Convening 24 May 2016 Bilgi University Speakers and participants
Istanbul Seminars 2016
Bilgi University

Murat Akan is Assistant Professor of Comparative Politics, Political Theory and Turkish Politics in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul.  He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University, New York in 2005.  His research covers the subject-areas, secularism, democracy, religion, institutions, minority issues, constitutions, social movements.  His past and current work focuses on French and Turkish politics and has appeared in the British Journal of Sociology, Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, Studies in Comparative International Development, Journal of Constitutional Law (AYHD). He has a forthcoming book from Columbia University Press on the Politics of Secularism in France and Turkey, a comparative study of the French Third Republic, contemporary France, early Turkish Republic and contemporary Turkey.

Asaf Savaş Akat is a 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. Among his publications İktisadi Analiz (Economic Analysis) (2009).

Cengiz Aktar is a Professor at Bahçeşehir University and head of the Department of European Union Relations. He obtained his PhD in economics from Sorbonne. Between 1989 and 1994 he worked as vice president of the intergovernmental advisory board established of the UN for migration politics of the EU. Between 1994 and 1999, he worked as the director of the UN agency of Slovenia. He has written numerous books on Europe and relations between Turkey and Europe. He is currently columnist for the newspaper Vatan.

Mustafa Akyol is a writer and journalist based in Istanbul. He regularly writes for various international publications, including the International New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Newsweek. He is a regular columnist for two Turkish newspapers, Hürriyet Daily News and Star. He is the author of the book Islam without Extremes: a Muslim Case for Liberty.

Ahmet Murat Aytaç is Assistant Professor of Political Science and Public Administration at Ankara University in Ankara. He received a BA degree from the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at Ankara University, and a PhD degree from the same university. He is the author of Ailenin Serencamı: Türkiye’de Modern Aile Fikrinin Oluşumu (2007), and Kitlelerin Ruhu: Siyasal ve Sosyal Kuramda Kalabalık Tahayülleri (2012), the co-editor of Göçebe Düşünmek: Deleuze Düşüncesinin Sınılarında (2014), and several articles on political theory and human rights issues.

Albena Azmanova is Associate Professor of Political and Social Thought at the University of Kent in Brussels where she heads the programme in International Political Economy. Her research spans from political judgment and deliberative public policy to critique of contemporary capitalism. Among her recent publications are The Scandal of Reason: A Critical Theory of Political Judgment (2012), and Reclaiming Democracy: Judgment, Responsibility and the Right to Politics (2015, co-edited with Mihaela Mihai), as well as publications in academic journals and the mass media. She has worked as political consultant to international institutions such as the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the European Parliament and the European Commission on issues of human rights and the accession of post-communist countries to the EU.

Meysam Badamchi earned his PhD from LUISS University in Rome. Since 2013 he is postdoctoral research fellow at the Center for Modern Turkish Studies at Istanbul Şehir University. His areas of interest are contemporary Iranian, Turkish and Anglo-American political philosophies. He is especially interested in the works of Muslim Reformist thinkers, the liberalism of John Rawls, and ethnic minorities’ rights. He has translated Will Kymlicka’s Contemporary Political Philosophy from English into Persian (forthcoming, in collaboration of Mohammed Mobasheri). He has a political theory weblog in Persian, called Nikomakhus. His recent publication in English: “Reasonable, Rationality, and Government: The Liberal Political Thought of Mehdi Haeri Yazdi”, in Iranian Studies (2014); “Political liberalism for post-Islamist, Muslim-majority societies”, in Philosophy & Social Criticism (2015).

Zygmunt Bauman is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Leeds. Bauman has become best known for his analyses of modernity and rationality, postmodernity and consumerism as well as for his theory of liquid modernity. Among his recent books include Liquid Life (2005), Liquid Fear (2006), Consuming Life (2007), Does Ethics Have a Chance in a World of Consumers? (2008), The Art of Life (2008), Collateral Damage: Social Inequalities in a Global Age (2011), Culture in a Liquid Modern World. (2011), Does the Richness of the Few Benefit Us All? (2013) and Strangers at Our Door (2016).

