Convening 26 May 2015 Istanbul Students and Scholars
Istanbul Seminars 2015
Bilgi University

8th Istanbul Seminars May 26-30, 2015

Politics Beyond Borders. The Republican Model Challenged by the Internationalization of Economy, Law and Communication. 

The Istanbul Seminars 2015 welcome international students, postgraduates and researchers to join a week of philosophical meetings with renowned intellectuals who are committed to the issues of pluralism and democracy.

In the past few years, many students from all over the world (Egypt, France, Germany, Greece Turkey, Italy, Ireland, Poland, The Netherlands, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Morocco, Tunisia, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Spain, UK, USA) attended the seminars.

Events are free of charge and open to all





Budget is limited. Small grants are addressed to student/scholars depending on their motivation letter, cv, academic reference letter, travel distance from Istanbul, financial status. Applicants are noticed on the result of the evaluation committee by April 15th, 2015. Granted participants are required to attend all the program 26-30 May. The grant will be delivered on Saturday 30th, in cash. To granted participants a daily free lunch ticket to be spent at the Campus Cafeteria will be provided. To pre-registered participants who will attend the entire Seminar program: a daily free lunch ticket to be spent at the Campus Cafeteria will be provided. Tickets will be given at the registration desk in the morning of the 26-27-28-29-30 of May.

Certificate of Attendance:
Registered applicants who attend the whole Seminars will receive a Certificate of Attendance.

If you wish to attend single sessions, you may register at the conference hall entrance.



Enrolled participants have the possibility of getting involved in one of four working groups related to the general seminar topic. Participants involved in the working groups will receive some reading material before the beginning of the Seminars. Each working group will discuss the preliminary readings and the speeches given by the Speakers. At the end of the program each working group will present the results to the audience.

Working groups meet daily at the end of the sessions, for about one hour.

You may choose to get involved in the working groups filling the registration form. A Committee will assign participating scholars to the working groups on the basis of their interests and CV.

Enrollment in the working groups is not compulsory, but welcome.


Introductory Reading List on Republicanism:
This short reading list is supposed to give a quick introduction to Republicanism and the issues currently discussed. Choose an argument and prepare some of the texts.

Cécile Laborde & John Maynor (2007): Republicanism and Political Theory, Oxford, Blackwell, parts 1 and 2.

Cécile Laborde (2008): Critical Republicanism: The Hijab Controversy and Political Philosophy, Oxford, Oxford University Press, pp. 101-172.

Frank Lovett (2014), “Republicanism,” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2014 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.):

Nadia Urbinati (2012), “Competing for Liberty: The Republican Critique of Democracy,” in American Political Science Review 106 (3), pp. 607-621.

Discussion Groups:
The workshops of the discussion groups are supposed to concentrate on one particular aspect concerning Republicanism. Participants of the workshops have the possibility on Friday morning, May 29, to present their discussions to the general audience of the Seminars and ask more articulated questions to the invited speakers of the Seminars.

1.Republican Political Theory (Volker Kaul)
Readings: Joshua Cohen (2010): Rousseau. A Free Community of Equals, Oxford, Oxford University Press, pp. 1-96.

2.European Republicanism (Debora Tonelli)
Readings: Philip Pettit (1997), Republicanism, Oxford, Oxford University Press, chapter 1.

3.Turkish Republicanism (Boğaç Erozan)
Readings: Ersin Kalaycioglu (2005), Turkish Dynamics. Bridges Across Troubles Lands, New York, Palgrave.

4.Arab Nationalism, Republicanism and the Quest for a Modern State (Mohammed Hashas)
– Sadik Al-Azm (2011),  “Arab Nationalism, Islamism and the Arab Uprising,” (lecture manuscript) London School of Economics, Middle East Center, November 30, 2011, available at:

– Adeed Dawisha (2003), “Requiem for Arab Nationalism,”
Middle East Quarterly, Winter 2003, pp. 25-41, available at:

– Adeed Dawisha (2005), “Defining Arab Nationalism,” in Adeed Dawisha, Arab Nationalism in the Twentieth Century, Princeton (NJ), Princeton University Press, pp. 2-14.

Martin Kramer (1996), “Ambition, Arabism, and George Antonius,” in Martin Kramer, Arab Awakening and Islamic Revival: The Politics of Ideas in the Middle East, New Brunswick, Transaction, pp. 111-23.

– Martin Kramer (2010), The Arab Nation of Shakib Arslan, October 2010, available at:

– Larbi Sadiki (2010), “Wither Arab ‘Republicanism’? The Rise of Family Rule and the ‘End of Democratization’ in Egypt, Libya and Yemen,” in Mediterranean Politics 15 (1), pp. 99-107.


Useful information for an enjoyable stay in Istanbul

Location: the Istanbul Seminars are held at Istanbul Bilgi University Santral Istanbul Campus, located in the Silahtaraga neighbourhood at the upper end of Golden Horn.

Bilgi University Santral Campus address: Eski Silahtaraga Elektrik Santrali Silahtaraga Mah. Kazim Karabekir Cad. No. 1 34060 Eyüp / Istanbul
Phone +90 (0) 212 311 50 00+90 (0) 212 311 50 00

Cafeterias and Restaurants: Istanbul Bilgi University operates several facilities for the convenience of students and staff on its campus. The university cafeterias are popular and lively meeting places, both for a relaxing moderately-priced meal and social gatherings with friends.

Travel and Accommodation: Istanbul Seminars are organized without any support from other institutions. Speakers and participants are responsible for their own travel and accommodation expenses. Students must arrange their accommodation personally.

Things in Istanbul change very quickly, even though we know several hostels where students stayed in the past years, they may be closed or quite different at the present. Hence, our advice is to check on the web, as there are hundreds of options at decent price that will allow you to enjoy your week in Istanbul on a reasonable budget.

A room in Sultanhamet, Istanbul’s wonderful historical district, may be a suitable option since you could reach Kabataş by light metro in less than 10 minutes, where you can catch the free shuttle service provided by Bilgi that takes you to the Santral Campus.

NB. Kabataş is the last stop on the T1 red line, “S” -along the T1 way- indicates Sultanhamet stop.

Transportation: Besides the buses and other public transport, the Santral Istanbul Campus is accessible by the University’s free shuttle service, which connects the university to the city starting from Kabataş.
For the Bilgi shuttle buses Timetable (Kabataş – Santral Campus -Kabataş)

You may find useful the official Istanbul transport map here

Tutorship: Michele Salonia will support students’ participation. Please write to for any question you may have.