Istanbul Seminars 2012
Bilgi University

Asaf Savaş Akat is Professor of Economics at Bilgi University in Istanbul, of which he has been president in 1996. He also taught at other two major Istanbul Universities: Marmara and Istanbul University. He is member of the board of editors of several journals and periodicals and of economic organizations. 1993-96 he was founding member, deputy president and candidate for Istanbul of YDH – Yeni Demokrasi Hareketi (liberal political party). Akat is frequent commentator on political and social questions in the Turkish media, Daily Vartan and NTV television.

Jeffrey Alexander is the Lillian Chavenson Saden Professor of Sociology at Yale University and is Co-Director of the Center for Cultural Sociology (CCS). Jeffrey Alexander works in the areas of theory, culture, and politics. An exponent of the “strong program” in cultural sociology, he has investigated the cultural codes and narratives that inform diverse areas of social life. He is the author of The Meanings of Social Life: A Cultural Sociology (Oxford, 2003), Cultural Trauma and Collective Identity (with Eyerman, Giesen, Smelser, and Sztompka, University of California Press, 2004), and The Cambridge Companion to Durkheim (2005), which he has edited with Philip Smith. His last book is Performative Revolution in Egypt: An Essay in Cultural Power, 2011.

Giuliano Amato is President of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna di Pisa and is also teaching at the School of Government at LUISS University in Rome. Before he was Professor of Comparative Constitutional Law at University of Rome “La Sapienza”. He was the Italian Prime Minister in 1992-‘93 and in 2000-’01, Minister of Domestic Affairs in Italy until April 2008 and served also as Secretary of the Treasury in Italy. He was the Vice-President of the Convention for the European Constitution. His most recent publications include Antitrust and the Bounds of Power, When the Economy is affected with a Public Interest, The Europeanisation of Law, The Anticompetitive Impact of Regulations (co-editor with L. Laudati), and Tornare al futuro. He is the President of the Scientific Committee of Reset-Dialogues on Civilizations.

Katajun Amirpur is Professor for Islamic Studies at Hamburg University with special focus on Iran. Her research interests concern Shiite Islam, reform theology, intellectual history of Iran, Islamic feminism, history of Iran, political evolutions in today’s Iran and integration of Muslims in Europe. She has written and edited books on contemporary Islamic and Iranian thinkers such as Schirin Ebadi (Gott ist mit den Furchtlosen. Schirin Ebadi und der Kampf um die Zukunft Irans, 2003) and Abdolkarim Sorush (Die Entpolitisierung des Islam. Abdolkarim Sorushs Denken und Wirkung in der Islamischen Republik Iran, 2003). With Ludwig Ammann she published Der Islam am Wendepunkt: Liberale und konservative Reformer einer Weltreligion (2009).

Arjun Appadurai is Paulette Goddard Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University. He has formerly served as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at The New School in NYC. He specializes in sociocultural anthropology, globalization, and public culture, and his current research interests are the internal organization of mass media and the historical study of state policies involving quantification. His main publications are The social life of things. Commodities in cultural perspective that he edited in 1986 and Modernity at large: cultural dimensions of modernity (1996). He is associate editor of the journal Public Culture.

Andrew Arato is Dorothy Hirshon Professor in Political and Social Theory at the New School University and currently an invited Professor at the College de France. He served as U.S. State Department Democracy Lecturer and Consultant (on constitutional issues) Nepal 2007. He has been re-appointed by the State Department in the same capacity for Zimbabwe, during November of 2010. His interests include the politics of civil society, constitutional theory, comparative politics of constitution making, religion, secularism and constitutions. Arato’s books include Civil Society, Constitution, and Legitimacy (2000) with Jean L. Cohen, Habermas on Law and Democracy: Critical Exchanges (1998) with Michel Rosenfeld, Civil Society and Political Theory (1994, coauthor). He is editor of the journal Constellations.

Albena Azmanova is Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Kent, Brussels School of International Studies. She has worked as political consultant to international institutions such as the United Nations and the European Commission. Her research in the past years has covered three fields: political judgment and deliberative public policy, the impact of globalization on political mobilization in Europe, and EU sustainable development policies. She recently published The Scandal of Reason: A Critical Theory of Political Judgment (2012).