Seyla Benhabib is Eugene Meyer Professor of Political Science and Philosophy at Yale University and was Director of its Program in Ethics, Politics and Economics. She has been awarded the Ernst Bloch Prize in 2009 and the Meister Eckhart Price in 2014. 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), Politics in Dark Times. Encounters with Hannah Arendt (2010) and Dignity in Adversity. Human Rights in Troubled Times (2011). She is the Chair of the Scientific Committee of Reset-Dialogues on Civilizations and a member of the Executive Committee of Istanbul Seminars.

Rajeev Bhargava is a Senior Fellow of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in New Delhi. He has served as the Director of the Centre until 2013. He was formerly a professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University. Between 2001 and 2005, he was the Professor of Political Theory and Indian Political Thought, and the Head of the Department of Political Science at University of Delhi. His research concerns issues of Indian secularism, constitutionalism and multiculturalism. Recently, he has authored Secularism and its CriticsPolitics and Ethics of the Indian ConstitutionWhat is Political Theory and Why Do We Need It?, and The Promise of India’s Secular Democracy.

Murat Borovali is Associate Professor at the Department of International Relations at Istanbul Bilgi University. He holds a PhD in political philosophy from University of Manchester. Among his most recent publications are “Turkish Secularism and Islam: A Difficult Dialogue with the Alevis”, in Philosophy & Social Criticism (2014), “Islamic Headscarves and Slippery Slopes”, in Cardozo Law Review (2009), “A Legitimate Restriction of Freedom? The issue of the headscarf in Turkey,” in E. F. Keyman (ed.), Remaking Turkey: Globalization, Alternative Modernities and Democracy (2006), ‘John Rawls ve Siyaset Felsefesi’ (John Rawls and Political Philosophy, 2003).

Giancarlo Bosetti is the Director and one of the founders of Reset-Dialogues on Civilizations. He is the editor-in-chief of the online journal and of Reset, a cultural magazine he founded in 1993. He was vice-editor-in-chief of the Italian daily L’Unità. He is currently a columnist for the Italian daily La Repubblica and he has been teaching at University La Sapienza, and University Roma Tre. Among his books La lezione di questo secolo, a book-interview with Karl Popper, Cattiva maestra televisione, (ed.) with essays by Karl Popper, John Condry and Pope John Paul II, Il Fallimento dei laici furiosi (2009). He recently wrote an introduction to the volume Omnia mutantur. La scoperta filosofica del pluralismo culturale (2013), with contributions of R. Bernstein, S. Veca, M. Ricciardi. His latest book is Fedi in dialogo. Il mondo ne ha bisogno (EMI, 2015).

Cemil Boyraz is Assistant Professor at the Department of International Relations at İstanbul Bilgi University. He holds a PhD in political science with a dissertation about the political economy of nationalism, analyzing the case of the post-1980 privatization process in Turkey. His research interests concern Turkish politics and foreign policy, international relations theories, theories of nationalism, international political economy and labor movement. He has articles and book chapters on the Kurdish question, Political Islam, Neo-Kemalism and Alevi Question in Turkey, global political-economy, and an edited book on the political participation of the youth in Turkey published in 2010. He is currently working on the role of the post-colonial critique in the international relations,  the question of democratic autonomy and ideas of (con)federalism and contemporary debates about the changing structure of the global labor in a comparative perspective.

Manuel Castells is Director of Research in the Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge, and Honorary Fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge; University Professor and the Wallis Annenberg Chair in Communication Technology and Society at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles; and Professor Emeritus of Sociology and of City and Regional Planning, University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on urban sociology, organization studies, internet studies, social movements, sociology of culture and political economy. He has published 26 books, including the trilogy The Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture (1996-2004) and Communication Power (2009).  Recently he published Networks of Outrage and Hope  (2012). Among his distinctions, he received the 2010 Erasmus Medal of Science from Academia Europaea, the 2012 Holberg Memorial Prize from the Parliament of Norway and the 2013 Balzan Prize in the Social Sciences from the International Balzan Prize Foundation.

