Free Speech, Its Primacy and Challenges
Speaker Bios


Gilbert Achcar grew up in Lebanon, researched and taught in Beirut, Paris, and Berlin, and is currently Professor of Development Studies and International Relations at SOAS, University of London. His many books, published in over 15 languages, include: The Clash of Barbarisms: The Making of the New World DisorderThe Arabs and the Holocaust: The Arab-Israeli War of Narratives, and The People Want: A Radical Exploration of the Arab Uprising.


Giuliano Amato is a Judge of the Constitutional Court of Italy, since September 2013. He served as Secretary of the Treasury in Italy and was the Italian Prime Minister in 1992-93 and in 2000-01. From 2006 to 2008 he served as the Minister of the Interior. He was the vice-chairman of the Convention for the European Constitution. He has chaired the Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana Treccani and the Centro Studi Americani (Center for American Studies) in Rome. A Professor of Law in several Italian universities and abroad, he has written books and articles on the economy and public institutions, European antitrust, personal liberties, comparative government, European integration and humanities. He served as the Chair of Reset DOC’s scientific board from 2003 to 2013.


Masooda Bano’s primary area of interest rests in studying the role of ideas and beliefs in development processes and their evolution and change. Particular emphasis is on understanding the dynamic interplay between material and psycho-social incentives and the consequences of this for individual choices and collective development outcomes. Professor Bano builds large-scale comparative studies combining ethnographic and survey data.

Professor Bano has recently completed a five-year major research project — Changing Structures of Islamic Authority and Consequences for Social Change – A Transnational Review. Building on her earlier work where she argues that in order for beliefs to persist they must have everyday relevance, the project studied how both old and new centres of Islamic authority are responding to changed expectations of Muslim youth in Muslim-majority countries as well as those living in the West.

Prior to this Professor Bano held an ESRC/AHRC flagship Ideas and Beliefs Fellowship and an ESRC Post-Doctoral Fellowship. Currently, she is the Principal Investigator for the research package on Political Economy of Implementation (PET-I) under Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE) — a £36.8 million research project funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) to understand the causes of learning crisis in the developing world.

Other completed major studies resulted in two book monographs, The Rational Believer: Choices and Decisions in the Madrasas of Pakistan (Cornell University Press) and Breakdown in Pakistan: How Aid is Eroding Institutions for Collective Action (Stanford University Press).

Between 2008 and 2016, Professor Bano advised on the largest ever education sector support programme rolled out by the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) in Nigeria, leading a number of studies to understand existing education choices in the northern states of Nigeria. She has also designed specific interventions to increase children’s access to primary education under this project, one of which has been profiled by ESRC as being amongst the best examples of social science impact. She has participated in many media interviews including those for BBC World, the BBC World Service (English and Urdu), BBC Radio 4 and her research has also featured in The Guardian (UK), The New York Times (USA), the ESRC website, Oxford University publications, and the Times Education Supplement. Professor Bano is William Golding Senior Fellow at Brasenose College.


Gautam Bhatia is a D.Phil (Law) Candidate at the University of Oxford. He read for the BCL and the MPhil at Oxford (2011 – 2013), and for an LLM at the Yale Law School (2014). He is the author of Offend, Shock, or Disturb: Freedom of Speech under the Indian Constitution (OUP 2015) and The Transformative Constitution (HarperCollins India 2019). He practiced for four years as a lawyer in New Delhi, and was part of the legal teams challenging the constitutionality of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (prohibiting same-sex relations) and the Aadhaar project (India’s national biometric identification scheme). His work has been cited by the Supreme Court of India, and by various High Courts.


Matteo Bonotti is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Monash University, having previous taught at Cardiff University, Queen’s University Belfast, and the University of Edinburgh. Matteo’s research interests include linguistic justice, free speech, political liberalism, food justice, and the normative dimensions of partisanship. These interests are diverse but unified by a common underlying theme: ethical pluralism and cultural diversity in contemporary societies, and the question of how the state should respond to them. Matteo’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in such journals as the American Political Science ReviewThe Journal of PoliticsPolitical Studies, the Journal of Common Market Studies, the Journal of European Public Policy, the Journal of Applied PhilosophyLaw and Philosophy, and the European Journal of Political Theory. His monograph Partisanship and Political Liberalism in Diverse Societies was published by Oxford University Press in 2017. Matteo is currently Primary Chief Investigator (PCI) on a 2-year project funded by the Templeton Religion Trust and the University of Oklahoma examining civility and incivility in public life in Australia, the USA and the UK.


