the place of Turkey in world politics as well as the problems and the future of Turkey. He is a weekly contributor to Radikal. He is the author of Transforming Turkey in a Globalizing World; Democratization, Globalization (Upcoming), Competing Nationalism in Turkey (2010), Turkey in a Globalizing World (2010), Remaking Turkey, Globalization, Alternative Modernities and Democracy (2008), Turkish Politics in a Changing World (2007) and Citizenship in a Global World: European Questions and Turkish Experiences (2005).


David Rasmussen is Professor of Philosophy at Boston College. His fields of interest are contemporary continental philosophy, social and political philosophy. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of Philosophy & Social Criticism. His books include: Reading Habermas; Universalism vs. Communitarianism in Ethics; Handbook of Critical Theory; Jürgen Habermas: The Foundations of the Habermas Project; Jürgen Habermas: Law and Politics; Jürgen Habermas: Ethics; Jürgen Habermas: Epistemology and Truth; Critical Theory Vol. I-IV.

Joseph LaPalombara is the Arnold Wolfers Professor of Political Science and Management Emeritus, and a Senior Research Scholar in the Center for Comparative Research at Yale University. His current research is focused on the relationship between public policies, global corporations and the flow of foreign direct investment to less-developed countries. He is editor-in-chief of Italy Italy magazine. His publications include: Politics Within Nations (1974); Democracy, Italian Style (1987); Multinational Corporations and Developing Countries (1981); Stati uniti? Italia e USA a confronto (2009). He is Director of Reset-Dialogues USA.

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