Can Cemgil is an Assistant Professor at Istanbul Bilgi University, Institute of Social Sciences. He received his PhD degree from the University of Sussex in 2015. His research interests include international historical sociology, international theory, Middle Eastern geopolitics, Turkish foreign policy and social theory of international politics. Currently he works on the notion of difference in postcolonial and Marxist studies in IR. He has published in Globalizations, Cambridge Review of International Affairs and Philosophy and Social Criticism.

Maeve Cooke is Professor of Philosophy at University College Dublin, Ireland and a member of the Royal Irish Academy. Her current research projects focus on re-conceptualising domination and violence, on re-articulating autonomy and on issues in current debates on religion and politics. Her principal book publications are Language and Reason: A Study of Habermas’s Pragmatics (1997) and Re-Presenting the Good Society (2006).

Mehmet Durman serves as Rector of İstanbul Bilgi University and as a member of the İstanbul Bilgi University Board of Trustees. A professor at İstanbul Bilgi University Mechanical Engineering Department, Durman previously served as the assistant dean, then assistant rector, Dean of Faculty of Engineering and lastly the Rector at Sakarya University. Earlier, Durman served as a professor at the Metallurgy Department of İstanbul University Faculty of Engineering, as an assistant professor at İTÜ (İstanbul Technical University) Faculty of Engineering, and did his postdoctoral studies as a researcher at Birmingham-Aston University. Durman graduated from İTÜ (İstanbul Technical University) Chemistry-Metallurgy Faculty as a metallurgical engineer and completed his doctoral studies at Birmingham-Aston University. He has 79 articles, conference-symposium proposals and project reports, of which 39 are international. Durman was a coordinator and member and worked in various national and international comissions and work groups, primarily on quality assurance and national competencies, during the Bologna Process. Among these were being the chairman of Academic Assessment and Quality Improvement in Higher Education Commission, a member and executive in National Competencies Framework Commission as well as the Chairman of KalDer Quality Awards Executive Committee.

Mohd Khair Eiedat is an Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science, University of Jordan. Currently he is on sabbatical at the University of Humboldt in Berlin, Faculty of Theology, where he is teaching a graduate seminar on Islam, Ethics and Politics and completes a book carrying the same title. Previously he was also visiting scholar at Waseda University in Tokyo. He published many academic papers on Islamic ethics both in English and Arabic including studies on Alghazali, Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn Hazm and Ibn Abdelalam. He is also the author of Towards Political Empowerment of Jordanian Women (2004) and co-author of Human Rights, Peace Culture and Universal Common Values  (2003, in Arabic ). He holds a Ph.D from Lancaster University.

Alessandro Ferrara is Professor of Political Philosophy and Director of the Center for the Study of Post-Secular Society (CSPS) at the University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, as well as former President of the Italian Association of Political Philosophy. Recently he has published The Democratic Horizon. Hyperpluralism and the Renewal of Political Liberalism (2014) and “Democracy and the Absolute Power of Disembedded Financial Markets” in Azmanova/Mihai (eds.), Reclaiming Democracy (2015). He is also the author of The Force of the Example (2008), Justice and Judgment (1999), Reflective Authenticity (1998), and Modernity and Authenticity (1993).  His work has also appeared in many scholarly journals on such topics as judgment and exemplarity as sources of normativity, critical theory, the relevance of reflective judgment in political philosophy, expanding the Rawlsian paradigm of political liberalism, religion in a post-secular society. Since 1991 a Co-Director of the Prague Conference on Philosophy and Social Science, he is a member of the Executive Committee of Istanbul Seminars.