Giancarlo Bosetti is the chair and founder of Reset DOC 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 of He is currently a columnist for the Italian daily La Repubblica and he has been teaching sociology of communication 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 and others Among his books: Spin. Trucchi e Tele-imbrogli della Politica, Marsilio, 2007; Il fallimento dei laici furiosi (2009); La verità degli altri. La scoperta del pluralismo in dieci storie, Bollati Boringhieri, 2020.


Daniele Brombal is Associate Professor at the Department of Asian and North African Studies at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. His research focuses on China’s policy making processes and public participation in the fields of sustainability, environmental protection, and public health. Between 2007 and 2010, he was Research Consultant and Programme Officer at the Directorate General for Development Cooperation – Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy (Embassy of Italy in Beijing). He was 2009 Fellow of the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs (UN/DESA). Between 2012 and 2015, he was visiting fellow of the EU FP-7 Marie Curie IRSES project ‘Global Partners in Contaminated Land Management’ (GLOCOM) at the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences (CRAES) and Beijing Normal University (BNU). Between July, 2012 and March, 2014 he was Project Manager at the Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change (CMCC). From 2013 to 2015, he was Member of the Board of the international NGO Asia Onlus. His works are published on Environmental Impact Assessment Review, Land Use Policy, Journal of Cleaner Production, Health Research Policy and Systems, International Journal for Equity in Health.


Marina Calloni has always tried to make inter-cultural and multi-disciplinary research activities interact with dynamic teaching methods, according to an international perspective and an interest in local realities, dealing with political theory, defense of human rights, gender issues. Since 2002 she has been full professor of Political and Social Philosophy at the Department of Sociology and Social Research – University of Milan-Bicocca, as winner of the national competition aimed at the return of Italian scholars employed abroad. After obtaining a degree in Philosophy from the University of Milan, she obtained a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Pavia and a PhD in Political and Social Sciences from the European University Institute of Florence. She was a fellow at the University of Frankfurt (working with Jürgen Habermas). For six years she was Senior Researcher and Director of the “International Network for Research on Gender” at the Gender Institute of the London School of Economics and Political Science in London. Since 2016 she has been vice president of the Italian Society of Political Philosophy, of which she was co-founder and since 2018 he has been president of the National Scientific Qualification Commission in political philosophy. She has had numerous government appointments in the field of gender-based violence; among the most recent are: In 2020 she was appointed by the Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte as a member of the “Committee of experts in economic and social matters”, and therefore participated in the drafting of the Report and Work Sheets, published in Initiatives for the relaunch ” Italy 2020-2022 “.The same year she obtained the appointment of consultant for the “Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry on Femicide, as well as on all forms of gender-based violence” at the Senate of the Republic, with a particular focus on prevention in contrast gender-based violence. In 2021 she was appointed by as delegate of the Ministry of University and Research at the national control cabinet for the drafting of the new national anti-violence strategic plan, at the Ministry for Equal Opportunities and Family. Also, in 2021 she was appointed as an expert by the Director of RAI Radio 1 for the national project “No Women No Panel – Without Women No Talks”, a campaign promoted by the European Parliament. Since 2018, she has collaborated with the Council of Europe in the framework of the Istanbul Convention. In 2020 she was Alexander Bodini Fellow in Transitions from Globalism to Nationalism and Populism at the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America – Columbia University, New York. She has been a temporary professor at the universities of Bremen, Vienna, Lugano, Hannover, Kurume; Erasmus Professor at the universities of Lødź, Frankfurt, Cork, Bucharest; Skopje. In 2011 she obtained a distinguished chair – funded by the Fulbright USA-Italy Commission – at the University of Notre Dame (Indiana, USA). Prof. Calloni has also delivered talks and participated in conferences all over the world. This year she curated the volume “Razza e Istruzione. Le leggi antiebraiche del 1938″. 


José Casanova is Emeritus Professor in the Departments of Sociology and Theology at Georgetown University since August 2020 and senior fellow at the Berkley Center, where his work focuses on globalization, religions, and secularization. He is also President of the advisory board of Reset DOC. He has published works on a broad range of subjects, including religion and globalization, migration and religious pluralism, transnational religions, and sociological theory. His best-known work, Public Religions in the Modern World (1994), has become a modern classic in the field and has been translated into several languages, including Japanese, Arabic, and Turkish. In 2012, Casanova was awarded the Theology Prize from the Salzburger Hochschulwochen in recognition of his life-long achievement in the field of theology.