Asma Barlas is Professor of Politics and Director of the Center for the Study of Culture, Race, and Ethnicity at Ithaca College. Her research focus is Islam, Qur’anic Hermeneutics, Muslim women as well as the politics of violence. She delivered the Spinoza Lectures at the University of Amsterdam on Re-understanding Islam: A Double Critique (2008). She published Islam, Muslims, and the U.S.: Essays on Religion and Politics (2004) and “Believing Women” in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur’an (2002).

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.

Giancarlo Bosetti is the editor-in-chief of 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 Caffeeuropa as well as the webzine He is currently a columnist for the Italian daily La Repubblica and he has been teaching 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, John Condry and Pope John Paul II, Il Fallimento dei laici furiosi (2009). He is one of the founders and Director of Reset-Dialogues on Civilizations.

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.

Marina Calloni is Professor of Social and Political philosophy at the State University of Milano-Bicocca. Since 2007 she is a component of the Inter-ministerial Committee for Human Rights (CIDU), based at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rome. From 2007 to 2010 she was member of the management board of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (based in Vienna) as representative for Italy and director of the «International Network for Research in Gender». Among her last books: A. Saarinen & M. Calloni (eds.), Women Immigrants as constructers of a New Europe. Gender Experiences and Perspectives in European Trans-regions (2012), Y.Galligan, S.Clavero, M.Calloni, Gender Politics and Democracy in Post-socialist Europe (2008).

Massimo Campanini is Associate Professor of History of the Islamic Countries at the University of Trento and taught before in the Universities of Urbino and Milano. He holds degrees both in philosophy (1977) and Arabic (1984). His scientific research is now regarding Qur’anic studies, Islamic political thought and contemporary Islamic trends.His books include Islam e politica (1999); Introduction to Islamic Philosophy (2008); Il pensiero islamico contemporaneo (2005); The Qur’an: Modern Muslim Interpretations (2011); L’alternativa islamica (2012).

Ayşen Candaş is Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Boğaziçi University. Her research interests focus on reconciling justice with democracy, the unity of civil, political, cultural and social and economic rights, the impact of social and economic context on democracy and democratization as well as the paradoxes of constitutional democracy. Among her recent publications: “Solidarity Among Strangers: A Problem of Coexistence in Turkey” (with Ayse Bugra, 2010) and “Change and Continuity under an Eclectic Social Security Regime: The Case of Turkey” (with Ayse Bugra, 2011).

Jean L. Cohen is the Nell and Herbert M. Singer Professor of Political Thought. She specializes in contemporary political and legal theory, continental political thought, contemporary civilization, critical theory, and international political theory. She works on civil society, sovereignty, human rights, gender, and the law. She is the author of Civil Society and Political Theory (co-authored with Andrew Arato, 1992), Regulating Intimacy: a New Legal Paradigm (2002) and Globalization and Sovereignty: Rethinking Legitimacy and Legality (forthcoming 2012).

Francesca Corrao
Professor of Arabic Culture and Language at Luiss University Rome. Before she was Professor of Arabic Language and Literature at Naples University “L’Orientale”. She is president of the Fondazione Orestiadi in Gibellina (Sicily) and Dar Bach Hamba in Tunis. Her most recent publications include: Le Rivoluzioni Arabe. La transizione mediterranea (Arab Revoluions. Mediterranean transition, forthcoming 2012); Le parole e la guerra (Anthology of prose and essays on war literature, 2010), Adonis, Ecco il mio nome, (“This is my name” and other poems a critical study, 2009).

Zaid Eyadat is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Jordan and the chairperson of Human Rights and Human Development Department. His teaching and research interests include conflict resolution and management, Islam and human rights, public policy evaluation, American foreign policy, international politics and comparative politics. Among his publications are “Culture and Foreign Policy: an Explanatory Model. American Foreign Policy Post 911”, “Psychosocial Theory and Political Violence”, “The Rationality of Political Violence: modeling AL-Qaeda Vs the United States”, and “The Calculus of Consensus: an Alternative Path to Arab Democracy”.

