You are all warmly invited to attend Prof. Barrie Axford’s speech and roundtable ”What is global studies and do we need it?” at the Middle East Technical University on 29th April from 15.30 to 17.00 (in Mavi Salon). The event will be kindly chaired by Prof. Hüseyin Bağcı, Head of the METU Department of International Relations. 

Professor Barrie Axford

Barrie Axford is Professor of Politics at Oxford Brookes University and Director of the Centre for Global Politics, Economics and   Culture. He has been Visiting Professor at The Universities of Genoa, California (Santa Barbara) and Stanford and a Visiting Fellow at the Warwick Centre for the Study of Globalizations and Regionalization. Currently he is an International Advisor to the Italian Ministry of Education (University Research). His research encompasses theories of globalization and globality; the field of media and politics and aspects of European unity. His books include “The Global System”, “Unity and Diversity in the New Europe”,  “New Media and Politics”, “Cultures and/of Globalization” and “Theories of Globalization” At present he is working on a volume on communication, digital media and world society.


For a previous interview with Prof. Barrie Axford on his book ‘Theories of Globalizattheories-of-globion’, please click here.





As Changing Turkey in a Changing World, we would like to extend our warm welcome to Prof. Roland Robertson. Please find below his short bio.

Roland Robertson is Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh, USA; Visiting Professor of RobertsonRolandSociology at the University of Essex; and Distinguished Guest Professor of Cultural Studies at Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. He was until very recently Professor of Sociology and Global Society at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. He began his academic career at the University of Leeds, and subsequently held appointments at the University of Essex, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of York (where he was Head of the Department of Sociology from 1970 to 1974). He returned to Pittsburgh in 1974 and remained there until his move to Aberdeen in 1999. He holds, or has held, visiting positions in sociology, pedagogy and religious studies at universities in various countries, including the USA, England, Brazil, Italy, Austria, Sweden, China (Hong Kong) and Turkey.

Robertson has published extensively in the sociology of globalization, culture, religion and sport. Among his most influential publications are The Sociological Interpretation of Religion (1970), Meaning and Change (1978)Globalization: Social Theory and Global Culture (1992) and a large number of other books and articles. He has also edited or co-edited various volumes, including the Encyclopedia of Globalization (2007) and Globalization: Critical Concepts in Sociology (2003).

We would like to extend a warm welcome to Prof. Haldun N. Gülalp who kindly joined our advisory board. Please find below his short biography.

Prof. Haldun Gülalp  is Professor of Political Science since 2005. He is the Director of the Center for Global Studies at Yıldız Technical University, gulalpIstanbul. Prof. Gulalp previously taught at Bogazici University, Hamilton College, University of California at Los Angeles, Northwestern University, University of Washington at Seattle, St Antony’s College University of Oxford, and George Washington University. His books include among others:

2013      (Edited, with Günter Seufert) Religion, Identity and Politics: Germany and Turkey in Interaction, London: Routledge.

2010      (Edited, with Cengiz Çağla) Avrupa Birliği, Demokrasi ve Laiklik: Semih Vaner Anısına (The European Union, Democracy and Secularism: In Memory of Semih Vaner), Istanbul: Metis Yayınları.

2006      (Edited) Citizenship and Ethnic Conflict: Challenging the Nation-State, London: Routledge.

(Turkish edition: Vatandaşlık ve Etnik Çatışma: Ulus-Devletin Sorgulanması, Istanbul: Metis Yayınları.)

2003      Kimlikler Siyaseti:Türkiye’de Siyasal İslamın Temelleri (Politics of Identities: Foundations of Political Islam in Turkey) , Istanbul: Metis Yayınları.

Review of Ömer Çaha (2013) Women and Civil Society in Turkey: Women’s Movements in a Muslim Society, Ashgate, ISBN: 978-1-47-241007-8.

by Asuman Özgür Keysan (University of Strathclyde)PPCspine22mm

Women and Civil Society in Turkey: Women’s Movements in a Muslim Society offers a significant contribution to studies which link civil society debates with women’s issues through its focus on women’s movements in Turkey. The book critically engages with mainstream definitions of civil society as coined by political philosophers, and highlights a feminist critique of them by engaging with the works of feminist commentators. Drawing on feminist scholarship, it generally challenges the construction of civil society as a masculine space where women are confined to the private sphere, and explores the particular challenges posed by the feminist, Islamic and Kurdish women’s movements in Turkey. Perhaps most importantly, this book is written by a male scholar. Çaha uses the preface of the book to reflect on his particular interest in women’s oppression and subordination from his standpoint as a man, rooting his interest in feminist/women’s movements in his “sense of justice” (p.ix) and admits that it is inevitable for “a man to inadequately analyse or even to misunderstand, those women who experience problems or carry out the activities of the women’s movement and their organisations and publications” (p.x).