David Elstein is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Asian Studies at the State University of New York, New Paltz. He received his B.A. from Oberlin College and M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy at Academia Sinica in Taiwan. His research focuses on contemporary Chinese philosophy, particularly Confucian political thought, as well as comparative philosophy. He has published articles in Philosophy East and West, DaoContemporary Political Theory, and European Journal of Political Philosophy. He is the author of Democracy in Contemporary Confucian Philosophy (Routledge, 2015) and editor of Dao Companion to Contemporary Confucian Philosophy (Springer, 2021).


Alessandro Ferrara is Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Rome Tor Vergata and teaches Legal Theory at Luiss Guido Carli University in Rome. He is Co-Director of the Prague Conference on Philosophy and Social Science. Among his recent volumes are: with Frank Michelman, Legitimation by Constitution. A Dialogue on Political Liberalism (OUP, forthcoming 2021); Rousseau and Critical Theory (2017) and The Democratic Horizon. Hyperpluralism and the Renewal of Political Liberalism (2014). He’s also the author of “«Most Reasonable for Humanity»: Legitimation Beyond the State”, in Jus Cogens, 2019, and “Unconventional Adaptation and the Authenticity of the Constitution”, in R.Albert, Revolutionary Constitutionalism (2020). He has widely published on such topics as judgment and exemplarity as sources of normativity, critical theory, religion in a post-secular society and on the Rawlsian paradigm of political liberalism. Within that paradigm, he’s currently working on a book on the opposition of sequential and serial conceptions of democratic popular sovereignty.


Amb. Patrizio Fondi held different roles in the Italian and European diplomacy, during his 35 years of career. He was Ambassador of the European Union to the United Arab Emirates (2015-2019) and  Ambassador of Italy to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (2013-2015). He also served as Diplomatic Advisor of the Italian Minister of Culture (2008-2013) and  Deputy Permanent Representative of Italy to UNESCO in Paris (2004-2008). He worked as well in the Italian  Diplomatic Missions  in Stockholm, New York  (United Nations) and Tirana. At the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rome, he served in the Department for Culture, in the Department for Development Cooperation and in the Department for Political and Security Affairs Affairs (in particular as Special Envoy of the Director General between September 2019 and July 2020). At present  – in addition to his academic activities with the Alma Mater University in Bologna (cultural diplomacy) e Tor Vergata University in Rome ( diplomatic negotiation) –  he is a member of the Board of Directors of the Business Council Italy-United Arab Emirates and works with the think tank Reset Dialogues on Civilizations.


Daniel Gamper is Professor of Political Philosophy at the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona and Visiting Professor at Università Suor Orsola Benincasa di Napoli. Author of Laicidad europea. Apuntes de filosofía política postsecular (Bellaterra 2016) and Las mejores palabras. De la libre expresión (Premio Anagrama de Ensayo 2019, Italian translation Le parole migliori, Treccani 2021). He has translated works of Nietzsche, Scheler, Habermas, Tugendhat, Butler, Croce and others. Writes op-ed in the Catalan newspaperAra.


Timothy Garton Ash is Professor of European Studies, University of Oxford, Isaiah Berlin Professorial Fellow at St Antony’s College, Oxford, and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is the author of ten books of contemporary history and political writing, including most recently Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World and a third edition of The Magic Lantern: The Revolution of ’89 Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, & Prague, with a new chapter analysing developments over the last 30 years. He also writes a widely syndicated column on international affairs in the Guardian. In 2017, he was awarded the International Charlemagne Prize for services to European unity.


Amel Grami is a Tunisian Islamologist, professor of ‘Gender Studies’ at the Faculty of Letters, Arts and Human Sciences of the University de la Manouba in Tunisia. She is a member of the Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL), which is part of the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN) for Women’s Rights, Peace & Security (founded in 2006). She was awarded the Ordre de la République by President Béji Essebsi on 13 August 2016, on the occasion of National Women’s Day.
Among her publications we may mention her study on apostasy in modern Islamic thought, published in Arabic in 2006, and subsequently translated into English and French: Apostasy in Contemporary Islamic Thought, Cenatra, Tunis 2014; L’apostasie dans la pensée islamique moderne, Nirvana, Tunis 2017. Professor Grami is also the author of an important study on gender difference in Arab-Muslim culture, published in Arabic in 2006, and of another gender study on on women and terrorism, in collaboration with Monia Arfaoui, released in 2017.