Alessandro Ferrara is Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Rome “Tor Vergata” and former President of the Italian Association of Political Philosophy. Over the past few years he has investigated the sources and justifications of normativity after the linguistic turn and has worked at outlining an authenticity view of validity as well as a judgment view of justice in the domain of political philosophy. He is the author of Modernity and Authenticity (1993), Reflective Authenticity (1998), Justice and Judgement (1999) and The Force of the Example (2008). He is a member of Reset-Dialogues and the Executive Committee of Istanbul Seminars.

Nina zu Fürstenberg is the founder and the President of Reset-Dialogues on Civilizations. She has been focusing for years on the study of Islam and on the promotion of intercultural dialogue, working as a journalist for the cultural magazine Reset. She edited Euro-Islam. L’integrazione mancata by Bassam Tibi, Lumi dell’Islam. Nove intellettuali musulmani parlano di libertà and Europa laica e puzzle religioso with Krzysztof Michalski. She is the author of Chi ha paura di Tariq Ramadan. L’Europa di fronte al riformismo islamico (German version 2008) and edited recently a book of Nasr Abu Zayd on Testo sacro e libertà. Per una lettura critica del Corano.

Nilüfer Göle is Professor of Sociology at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris. She works on Islamic visibility in European public spaces and the debates it engenders on religious and cultural difference. Her sociological approach aims to open up a new reading of modernity from a non-western perspective and a broader critique of Eurocentrism in the definitions of secular modernity. She is the author of Islam in Europe: The Lure of Fundamentalism and the Allure of Cosmopolitanism (2010). She is member of the Executive Committee of the Istanbul Seminars. Director of EuropeanPublicIslam at the European Research Council Project 2008-2012.

Micheline Ishay is Professor and Director of the International Human Rights Program at the Graduate School of International Studies at Denver University. Her research interests are international relations, human rights, political theory, history, methodology, sociology, comparative politics, U.S. foreign policy and Middle Eastern politics. She published History of Human Rights, from Ancient Times to the Globalization Era (2004), The Nationalism Reader (1999) and The Human Reader: Major Political Essays, Speeches and Documents from the Bible to the Present (1997).

Ramin Jahanbegloo is an Iranian-Canadian philosopher. He is presently a Professor of Political Science and a Research Fellow at the Centre for Ethics at University of Toronto. In April 2006 Dr. Jahanbegloo was arrested in Tehran Airport charged with preparing a velvet revolution Iran. He was placed in solitary confinement for four months and released on bail. Among his books: Conversations with Isaiah Berlin (1992), Penser la Nonviolence (1999), Iran: Between Tradition and Modernity (2004) The Clash of Intolerances (2007) and The Spirit of India (2008). He is a member of the Scientific Committee of Reset-Dialogues.

Volker Kaul
is Research Fellow in Political Philosophy at the University of Salerno and fellow at the Center for Ethics and Global Politics at Luiss University in Rome. His work focuses on a theory of identity as well as questions of agency and autonomy. Together with Alessandro Ferrara and David Rasmussen he edited the special issues of Philosophy & Social Criticism on the Reset-Dialogues Istanbul Seminars 2008-2009, 2010 and 2011 “Postsecularism and Multicultural Jurisdiction”, “Realigning Liberalism: Pluralism, Integration, Identities” and “Overcoming the Trap of Resentment”. He is secretary of the Executive Committee and scientific coordinator of the Istanbul Seminars.

Ferda Keskin
is currently Professor of Comparative Literature and Philosophy at Istanbul Bilgi University. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University, and taught at Boğazici University from 1994 to 2002. His research and interest areas include Foucault, social and political philosophy, ethics, philosophy of social sciences and philosophy and literature. Ferda Keskin is the editor and co-translator of a 6-volume translation series from Foucault’s Dits et écrits into Turkish with an introduction for each volume. He is the co-editor of Pera Peras Poros: Espacement et temporalisation de l’étranger. Atelier avec et autour de Jacques Derrida. He is member of the Executive Committee of Istanbul Seminars.

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).