Silvio Ferrari is professor of Law and Religion at the University of Milan. His main fields of interest are law and religion in Europe, comparative law of religions, and the Vatican policy in the Middle East. He is honorary president of ICLARS (International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies) and member of the International Academy of Comparative Law. He is also one of the editors-in-chief of the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion. His publications in English include The Routledge Handbook of Law and Religion (2015) and Religion in Public Spaces (2012, edited together with S. Pastorelli).

Nina zu Fürstenberg is the founder and the Chair 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 has been Director of the project Europublicislam funded by European Research Council (ERC). 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 The Forbidden Modern: Civilization and Veiling (1997), Interpénétrations: L’Islam et l’Europe (2005), Islam in Europe: The Lure of Fundamentalism and the Allure of Cosmopolitanism (2010), Islam and Public Controversy in Europe (2014) and Islam and Secularity: The Future of Europe’s Public Sphere (2015). She is a member of the Executive Committee of the Istanbul Seminars.

Amr Hamzawy is currently Visiting Scholar at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford University. In 2011, he joined the Department of Public Policy and Administration at the American University in Cairo, where he continues to serve today. Hamzawy also serves as an Associate Professor of Political Science at the Department of Political Science, Cairo University. His research interests focus on democratization processes in Egypt, tensions between freedom and repression in the Egyptian public space, political movements and civil society in Egypt, contemporary debates in Arab political thought, and human rights and governance in the Arab world. His books include A Margin for Democracy in Egypt – The Story of An Unsuccessful Transition (2014, in Arabic), On Religion, Politics, an Democratic Legitimacy in Egypt (2013), Between Religion and Politics  (2010, co-written with Nathan Brown), The Arab Future: Contemporary Debates on Democracy, Political Islam, and Resistance (2010, in Arabic), Human Rights in the Arab World: Independent Voices (2008, co-authored with Anthony Chase). Hamzawy is a former member of the People’s Assembly after being elected in the first Parliamentary elections in Egypt after the 25th of Jan 2011 revolution.

Mikhail Ilyin is Professor of Comparative Politics at the National Research University “Higher School of Economics” as well as at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations and Baltic Federal University. He is also head of a Center of Social Sciences and Humanities of the Russian Academy of Sciences His research focus is political discourse analysis, conceptual history and geopolitics. He is editor of the yearbook “METHOD” and has been co-founder of the major Russian political science journal Polis in 1991. He was President of the Russian Political Science Association in 1997 – 2001 and Vice-President of IPSA from 2012-2014. In 2014, he was nominated by IPSA’s Executive Committee to serve as co-editor of World Political Science.

Aleksandra Kania is Professor Emerita of Sociology at Institute of Sociology at Warsaw University in Poland, where she has served as a professor since 1990. Her areas of specialization are general sociology, comparative studies of values, democracy and citizenship, national identity, nationalism, and ethnic stereotypes. Professor Kania has been a visiting scholar at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, St. John’s College, Oxford, Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Education (Berlin), Indiana University (Bloomington), Stanford University and at the University of Stockholm. She has been author, editor, and co-author of 12 books and over 100 articles published in Polish and foreign journals and books. Her recent publications include: “Ethnic Exclusion in Poland,” in International Journal of Sociology, “Aggressors, Victims, and Trauma in Collective Memory,” in International Journal of Sociology, Poles Among Europeans (2004, co-editor with M. Marody),  Power and Social Structure (1999).

Volker Kaul is Research Fellow at the Center for Ethics and Global Politics at LUISS University in Rome and Adjunct Lecturer at CEA Rome Center. Moreover, he works as scientific coordinator of the Istanbul Seminars for the foundation Reset-Dialogues on Civilizations. His work focuses on personal identity and the nature of identity conflicts. Together with David Rasmussen and Alessandro Ferrara he edited the special issues of Philosophy & Social Criticism on the Istanbul Seminars 2008-2016. He is currently editing together with Seyla Benhabib a book on Toward New Democratic Imaginaries. Istanbul Seminars on Islam, Culture and Politics. He is editing together with Ingrid Salvatore another book on What is Pluralism? The Question of Pluralism in Politics.