Elizabeth Suzanne Kassab studied philosophy at the American University of Beirut and the University of Fribourg (Switzerland). She taught in Lebanon at the American University of Beirut and Balamand University, and has been a Visiting Professor at a number of Universities in Europe and the US, including Bonn, Columbia, Yale, and Brown. Since 2016 she has been Associate Professor of Philosophy at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, Qatar. Her research interests lie in modern and contemporary history of Arab thought and culture. Kassab is the author of Contemporary Arab Thought. Cultural Critique in Comparative Perspective (2010) and Enlightenment on the Eve of Revolution. The Egyptian and Syrian Debates (2019), both published by Columbia University Press.


Volker Kaul teaches political philosophy at the Department of Political Science at LUISS ‘Guido Carli’ University in Rome and is research associate at the observatory Ethos Luiss Business School. He is also lecturer at the CEA Rome Center. Moreover, he coordinates the research area “East–West Dialogues” for the foundation Reset–Dialogues on Civilizations. His work focuses on collective identities. Last year, he published the book Identity and the Difficulty of Emancipation for Springer and co-edited two further books on Populism and Minorities – Critical Perspectives from South Asia and Europe (Springer) as well as What is Pluralism? (Routledge). In 2016, he published together with Seyla Benhabib a book entitled Toward New Democratic Imaginaries – Istanbul Seminars on Islam, Culture and Politics for Springer. Since 2010, he is co-editing a yearly special issue of the journal Philosophy & Social Criticism on the proceedings of the Istanbul/Venice Seminars.


Matthew H. Kramer is Professor of Legal & Political Philosophy at Cambridge University and a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge.  He is Director of the Cambridge Forum for Legal & Political Philosophy, and he has been a Fellow of the British Academy since 2014.  His seventeen authored books and four co-edited books range over many areas of legal, political, and moral philosophy.  The most recently published book of his is Freedom of Expression as Self-Restraint (Oxford University Press, 2021).  He was a Visiting Professor at Hebrew University of Jerusalem in April 2009, and a Visiting Professor at Tel Aviv University in March 2012.


Jonathan Laurence is Professor of Political Science at Boston College and the director of Reset Dialogues US. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and an affiliate of the Center for European Studies at Harvard. He is author of assorted articles and three books: Coping with Defeat: Islam, Catholicism and the State (2021), The Emancipation of Europe’s Muslims (2012) and Integrating Islam: Religious and Political Challenges in Contemporary France (2006). He was a nonresident fellow at the Brookings Institution from 2003-2018. His latest book, Coping with Defeat: Sunni Islam, Roman Catholicism, and the Modern State, will be published in June of this year.


Tiziana Lippiello is the first female president of Ca’ Foscari University and Professor of Classical Chinese, Religions, and Philosophy of China at the Department of Asian and North African Studies, Ca’ Foscari University. She is also member of the advisory board of Reset DOC. She has been Head of the Department of Asian and North African Studies (2011- 2014) and Head of the Department of East Asian Studies (2009- 2011) at Ca’ Foscari University. From 2008 to 2011 she has been Delegate for the relations with the International Institutions in Venice and from 2006 to 2011 Member of the Board of Directors of Venice International University. Amongst other she published the book Il confucianesimo (2010) and Auspicious Omens and Miracles in Ancient China. Han, Three Kingdoms and Six Dynasties (2001) and “Why was Shen Yue so Fond of Auspicious Signs” in S. Katz, “Divination and the Strange” (forthcoming). Professor Lippiello is also Director of the Series La fenice, Classici cinesi, Marsilio Editore Venezia, Director of the Series Sinica venetiana, Edizioni Ca’ Foscari and in the Academic Board of the Collegio Internazionale Ca’ Foscari. She is also Coordinator of the Project RobinBA (The Role of books in non bibliometric areas), Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Macerata University, University of South Brittany, sponsored by ANVUR.