Mohammad Khatami (video conference) is an Iranian scholar, philosopher, Shiite theologian and Reformist politician. He served as the fifth President of Iran from August 2, 1997 to August 3, 2005. He also served as Iran’s Minister of Culture in both the 1980s and 1990s. He is known for promoting “Dialogues among Civilizations” after which the United Nations, decided to declare the Year 2001 setting united a new paradigm of International relations.

Gholamali Khoshroo is a Special Advisor to President Khatami on “Dialogue among Civilizations” and Senior Editor of the Encyclopedia of Contemporary Islam. From 2002-2005 he was the Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Khoshroo has served also as the Ambassador to the United Nations (1990 -95) and Deputy Foreign Minister for Research and Education. In recent years, he has extensively worked on the development of contemporary political Islam and its implication for Western societies. He has published several articles and books on political and cultural affairs.

Timur Kuran is Professor of Economics and Political Science and Gorter Family Professor of Islamic Studies at Duke University. His research focuses on the evolution of preferences and institutions, with contributions to the study of the unpredictability of social revolutions, the dynamics of ethnic conflict, the evolution of morality, perceptions of discrimination, and cultural change. Another research focus is the economics of the Middle East. Most recently he published The Long Divergence: How Islamic Law Held Back the Middle East ( 2011).

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.

Avishai Margalit is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. From 2006 to 2011 he was the George Kennan Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University. Margalit’s political-philosophical interests focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the broader struggle between Islam and the West. He also works on the philosophy of language, logical paradoxes and rationality. He is the author of Idolatry (with Moshe Halbertal, 1992), The Decent Society (1996), Views in Review: Politics and Culture in the State of the Jews (1998), The Ethics of Memory (2002), Occidentalism: The West in the Eyes of Its Enemies (with Ian Buruma, 2004), and On Compromise and Rotten Compromises (2009). He is member of Reset-DoC Foundations scientific committee.

Mohsen Marzouk is Secretary-General of the Arab Democracy Foundation (ADF) in Doha and member of the Tunisian Higher Commission for the Implementation of the Revolution’s Objectives, Political Reform, and Democratic Transition in Tunisia. He also founded and directed Al-Kawakibi Democracy Transition Center in Tunis. In addition, Marzouk participated in founding a number of the most important regional & international human rights and democracy networks, and is a member of several of their directorial committees such as the Council for a Community of Democracies. He launched several of regional programs to promote democratic transition in the Arab region, such as the New General of Advocates for Political Reform program, the Citizenship Movement, the Arab Experts’ Group on Transitional Justice, and the Arab Democratic Election Monitors’ Group.

Ulises Mejias is Assistant Professor of New Media in the Communication Studies Department at SUNY Oswego. Previously, he was Director of Learning Systems Design at Cornell. His research interests are Critical Internet Studies, Network Theory and Science, Philosophy and Social Studies of Technology, Political Economy of New Media. He has completed a book tentatively titled Unmapping the Net: The Limits of the Digital Network as Social Template, which will be published in the Fall of 2012.

Claus Offe is Professor of Political Sociology at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin. In Germany he has held chairs for Political Science and Political Sociology at the Universities of Bielefeld (1975-1989) and Bremen (1989-1995), as well as at the Humboldt-University of Berlin (1995-2005). Among his research interests are: social policy, democratic theory, transformation studies. He is author of Modernity and The State. East and West (1996), Institutional Design in Post-Communist Societies. Rebuilding the Ship at Sea (together with Jon Elster and Ulrich K. Preuss et al.; 1998) and Reflections on America. Tocqueville, Weber and Adorno in the United States (2005).

Soli Özel is Professor of International Relations and Political Science at Istanbul Kadir Has University. Currently, he is a columnist for Haberturk newspaper, a frequent contributor to The Washington Post’s “Post Global”, and the former editor of the Turkish edition of Foreign Policy, a journal published by the Carnegie Endowment in the USA. Özel’s articles and opinion pieces appear in a wide variety of leading newspapers in Turkey and elsewhere around the world. He is senior advisor to the chairman of the Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD). Özel is the co-author of Rebuilding a partnership: Turkish-American relations in a new era (2009).