The main contribution of this book is to show how the discourses of feminist, Islamic and Kurdish women’s movements in Turkey can motivate us to rethink the uniform perceptions of the public sphere. This is achieved through conducting a discourse analysis of fifty magazines published by women’s groups between the 1980s and 2010. On the basis of the findings, Çaha argues that a new plural public sphere is constructed in Turkey within which feminist approaches and practices have played a significant part since the 1980s.

The book consists of seven chapters. Chapter I focuses on multiple conceptualizations of civil society within political philosophy, and explains how they marginalise the roles played by women. In response to the dominant male voice in civil society theorising, three goals of feminism – ‘equality’, ‘difference’ and ‘autonomy’ – are critically explored (p.10). It is argued that in accordance with these interlinked principles, feminists make a contribution to the promotion of “feminine civil society” and thereby create alternative understandings of civil society (p.25). Chapter II discusses state-civil society relations and the women’s movement beginning from the Ottoman Empire until the 1980s. The emergence of “indigenous feminism” in the post-Mesrutiyet period (post-1908) and women’s position and image in the Republican period, are the main issues discussed here. Considering the authoritarian elements of the Kemalist ideology and its project of framing “women as a link to Western civilization” (p. 60), this chapter problematizes the compatibility of Kemalism with independent civil society. Chapter III and IV turn to the post-1980s period by particularly focusing on the feminist movement and the institutionalisation it has undergone.

Whereas Chapter III points to street activism throughout the 1980s as a way of challenging the official state discourse and ideology by analysing three key women’s magazines – Kadınca, Kaktüs and Feminist published by liberal, social and radical feminists respectively, Chapter IV touches upon institutionalisation throughout the 1990s and the 2000s. The general aim of these two chapters is to underline the constructive impact of the feminist movement on the promotion of civil society in Turkey. Chapter V of this book turns to the development of the Islamic women’s movement triggered by the struggle over the headscarf ban in the post-1980s. The establishment of Islamic women’s organisations and the publications of Islamic women’s groups such as Aile (Family), Mektup (Letter) and Kadın Kimliği (Women’s Identity) are provided as evidence of an increase in the number of Islamic women entering the public sphere. Chapter VI investigates the main features of the Kurdish women’s movements developed after the 1990s by discussing campaigns and organisations created by Kurdish women, and the publications they have produced. Çaha analyzes three Kurdish women’s magazines, namely Roza, Jujin and Jin u Jiyan in order to emphasize the similar and different discourses of Kurdish women in their approach to women’s issues. In this chapter, the male-dominant struggle in the Kurdish movement and the essentialist approach of the Turkish feminists to women are stated as two pillars of dual oppression which Kurdish women experience, and the Kurdish women’s challenge to those forms of oppression are regarded as “alternative ways of emancipation and self-realisation” (p.178) for women from different social, political, economic and cultural contexts. In Chapter VII, Çaha provides concluding remarks on the contributions of feminist, Islamic and Kurdish women’s movements to the understanding of feminine civil society in Turkey.

To sum up, Çaha sustains a comprehensive analysis of the development of civil society and the history of the feminist, Islamic and Kurdish women’s movements in Turkey by analysing fifty magazines published by women from the 1980s through to the 2010. When considering the limited attention scholars have paid to the links between women’s movements and civil society in Turkey, this book makes an important contribution in terms of filling this gap. However, a more detailed discussion on the critical engagement of the feminist scholars and activists with the concept of civil society might do much to enrich this discussion. The reader should be aware that feminists by no means agreed on how feminism and civil society fit together. Overall this book successfully draws the reader’s attention to the diversity of women’s movements in Turkey, and additionally provides helpful discussion on the issues of body politics, headscarf and ethnic identity. It importantly identifies the contributions these discussions can make to the formation of feminine civil society under a new pluralistic public sphere.This book will be beneficial for both established scholars and advanced students of women’s and gender studies in political science and sociology departments. It may also be of interest to civil society activists, as it raises crucial awareness of women’s position within civil society.