Stephen Macedo writes and teaches on political theory, ethics, public policy, and law, especially on topics related to liberalism, democracy and citizenship, diversity and civic education, religion and politics, and the family and sexuality. He is author of Just Married: Same-Sex Couples, Monogamy, and the Future of Marriage (Princeton University Press, 2015).  In it, he defends same-sex marriage, marriage as a civil institution in law, and monogamy, from the standpoints of justice and the human good. He is currently writing a book on justice and migration.From 2001-2009, he was Director of the University Center for Human Values. As founding director of Princeton’s Program in Law and Public Affairs (1999-2001), he chaired the Princeton Project on Universal Jurisdiction, helped formulate the Princeton Principles on Universal Jurisdiction, and edited Universal Jurisdiction: International Courts and the Prosecution of Serious Crimes Under International Law (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004).  As vice president of the American Political Science Association he was first chair of its standing committee on Civic Education and Engagement and principal co-author of Democracy at Risk: How Political Choices Undermine Citizen Participation, and What We Can Do About It (Brookings, 2005). His other books include Diversity and Distrust: Civic Education in a Multicultural Democracy (Harvard U. Press, 2000); and Liberal Virtues: Citizenship, Virtue, and Community in Liberal Constitutionalism (Oxford U. Press, 1990). He is co-author and co-editor of American Constitutional Interpretation, with W. F. Murphy, J. E. Fleming, and S. A. Barber (Foundation Press, 6th edition 2018).   He is current President of the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy, which publishes the annual NOMOS volumes, and was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014.


Pratap Bhanu Mehta has been vice-chancellor of Ashoka University and president, Centre Policy Research, New Delhi, one of India’s top think tanks. Before he started engaging with contemporary affairs, he taught political theory at Harvard, New York University and briefly at Jawaharlal Nehru University. He was Member-Convenor of the Prime Minister of India’s National Knowledge Commission, Member of the Supreme Court appointed Lyngdoh Committee on elections in Indian Universities, and has contributed to a number of reports for leading Government of India and International Agencies. He was on the Board of Governors of International Development Research Centre. He was Vice-Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Council on Global Governance. He has also served on the Board of NIPFP, NCAER and NIID. He is on the editorial board of journals such as the American Political Science Review and Journal of Democracy. He received the 2010 Malcolm Adiseshiah Award and the 2011 Infosys Prize for Social Sciences (Political Science and International Relations). He has written extensively on intellectual history, political theory, law,  India’s social transformation and world affairs. Mehta is an editorial consultant to leading national daily Indian Express, and his columns have appeared in dailies including the Financial Times, the Telegraph, the International Herald Tribune, and the Hindu. He is also on the editorial boards of many academic journals, including the American Political Science Review, the Journal of Democracy, and India and Global Affairs.


Toshio Miyake is currently an associate professor in the Department of Asian and North African Studies at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. He was born in Kyoto in Japan. After attending schools in Germany and Italy, he graduated in Japanese studies at the Ca ‘Foscari University of Venice (1997), and then specialized in sociology, media studies and cultural studies at the University of Osaka and Ritsumeikan in Kyoto (MA 2000). and in Japanese literature at Ca ‘Foscari (PhD 2005). He has taught Japanese culture, society and language in various Italian universities (Venice, Urbino, Perugia, Calabria, 2003-08) and conducted field research in Japan on popular cultures (youth and manga subcultures) and on representations of Italy in as postdoc fellow at Kyoto University and ICU, Tokyo (2008-10). He returns to Venice as the first Ca ‘Foscari winner of a European Marie Curie International Incoming project (2011-13) and receives the Ca’ Foscari Research Award (Youth category 2013). Since 2015 he is associate professor at the Ca ‘Foscari University of Venice. He has collaborated on international inter-disciplinary research projects (sociology, anthropology, intellectual history, area studies) with the University of Kyoto, the University of Kobe and the International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken). His research concerns the critical review of the notions of ‘West’ / ‘East’ and whiteness / yellow, as well as their hegemonic role in the historical-cultural relations between Italy (Europe) and Japan (Asia).


Maria Cristina Paciello is a researcher at the Department of Asian and Mediterranean African Studies. She received the National Scientific Qualification of the MIUR as associate professor in the competitive sectors 11 / B1 (Geography) and 10 / N1 (Cultures of the Ancient Near East, the Middle East and Africa). For more than twenty years, ahe has passionately devoted himself to the study of the political economy of the Arab world. Her main research interests concern the issue of labor in the context of neoliberal reforms. After graduating in Arabic, she continued her education by earning a master’s in development studies from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and a doctorate in developing country economics and politics from the Department of Economic Studies of the University of Florence. She has carried out research activities in Arab countries and for various international institutes and agencies of the United Nations. She was scientific coordinator of the POWER2YOUTH European project funded by the 7th Framework Program and of the Horizon 2020 MEDRESET project at the Istituto Affari Internazionali. Alongside intense research activity, she has multi-year teaching experience at the Ca ‘Foscari University of Venice, the La Sapienza University of Rome, the American University of Rome (AUR) and other universities.


