Convening 22 May 2009
About Istanbul Seminars

An annual meeting to promote, develop and consolidate a network of cultural, intellectual and academic relationships looking forward to activate mutual understanding and interaction among democratic intellectuals and opinion makers belonging to different geo-political and cultural areas of the “East” and the “West”.
The Seminars’ Executive Committee: Seyla BENHABIB, Giancarlo BOSETTI, Alessandro FERRARA, Abdou FILALI-ANSARY, Nina zu FÜRSTENBERG, Nilufer GÖLE, Ferda KESKIN, Nadia URBINATI.

The Executive Committee secretaries
Emrah Efe CAKMAK
Volker KAUL

The Istanbul Seminars’ Referent                                                                       
Celeste Cecilia LO TURCO  is coordinating the Seminars on behalf of ResetDoC.
She can be contacted at 
+39 334 11 64730
+39 0668407015

Religion, Human Rights and Multicultural Jurisdictions 

How is a multicultural society supposed to satisfy everyone’s claim for cultural, ethnic and religious autonomy?

The Istanbul Seminars 2009 will analyze the moral justification of multicultural/multifaith claims and will examine the political and legal issues related to multiculturalism. Questions at the center of the Seminars are: What sort of autonomy should cultural, ethnic and religious groups enjoy? Should cultural groups have legal autonomy and be attributed the power of legislation and jurisdiction? What is the relationship between cultural groups autonomy and state sovereignty? Are religious groups also cultural groups?


The first section of the Seminars deals with the issue of “Multiculturalism and Personal Autonomy” and will clarify the reasons why collective identities play such an important role for individuals. The second one examines the topic of “Multiculturalism and Human Rights,” questioning the existence of a human right to culture and to what degree an individual must be guaranteed the right to change religion. In a third step, the Seminars highlight contemporary forms of slavery and the condition of denizens and examine the challenge of religious claims in Europe.

Speakers and discussants: Nasr Abu Zayd, Giuliano Amato, Cengiz Aktar, Andrew Arato, Rifat Bali, Benjamin Barber, Ali Bayramoglu, Seyla Benhabib, Richard Bernstein, Aysen Bilgen, Faruk Birtek, Giancarlo Bosetti, Andrea Büchler, Marina Calloni, Mustafa Ceric, Jean Cohen, Maeve Cooke, Alessandro Ferrara, Rainer Forst, Nancy Fraser,Nina zu Fürstenberg, Elisabetta Galeotti, Zeynep Gambetti, Nilüfer Göle, Ayten Gundogdu, Nader Hashemi, Ramin Jahanbegloo, Ayse Kadioglu, Ferda Keskin, Fuat Keyman, Ioanna Kucuradi, Sebastiano Maffettone, Eytem Mahcupyan, Avishai Margalit, Marc Nichanian, Miyazi Oektem, Tariq Ramadan, David Rasmussen, Massimo Rosati, Ayelet Shachar, Roberto Toscano, Nadia Urbinati, Aris Yumul, Michael Walzer.



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