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, Europeanization (forthcoming), 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).

Ohannes Kılıçdağı took his double major degree from Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, sociology and political science departments After having his MA degree, he continued to his doctoral studies at the department of history of the same university. He joined the research fellows of the Near Eastern Studies, Armenian Studies Program of University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 2012-2013. He took his Phd by his dissertation, “Socio-political Reflections and Expectations of the Ottoman Armenians after the 1908 Revolution: Between hope and Despair”. He is currently lecturing at Istanbul Bilgi University Sociology Department on social change in contemporary Turkish society, history of Turkish social and political thought as well as Armenian question in the Ottoman Empire and afterwards. He is one of the columnists of weekly Turkish-Armenian newspaper Agos in Istanbul.

Andreas Koller is currently Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Public Knowledge New York University (NYU), leading a collaborative project and initiative on academia and the public sphere. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Zurich. His work focuses on the comparative historical sociology of the public sphere, integrating political theory with social theory and historical analysis, with a focus on the United States and Western Europe. Among his recent publications “Why Study the Public Sphere,” in States, Power and Society, newsletter of the American Sociological Association (2011), the special issue of The American Sociologist “On the Legacy of Charles Tilly” (2010) and the article “The Public Sphere and Comparative Historical Research: An Introduction,” in Social Science History (2010).

Veysi T. Kondu is a senior Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Boğaziçi University. He has been teaching part-time in the Department of International Relations at İstanbul Bilgi University since 2008. The other universities he has taught are Boğaziçi, Carleton and Ottawa. His research and teaching interests focus on citizenship studies, political theory of Habermas and philosophy of social science. Currently he also works as the coordinator of a project, hosted by İstanbul Bilgi University’s Center for Migration Research, on improving the living conditions of the children of seasonal migrant agriculture workers in Adana, Turkey, from the perspective of child well-being.

Cristina Lafont is Professor of Philosophy at Northwestern University. Her current research focuses on normative questions in political philosophy concerning democracy and citizen participation, global governance, human rights, religion and politics. She is the author of Global Governance and Human Rights (2012), The Linguistic Turn in Hermeneutic Philosophy (1999), Heidegger, Language, and World-disclosure (2000), and co-editor of The Future of Critical Theory: Transforming the Global Political and Economic Order (forthcoming) and The Habermas Handbuch (2010). She has also published numerous articles in contemporary moral and political philosophy. In 2011 she was named to the Spinoza Chair at the University of Amsterdam, and in 2012/13 she was a Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin. She is the director of the Program in Critical Theory and co-director of the Research Group on Global Capitalism and Law funded by a “Big Ideas” grant of the Buffett Institute at Northwestern University.

Ebrahim Moosa is Professor of Islamic Studies in the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and in Notre Dame’s Department of History. He co-directs, with Keough School Dean Scott Appleby, Contending Modernities, the global research and education initiative examining the interaction among Catholic, Muslim, and other religious and secular forces in the world. He taught also in the Department of Religious Studies of Duke Universities, in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Cape Town and in the Department of Religious Studies at Stanford University. Moosa’s interests span both classical and modern Islamic thought with a special focus on Islamic law, history, ethics and theology. He is the author of Ghazali and the Poetics of Imagination, winner of the American Academy of Religion’s Best First Book in the History of Religions and of What Is a Madrasa?; editor of the last manuscript Revival and Reform in Islam: A Study of Islamic Fundamentalism. In 2005 Moosa was named a Carnegie Scholar to pursue research on Islamic seminaries of South Asia. His publications also include the co-edited book The African Renaissance and the Afro-Arab SpringIslam in the Modern World and, Muslim Family Law in Sub-Saharan Africa: Colonial Legacies and Post-Colonial Challenges.