Bhikhu Parekh is a Life Peer and a Labour Party member of the House of Lords. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the Academy of the Learned Societies for Social Sciences, and an Emeritus Professor of political philosophy at the University of Westminster, UK. He was chair of the Runnymede Commission, whose report, The Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain, was published in 2000. He is vice-chairman of the Gandhi Foundation, a trustee of the Anne Frank Educational Trust, and a member of the National Commission on Equal Opportunity. Bhikhu Parekh has received the Sir Isaiah Berlin Prize for Lifetime Contribution to Political Philosophy by the Political Studies Association in the UK (2002), the Distinguished Global Thinker Award by the India International Centre, New Delhi (2006), the Interdependence Prize from the Campaign for Democracy, New York (2006), and the Padma Bhushan  (2007).

His main academic interests include political philosophy, the history of political thought, social theory, ancient and modern Indian political thought, and the philosophy of ethnic relations. Parekh is the author of a number of books, such as: Hannah Arendt and the Search for a New Political Philosophy (1981), Karl Marx’s Theory of Ideology (1981), Contemporary Political Thinkers (1982), Gandhi’s Political Philosophy (1989), Colonialism, Tradition and Reform (1999), Rethinking Multiculturalism: Cultural Diversity and Political Theory (2000) and Gandhi (2001).


Tim Pringle is a Senior Lecturer in Labour, Social Movements and Development at SOAS, University of London and Editor of The China Quarterly. His research focuses on labour movements, industrial relations and trade union reform in China, Russia and Vietnam. From 1996 to 2006, Tim worked with various labour rights organisations in Hong Kong and Mainland China prior to embarking on a PhD at the University of Warwick. Tim has published his research in numerous trade union, labour NGO and peer-reviewed journals and contributed chapters to many edited books. His own books include Trade Unions in China: the challenge of labour unrest re-issued in paperback by Routledge in 2013 and co-authorship of The Challenge of Transition: Trade Unions in Russia, China and Vietnam (2011, Palgrave).

Tim’s recent articles include ‘Shades of Authoritarianism and State-Labour Relations in China’, co-authored with Jude Howell (2019) British Journal of Industrial Relations, the ‘Rise (and possible) Fall of “Collective Bargaining” in South China’ (2015) International Union Rights; ‘A Class Against Capital: Class and Collective Bargaining in Guangdong’, Globalizations, 2017: 14 (2); ‘Taking Matters into their own hands’ New Internationalist (2016); a blog post entitled ‘What to LNGOs in China do?’ (2016) China Policy Institute; ‘A Solidarity Machine? Hong Kong Labour NGOs in Guangdong’, Critical Sociology (2017) Online First ); and ‘Taming Labour: Workers’ struggles, workplace unionism and collective bargaining on a Chinese waterfront’ (2018) ILRReview with Meng Quan.


David Rasmussen is Professor of Philosophy at Boston College and Honorary President of the Center for Ethics and Global Politics of LUISS University. 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. He is currently preparing a book on John Rawls. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Istanbul Seminars.


Jonathan Seglow is Reader (Associate Professor) at Royal Holloway, University of London. His research interests are in contemporary political theory, especially issues of partiality, free speech and freedom of religion. His book Defending Associative Duties (Routledge 2014) explored the idea that we owe special duties to friends, family members, associates and fellow citizens with whom we share a relationship, and more recently he’s published on parents’ duties to be partial to their children, on sibling partiality, and on the idea on civic friendship.  He has longstanding interests in religious liberty and accommodation, most recently in Religion and Political Theory(Rowman & Littlefield International, 2019), co-edited with Andrew Shorten, and an article on the defence of sacred places. He’s published articles on hate speech and offensive speech, and his introduction to Free Speech, co-written with Matteo Bonotti is published by Polity in June 2021. Their survey article on ‘Freedom of Expression’ is forthcoming in the journal Philosophy Compass. Jonathan is also Co-investigator on EXFILES a European Horizon funded project, looking at the ethics of decrypting data on mobile phones.