Umut Özkırımlı
is Visiting Chair in Contemporary Turkey Studies, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Lund University, and Senior Fellow, Istanbul Policy Center, Sabanci University. He focuses on postmodern, feminist and post-colonial accounts of nationalism as well as on the topics of globalization, cosmopolitanism and multiculturalism. His publications include Theories of Nationalism: A Critical Introduction (2010) and Contemporary Debates on Nationalism: A Critical Engagement (2005). His opinion pieces and interviews also frequently appear in Turkish newspapers.

Mehmet Paçaci is a Professor at Ankara University in Turkey. An expert on Qur’anic exegesis, he has served as a Visiting Professor at Georgetown University and a Scholar in Residence at Wesley Theological Seminary. Paçaci has also taught at the International Islamic University of Malaysia, Pontifical Gregorian University, Bamberg University, and King Saud University in Saudi Arabia. He is specialized on Tafsir (exegesis of the Qur’an). He is specifically interested in hermeneutical problems of interpreting and understanding the Qur’an. He published a book titled “How Much Historical are the Qur’an and I?” and “What Happened to the Qur’an and Tafsir in Modern Age?” He was in the diplomatic service of the Turkish Republic in Washington DC. between 2008 and 2011. He is currently General Director of International Affairs at the Presidency of Religious Affairs.

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.

Ilay Romain Örs
is the Dean of Graduate School of Social Sciences and a faculty member at the Department of International Relations at Istanbul Bilgi University. She earned her PhD at Harvard University in Social Anthropology and Middle Eastern Studies. While her ethnographic work centers on the Greek Orthodox community of Istanbul in Greece (Rum Polites), her broader research interests and publication topics include minorities, migration, cosmopolitanism, pluralizing modernities, consumption, regional and urban studies in Istanbul, Greece and the Mediterranean.

Remzi Sanver is the Rector of Istanbul Bilgi University. He has been a faculty member in the Department of Economics at Istanbul Bilgi University since the fall of 1998 and has also served as a visiting faculty member at Ecole Polytechnique (Paris) and Caen University. His research focuses on social choice rule, economic design and game theory. He is board member for the Society for Social Choice and Welfare. He recently published Handbook on Approval Voting (edited with Jean-François Laslier; 2010).

Jim Sleeper is a writer and teacher on American civic culture and politics, is a lecturer in political science at Yale and the author of The Closest of Strangers: Liberalism and the Politics of Race in New York (1990) and Liberal Racism (2002). His reportage and commentary have appeared in Harper’s, The New Republic, The Nation, The New Yorker, The Washington Monthly, Dissent, and many other publications. He has appeared several times each on The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, the Charlie Rose show, and National Public Radio’s “Talk of the Nation” and has been an occasional commentator on NPR’s “All Things Considered.”. Today he is influential through his personal website/blog

Georg Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza has been the Chairman and CEO of the TBG Group. His schooling took place in Austria and Germany; with university studies completed with a law degree in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1978. In 1983 Mr. Thyssen was appointed CEO of TBG and in 1991 Chairman and CEO. In 2007 he stepped down as CEO but continues to serve as Chairman of the General Management until today. Today he created the Nomis Foundation, which is primarily engaged in biological research, but also in the field of humanities. He is founder and Honorary President of Reset-Dialogues on Civilizations.

Roberto Toscano is an Italian Ambassador and has recently been Public Policy Scholar at Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington. He was Italian Ambassador to Iran and India. He focuses on the topics of human rights and the ethics of international relations. Amongst his recent books: Between terrorism and global governance: essays on ethics, violence and international law (2009), Beyond Violence. Principles for an Open Century (with R. Jahanbegloo, 2009) and La violenza, le regole (2006). He is President of the Intercultura Foundation and member of the Scientific Committee of Reset-Dialogues.

Pınar Uyan Semerci is the director of the Centre for Migration Research and coordinator of Political Science Program at Istanbul Bilgi University. Her research interests lie at the crossroads between political philosophy, political economy, social policy and methodology in which she focuses on topics relating to universalism, global justice, human development, capability approach, poverty, migration; collective identity formation (gender, religion and nationalism) and well-being of children. She has coordinated numerous research projects and published mainly on poverty; capabilities and well-being in Turkey.



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