Lea Nocera is Assistant Professor of Turkish Studies at University of Naples ‘L’Orientale’, where she teaches Turkish Language and Literature and subjects related to politics and society of contemporary Turkey. Her research interests on Turkey include: social and cultural history, media and gender studies, urban transformations and social movements. As Turkey expert she regularly collaborates with prominent Italian newspapers and magazines publishing on current affairs. Dr. Nocera produces also radio documentaries and features on Turkish social and political issues for the Italian national broadcasting RAI-Radio3 and Swiss Italian Radio/RSI. Her recent books include: The Gülen Media Empire (Arab Media Report/Reset, 2015) as editor, The Turkish touch. Neo-ottoman Hegemony and Turkish Television in the Middle East (Arab Media Report/Reset, 2014; as co-author; #Gezipark. Coordinate di una rivolta (Alegre, 2013), La Turchia contemporanea. Dalla repubblica kemalista al governo dell’Akp (Carocci, 2011), Cercasi mani piccole e abili. La migrazione turca in Germania occidentale (Isis Press, 2012).

Mohammed Hashas is a Postdoctoral Fellow at LUISS University of Rome and Adjunct Lecturer at the American University of Rome. He was a research fellow at Babylon Center for the Study of the Multicultural Society in Tilburg, the Netherlands (2010), and at the Center for European Islamic Thought at the University of Copenhagen (2011-2012). His academic concerns are the emerging European Islamic thought, Arab-Islamic political theology, and the ongoing socio-political and cultural transformations of the Arab societies, with a focus on Morocco. His papers so far have appeared with the Journal of Muslims of Europe, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, and the Journal of Studia Islamica. He is currently co-editing a volume on Imams in Western Europe, and Mohamed Abed Al Jabri and the Future of the Arab World.

Nancy Okail is the Executive Director of the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP). She holds a PhD with a focus on power relations of foreign aid from the University of Sussex  Prior to joining TIMEP, she was director of Freedom House’s program on Egypt. She has more than thirteen years’ experience in promoting democracy and development in the Middle East/North Africa region, and is a visiting scholar at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. She has worked with the Egyptian government as a senior evaluation officer of foreign aid and has managed programs for Egyptian pro-democracy organizations that challenged the Mubarak regime. She was also one of the defendants convicted and sentenced to prison in the widely publicized case of 43 nongovernmental organization workers charged with using foreign funds to foment unrest in Egypt.

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. He is a regular contributor to German Marshall Fund’s web site’s “ON Turkey” series and writes a bimonthly column for Italy’s Espresso magazine. 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). His latest published work is co-authored with Serhat Guvenc and entitled “NATO and Turkey in the Post-Cold War World: Between Abandonment and Entrapment”.

Mura Palasek earned her PhD in Political Philosophy (2010) from the Centre for Ethics and Global Politics, LUISS University in Rome. She works strongly interdisciplinarily (from the backgrounds also in Sociology and Psychology) in a broader area of ‘Cosmopolitan studies’, with a view of three central areas: Global Ethics, (Global) Political Philosophy and Epistemology (of the Global). Her interest is largely in world civilisations and her primary political-ethical ideal is Peace (in the world). She has continuously presented her work at the Inter-University Centre in Dubrovnik, in ‘Social and Political Philosophy’ course. In the earlier period she had worked long as a public opinion and social science researcher.

İlay Romain Örs
is an Associate Professor of Anthropology 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 studies and urban anthropology in Istanbul, Greece and the Mediterranean. Her book is forthcoming to be published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2016.

Fabio Petito is Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Sussex and has taught in recent years at SOAS in London, the ESCP-EAP in Paris and at ‘L’Orientale’ University in Naples. His research focuses on civilizational analysis, comparative political theory, Contemporary Religion, Diplomacy and International Relations, Geopolitics, Italian Studies, Mediterranean Politics. Among his publications: Religion in International Relations: The Return from Exile (2003, co-editor with Pavlos Hatzopoulos) and Civilizational Dialogue and World Order: The Other Politics of Cultures, Religions and Civilizations in International Relations (2009, co-edited with Michális S. Michael). Currently, he is working on a monograph entitled The International Political Theory of Dialogue of Civilization. He is a member of the International Coordinating Committee of the World Public “Dialogue of Civilizations” and Scientific Coordinator of the MAE-ISPI-Trento seminar on ‘Religions and International Relations.’