Marcella Simoni is researcher and lecturer at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice , where she teaches History of the Middle East and History of Contemporary Jewry. She has a twelve-year consistent record of publications, lecturing and active conference participation addressing various aspects of contemporary history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with special reference to peace-building and civil society cooperation. She has brought to light new perspectives of investigation on the factors of ‘the Israeli-Palestinian conflict’, focussing on the complex interaction between education, medicine and (public) health, gender, youth, family, diasporas, collective trauma, civil society and associationism. Aside from numerous articles, in 2021 she curated the volume, The Languages of Discrimination and Racism in Italy in the 20th century. History, Legacies and Practices (1900-2020) Her book, Israelis and Palestinians seeking, building and representing peace was published in 2013.


Debora Spini received her PhD from Scuola di Studi Superiori Sant’Anna in Pisa. Spini teaches at New York University in Florence and Syracuse University in Florence.  Spini’s research interests focus on religion and politics, with a special interest on Protestant theology, secularisation/post secularisation, as well as the role of religion in violent conflicts. Recently, her research extended to the manipulation of religion by right wing populist movements and parties. On these topics, Spini has published in Italy and abroad, and has given papers in Europe, US, India and Brasil.


Cass R. Sunstein is currently the Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard. He is the founder and director of the Program on Behavioral Economics and Public Policy at Harvard Law School. In 2018, he received the Holberg Prize from the government of Norway, sometimes described as the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for law and the humanities. In 2020, the World Health Organization appointed him as Chair of its technical advisory group on Behavioural Insights and Sciences for Health. From 2009 to 2012, he was Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, and after that, he served on the President’s Review Board on Intelligence and Communications Technologies and on the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Board. Mr. Sunstein has testified before congressional committees on many subjects, and he has advised officials at the United Nations, the European Commission, the World Bank, and many nations on issues of law and public policy. He serves as an adviser to the Behavioural Insights Team in the United Kingdom. Mr. Sunstein is author of hundreds of articles and dozens of books, including Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness (with Richard H. Thaler, 2008), Simpler: The Future of Government (2013), The Ethics of Influence (2015), #Republic (2017), Impeachment: A Citizen’s Guide (2017), The Cost-Benefit Revolution (2018), On Freedom (2019), Conformity (2019), How Change Happens (2019), and Too Much Information (2020). He is now working on a variety of projects involving the regulatory state, “sludge” (defined to include paperwork and similar burdens), fake news, and freedom of speech.


Francesca Tarocco obtained her PhD in Chinese History and Buddhist Studies at SOAS, University of London. She was a Leverhulme Fellow and Lecturer in Buddhist Studies at the University of Manchester and an Associate Professor of Buddhist Cultures and affiliated faculty of the Center for Global Asia at NYU Shanghai. She is the author of The Cultural Practices of Modern Chinese Buddhism, Routledge 2011 [2008], and of the forthcoming Altar Modern: Buddhism and technology in Modern China She has published, among other topics, on media and visual culture, materiality, sacred space, and the genealogy of the term religion in China and East Asia. She recently edited the special issue “Buddhists and the Making of Modern Chinese Societies” for the Journal of Global Buddhism (2017) and serves as China editor for the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Buddhism. Tarocco is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies (China) at Cà Foscari University of Venice and a Visiting Associate Professor of Buddhist Cultures at NYU Shanghai.


Richard Quang-Anh Tran is a scholar of Vietnam and Southeast Asia, with a special focus on literature, cultural studies, and critical theory. His recent manuscript Queer Vietnam: A History of Gender in the early Twentieth Century, 1920-1945 is under contract with Stanford University Press. He is presently working on another project tracing the genealogy of the idea of the “human” in Vietnamese intellectual thought from the period of French colonialism to the post-World War II era of international human rights norms. He is an executive board member and officer of the Vietnam Studies Group of the Association for Asian Studies.