James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. He is also co-director of the Institute of Fan Culture of the University of Wuerzburg in Ge‎rmany. An award-winning, veteran journalist, James has covered ethnic and religious conflict in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Financial Times and The Christian Science Monitor. James is a columnist and the author of the widely acclaimed and quoted blog, The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer. He sits on the international editorial board of The Middle East Studies Online Journal.

CHANGING TURKEY: Could you tell us about your new book The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer and your research in general?                                           

JAMES M. DORSEY: The book fills a gap in research in both Middle East studies and the study of the nexus of sports, politics and Dorsey_Turbulent_World_CMYK_websociety. In Middle East studies sports has been virtually ignored despite the fact that soccer in particular has played a key role in the development of the region since it was introduced by the Brits in the late 19th / early 20th century. Similarly, the social science study of sports has focused on all parts of the world except the Middle East and North Africa. Soccer to me offers a unique prism on the national, ethnic, religious, political and cultural fault lines in the Middle East and North Africa as well as its historic and current struggles. Given that soccer is one of the world’s most prevalent expressions of popular culture, it also is a way of attracting a readership that normally would not be interested in deeper analysis of the region.

CHANGING TURKEY: Thank you very much for attending the third Changing Turkey workshop and presenting your comparison of Turkish and Egyptian militant soccer fans’ place in anti-government protests. Could you provide our readers a summary of your comparison?

JAMES M. DORSEY: Turkish soccer fans were politicized and became militant at a time of repressive military-backed rule in which stadia were the only venue where people could rally and express their identity, pent-up frustration and anger. It was only 25 years later that Egyptian soccer fans went through a similar process. In that quarter of a century, Turkey returned to pluralistic, democratic rule albeit with a powerful military on the background that was only subjected to civilian rule in the late 20th and early 21st century. While Egypt three years after its popular revolt reverted to a security force-dominated autocracy, in Turkey mass anti-government protests prompted by plans to raze Gezi Park on Istanbul’s iconic Taksim Square sparked a period of political crisis and increased authoritarianism and government control. The ultras’ battle in Egypt for freedom in the stadia, their prominent role in the toppling of Hosni Mubarak and their opposition to the military rulers and the elected and then toppled Brotherhood government of Mohammed Morsi, made them political by definition. The same is true for Carsi and other Turkish support groups, foremost among which those associated with storied Istanbul club Fenerbahce who stand for greater political freedoms, opposed the hard-handed police and demanded an end to the corruption of the sport. Despite the communalities, there are also obvious differences. Post-Morsi Egypt has come full cycle. Repression with little more than a democratic facade could again put soccer fans alongside shady militant Islamists groups in the forefront and turn stadia into political battlefields against military control whether overt or behind-the scenes. Brutal and unaccountable security forces and autocratic government masked by hollowed out democratic institutions could also again unite fans in their confrontation with the regime. That too is not impossible in Turkey as Erdogan maintains a politicized judiciary and police force, fends off the worst corruption scandal in recent political history, battles a well-entrenched rival who heads the world’s largest Islamist network, and limits freedom of expression and access to information.

CHANGING TURKEY: Do you have similar research projects to be completed in the near future? Is there anything else you would like to add?

JAMES M. DORSEY: I am about to publish a monograph on Qatar-Saudi relations as well as one on Arab militaries, both of which are also chapters in a second forthcoming book on the Middle East and North Africa that is not soccer-related. My third book is again about soccer but more theoretical in that looks at things like the relationship between a stadium environment as well as the nature of football and protest, the impact of law enforcement on soccer fans in various stages of politicization and soccer’s role in nationalism.

University of Perugia, Department of Political Science and University for Foreigners of Perugia, Department of Human and Social Studies, 11 – 13 September 2014

Section. 14: Focus on Turkey

Panel. 14.5: Democracy, Public Spaces and “Open Society”: Gezi Park Protests and the birth of the “Gezi movement” 

On 28th May 2013, a small group of Turkish environmentalists organised a peaceful protest, in Taksim Square,  Istanbul, against a775952949 redevelopment plan for Gezi Park. The brutality of the police force’s attempt to repress this protest  launched a civic movement that spread throughout the main cities of Turkey and persists to this day. With the passage  of time, the movement has defined its own vocabulary, symbols and characteristics. The square is now the “real” place  in which to manifest the need for pluralism and freedom, and social networks are now the “virtual” places for protest and dissent. Thus, the battle for public space increasingly resembles a clash between control and freedom, between standardisation and diversity, and between authoritarianism and plurality.