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 EthicsHandbook of Critical TheoryJürgen Habermas: The Foundations of the Habermas ProjectJürgen Habermas: Law and Politics;Jürgen Habermas: EthicsJürgen Habermas: Epistemology and TruthCritical Theory Vol. I-IV. He currently prepares a book on John Rawls. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Istanbul Seminars.

Bahar Şimşek is an academic staff at the Department of Radio Television and Film at Ankara University in Ankara. She received a BA degree from the Department of Mathematics at Middle East Technical University, and a MA degree from the Department of Radio Television and Film at Ankara University. Her PhD dissertation is about politics of desire in film theory analysing the case of Kurdish cinema. Her research interests focus on issues concerning identity politics, spatial thinking and audio-visual means of recognition.

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.”

Debora Tonelli is a researcher at the Center for Religious Sciences at Bruno Kessler Foundation, Trento, Italy. Moreover she is lecturer at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Pontifical Gregorian University (Rome) and Professor of Political Philosophy and Politics and Religion at the Pontifical University of St. Anselm (Rome). She holds a PhD in political philosophy from Roma Tre University in Rome (2005), with a thesis on the genesis of the concept of standards and a PhD in theology at the University of Münster Westfälische (2012), with a thesis on divine violence in the Old Testament. She received a DAAD scholarship in Frankfurt under the supervision of Axel Honneth (2003-2004). Among her publications: Immagini di violenza divina nell’AT (2014); Il Decalogo. Uno sguardo retrospettivo (2010).

Ömer Turan is Associate Professor in the Department of International Relations and Political Science at Istanbul Bilgi University. His research interests include socio-political theory, Turkish politics, and historical sociology. His writings have been published in numerous volumes, including Dialogue and ‘Dignity of Difference’: Building Capacity for Otherness, edited by Mojtaba Mahdavi and W. Andy Knight, and Remaking Turkey: Globalization, Alternative Modernities and Democracy edited by Fuat Keyman.

Camil Ungureanu is Associate Professor of Political Philosophy at the University Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, where he teaches Contemporary Political Philosophy. In 2007-2008 he was lecturer in Political Theory at the University College in Dublin. He holds a PhD from the European University Institute focusing on “Democracy, Rhetoric and Decision”. His fields of interests are: contemporary political philosophy; critical theory; religion, law and politics; art and philosophy (with a focus on contemporary cinema and literature). Among his recent publications Law, State, and Religion in the New Europe (2012, co-edited with Lorenzo Zucca), From the Nation-State to the Post-National Constellation: Jürgen Habermas’ Theory of Law and Democracy (2012, co-edited with Klaus Günther and Christian Joerges) and Religious Pluralism, Law and State in the New Europe (2014; co-edited with Ferran Requejo). Moreover, he is working on two book projects: Contemporary Democratic Theory and Religion and Houellebecq´s religious fictionsbetween nihilism, conversion and parody.

Ananya Vajpeyi is an Associate Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in New Delhi. She has taught at the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, in the history department at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and at the National Law School of India University, Bangalore. Most recently she was a Visiting Professor in South Asian and North African Studies at the University of Venice, Ca’ Foscari (Spring 2014). Vajpeyi is currently a Global Ethics Fellow with the Carnegie Council on Ethics in International Affairs (2014-2017). She works at the intersection of intellectual history, political theory and critical philology. She is currently writing two books: one, a history of caste categories in India from pre-colonial to modern times, and the other, her long-term project, a life of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar (1891-1956). Her first book Righteous Republic: The Political Foundations of Modern India was named book of the year 2012 by the Guardian and the New Republic. Vajpeyi writes regularly for The Hindu newspaper and guest-edits an issue of Seminar magazine annually. Recent publications include an op-ed in The New York Times, an essay in the Los Angeles Review of Books and an interview on with the Editor of Foreign Affairs, Gideon Rose.