Nadia Urbinati (Ph.D., European University Institute, Florence, 1989) 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 was a co-editor with Andrew Arato of the academic journal Constellations: An International Journal of Critical and Democratic Theory. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the Foundation Reset Dialogues on Civilization. She has been a member of the School of Social Sciences of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University, and a Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Fellowship in the University Center for Human Values, Princeton University. She is permanent visiting professor at the Scuola Superiore de Studi Universitari e Perfezionamento Sant’Anna of Pisa (Italy), and taught at Bocconi University (Milan), SciencesPo (Paris) and the University UNICAMP (Brazil). She is the winner of the 2008-9 Lenfest/Columbia Distinguished Faculty Award. In 2008 the President of the Italian Republic awarded Professor Urbinati the 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.” In 2004 her book Mill on Democracy (cited below) received the David and Elaine Spitz Prize as the best book in liberal and democratic theory published in 2002. Professor Urbinati is the author of Me The People: How Populism Transforms Democracy (Harvard University Press, 2019); The Tyranny of the Moderns (Yale University Press 2015); Democracy Disfigured: Opinion, Truth and the People (Harvard University Press, 2014); Representative Democracy: Principles and Genealogy (University of Chicago Press, 2006), and of Mill on Democracy: From the Athenian Polis to Representative Government (University of Chicago Press, 2002). She has edited Carlo Rosselli, Liberal Socialism (Princeton University Press, 1994); Piero Gobetti, On Liberal Revolution (Yale University Press,2002). She co-edited several books, in particular: with Monique Canto-Sperber Le socialism libéral: Une anthologie; Europe-États-Unis (Éditions Esprit 2003); with Alex Zakaras, John Stuart Mill’s Political Thought: A Bicentennial Reassessment (Cambridge University Press, 2007); with Stefano Recchia, A Cosmopolitanism of Nations: Giuseppe Mazzini’s Writings on Democracy, Nation Building and International Relations (Princeton University Press, 2009); with Steven Lukes, Condorcet’s Political Writing (Cambridge University Press, 2012); with Carlo Invernizzi-Accetti, Hans Kelsen’s On the Worth and Values of Democracy (Rowman & Littlefield, 2013);  with Lisa Disch and Mathijs van de Sande, The Constructivism Turn in Political Representation (Edinburg University Press, 2019). Professor Urbinati has published articles in several international scholarly journals and is also a political columnist for Italian newspapers.


Ananya Vajpeyi is a scholar of history, literature, philology and political theory. She is a fellow and associate professor at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi. In 2019-20 she was a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, Cambridge University. She is the author of the prize-winning book, Righteous Republic: The Political Foundations of Modern India (Harvard, 2012), and the co-editor with Ramin Jahanbegloo of Ashis Nandy: A Life in Dissent (Oxford, 2018) as well as with Volker Kaul of Minorities and Populism: Critical Perspectives from South Asia and Europe(Springer, 2020). She has been involved with Reset-DoC since 2012, particularly the Venice-Delhi Dialogues, as well as the Istanbul Seminars. She is currently working on a book about the place of Sanskrit in the construction of modern Hindu nationalism, and her long-term project is an intellectual biography of B.R. Ambedkar (1891-1956), the author of India’s liberal Constitution of 1950. She lives in Delhi and Istanbul.


Michel Wieviorka, professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, is the President of the Board, Foundation Maison des sciences de l’homme (FMSH). He was director of the Center for Sociological Analysis and Intervention (CADIS, EHESS-CNRS) between 1993 and 2009.From 2006 to 2010, he was President of the International Association of Sociology AIS / ISA, and has been a member of the ERC (European Research Council) Scientific Council since 2014. He was co-director with Georges Balandier of the journal Cahiers Internationaux de Sociologie from 1991 to 2011, and now heads the new SOCIO magazine (with Laetitia Atlani-Duault), which he created in 2013.His research has focused on conflict, terrorism and violence, racism, anti-Semitism, social movements, democracy and the phenomena of cultural difference. After having edited the serie “Voix et Regards” collection at Balland Publishing, he is now in charge of the serie “Le monde comme il va” at Editions Robert Laffont, and with Julien Ténédos for the serie “Interventions” at Editions de la MSH. Among his latest publications: Le séisme. Marine Le Pen présidente (Robert Laffont, 2016); Retour au sens : pour en finir avec le déclinisme (Robert Laffont 2015); L’Antisémitisme expliqué aux jeunes ( Le Seuil, 2014).


Sophia Woodman is a senior lecturer in sociology at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Social and Political Science. Her research interests include citizenship, human rights, migration and social movements in contemporary China, including mobility of Chinese students for higher education. Beyond China, she’s interested in conditions for radical politics and the politics of sustainability, as well as the fate of the university as an institution.




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