What is the most authentic meaning of the Turkish protest movement? Should it be considered the expression of a modern, complex and dynamic civil society, one that was born specifically in the AKP decade and that has now grown beyond its rulers? The demand for pluralism, the collective ownership of public space, the free expression of citizenship, the freedom of the press and of public opinion, the desire for an “open society” – are these the deepest and most urgent challenges for Turkish civil society? Has the movement jeopardised the credibility of the AKP decade as exemplifying the co-existence of Islam, secularism and democracy, or does it rather constitute an opportunity to relaunch democratic and pluralistic growth? Finally, does the Europeanization of Turkey, controversial and fitful as it is, contribute to the formation of a new Turkish civil society?

These are the central questions proposed by the panel, whose intention is to encourage interdisciplinary contributions, that primarily develop a multidimensional understanding of the Turkish protest movement within the context of the complex balance between democracy, Islam and secularism.

Abstracts (in English or Italian) should be submitted to Dr. Carola Cerami (carola.cerami@unipv.it) and Federico Donelli (federico@donelli.it) by May 8th 2014.

Abstracts should not exceed 250 words and should be accompanied by a short biographical note.


Venue: Oxford Brookes University Gipsy Lane John Henry Brookes Building 406
Date: 15 April 2014

Workshop programme

10.45 -11.00: Welcome by Changing Turkey
11.00-12.00: Keynote speeches:

-Prof.Chris Rumford (Royal Holloway):’Ideoscapes, multiperspectivalism, and the need to rethink ideology’

-Prof. Barrie Axford (Oxford Brookes University):’Mere connection? The transformative impact of new media on insurrectionary and usual politics’

12.00-12.15: Coffee Break

12.15- 13.45 Panel I— ‘Comparative perspectives on public protests’
Chair: Prof. Barrie Axford

Dr. Gülçin Erdi Lelandais (CNRS and Université de Tours): ‘Reclaiming a New Democratic Ethos in the City via #Occupy Movements: Thinking on Gezi Park Protests in Turkey and Indignados in Spain’

Harriet Fildes (University of Edinburgh): ‘Reconceptualizing State-Society Relations in Turkey: a Culture of Contestation from Gezi and Beyond’

James M. Dorsey (S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies):‘Convergence and divergence: Turkish and Egyptian fans fight political battles’ -via Skype

13.45-14.00 Coffee Break

14.00- 15.30: Panel II— ‘Exploring the case of Gezi Park protests in Turkey’          Chair: Prof. Chris Rumford

Dr. Özge Dilaver Kalkan (University of Surrey & British Institute at Ankara):‘What does it mean to be chapulling? A Snapshot of June Events in Turkey’

Dr. Şakir Dinçşahin (SOAS & Yeditepe University):‘Gezi Park and Competing Populisms in Turkey: The People of the Government versus the People of the Protest’

Dr. Kemal Çiftçi (Ufuk University):‘Understanding Turkey through “Gezi Park”: Revolt of a “Multitude” Against the Islamist Government’

15.30-15.45: Coffee Break

15.45-17.45: Panel III—‘From Protest to Conflict’
Chair: Dr. Şakir Dinçşahin

Dr. Shaimaa Magued (Cairo University): ‘The New Tahrir Square: From “Protesting” towards the “Occupation” of Public Sphere in Egypt’ –via Skype

Mona Das (Satyawati College -Day): ‘Common Man’s upsurge against a common nuisance: The curious case of anti-corruption movement in India’

Alia Bukhari (Royal Holloway):‘The FATA paradox of political independence with economic dependence’

Sinem Arslan (University of Essex):‘Social construction of ethnic identities and emergence of Violence: Insights from Democratic Republic of Congo and Ivory Coast’

GetAttachment copy kücükCo-organized by Changing Turkey research team, Dr. Baris Gulmez (Royal Holloway) and Dr. Didem Buhari-Gulmez (Oxford Brookes University). We are grateful to Prof. Barrie Axford and the Department of Social Sciences at Oxford Brookes University for hosting and co-funding this event. We thank Prof. Chris Rumford (Royal Holloway) for his inspiring support to Changing Turkey events.

Open and free to all. Refreshments provided. To register, please send your name and affiliation to ChangingTurkey@gmail.com


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