Michael Walzer is a Professor Emeritus at the School of Social Science at the Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS), Princeton. Michael Walzer has written about a wide variety of topics in political theory and moral philosophy, including political obligation, just and unjust war, nationalism and ethnicity, economic justice, and the welfare state. He has played a critical role in the revival of a practical, issue-focused ethics and in the development of a pluralist approach to political and moral life. Walzer’s books include Just and Unjust Wars (1977), Spheres of Justice (1983), Thick and Thin: Moral Argument at Home and Abroad (1994), On Toleration (1997), and Arguing About War (2004) and most recently The Paradox of Liberation: Secular Revolutions and Religious Counterrevolutions (2015); he has served as editor of the political journal Dissent for more than three decades. Currently, he is working on issues having to do with international justice and the new forms of welfare and also on a collaborative project focused on the history of Jewish political thought.

Patrick Weil is a Visiting Professor of Law, Oscar M. Ruebhausen Distinguished Senior Fellow, and a Senior Research Scholar in Law at Yale Law School, and a Senior Research Fellow at the French National Research Center in the University of Paris1, Pantheon-Sorbonne. His work focuses on comparative immigration, citizenship, and church-state law and policy. His most recent book is The Sovereign Citizen: Denaturalization and the Origins of the American Republic (2013). Among his other recent publications on journals are “Citizenship, Passports, and the Legal Identity of Americans: Edward Snowden and Others Have a Case in the Courts,” in Yale Law Journal Forum (2014) and “From Conditional to Secured and Sovereign: The New Strategic Link Between the Citizen and the Nation-State in a Globalized World,” in International Journal of Constitutional Law (2011). In France, he has participated in a 2003 Presidential Commission on secularism, established by Jacques Chirac. In 1997, he completed a mission and a report on immigration and nationality policy reform for Prime Minister Lionel Jospin which led to the implementation of new immigration and citizenship laws adopted the following year.

Boyan Znepolsky is Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology, University of Sofia “St. Kliment Ohridski”; Research interests: sociology of culture, social movements, pragmatism. Publications: Books: The Limits of the Subject, Sofia, AGATA-A, 2007, Hermeneutic Paradigms, Sofia, AGATA-A, 2004; Editor of collective volumes: “People” and “Civil Society” as Resources of Democracy, (Editor of the Issue), Critique and Humanism Journal, Special Issue, 2013;  Rethinking Democracy: Power and Resistance, (Editor of the issue with Dimitar Vatsov), Critique and Humanism Journal, Vol. 38, No 1/2012; Negotiating “Nation” and “Society”: The Public Sphere in Post-Communist Bulgaria, Euxeinos/2/2011 (Guest Editor), Newsletter of the Center for Governance and Culture in Europe, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland.

List of confirmed Speakers:Murat Akan, Asaf Savaş Akat, Cengiz Aktar, Mustafa Akyol, Ahmet Murat Aytaç, Albena Azmanova, Zygmunt Bauman, Rajeev Bhargava, Seyla Benhabib, Murat Borovali, Giancarlo Bosetti, Cemil Boyraz, Manuel Castells, Can Cemgil, Maeve Cooke, Mehmet Durman, Mohd Eiadat, Alessandro Ferrara, Silvio Ferrari, Nilüfer Göle, Amr Hamzawy, Mikhail Ilyin, Aleksandra Kania, Fuat Keyman, Ohannes Kılıçdağı, Andreas Koller, Veysi Kondu, Cristina Lafont, Ebrahim Moosa (in video), Nancy Okail, İlay Romain Örs, Soli Özel, Fabio Petito, David Rasmussen, Jim Sleeper, Bahar Şimşek, Ömer Turan, Camil Ungureanu, Ananya Vajpeyi, Michael Walzer (in video), Patrick Weil, Boyan Znepolsky.



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