Date: 14-15 May 2017

Venue: Tüyap Palas Hotel, Büyükcekmece/Istanbul (Turkey)

The main theme of Büyükcekmece 1st International Local Goverments Congress which is organized by Büyükcekmece Municipality and Marmara Municipalities Union that will take place in Büyükcekmece/Istanbul on 14-15 May 2017 will be the Future of Municipalities and New Approaches. During the Congress, effects of changes and developments that are to take place in the 21st century on municipalities will be discussed from the view point of interdisciplinary studies and examples of good practices.

Deadline for the submission of abstract proposals: 24. 03. 2017, Deadline for article submission: 21.04.2017

Please send your proposals to congress.bcekmece@gmail.com

Turkish version:  14-15 Mayıs 2017 tarihlerinde Büyükçekmece Belediyesi ve Marmara Belediyeler birliği iş birliğiyle, İstanbul/Büyükçekmece’de düzenlenecek olan Büyükçekmece I. Uluslararası Yerel Yönetimler Kongresinin ana teması, Belediyelerin Geleceği ve Yeni Yaklaşımlar olacaktır. Kongrede, 21. yy. da dünyadaki değişim ve gelişim süreçlerinin belediyeler üzerindeki etkileri, disiplinlerarası çalışmalar ve yerelden küresele iyi uygulama örnekleri perspektifinde tartışılacaktır.

Bildiri Özet Kabul Tarihi: 24. 03. 2017  Tam Metin Gönderme Tarihi :21.04.2017

Başvurunuzu congress.bcekmece@gmail.com aadresine gönderebilirsiniz.

Interviewed by Umut Can Adısönmez (Changing Turkey Research Associate)

Ayşe Zarakol is a University Lecturer (Assistant Professor) at the University of Cambridge, with affiliations atzarakol Emmanuel College as an official fellow and the Centre for Rising Powers as a Senior Research Associate. Ayşe broadly works on East-West relations in the international system, with a focus on stigmatization and social hierarchies; problems of modernity and sovereignty; rising and declining powers; and Turkish politics in a comparative perspective (with other non-Western powers such as Russia and Japan). In addition to her book After Defeat: How the East Learned to Live with the West (Cambridge UP, 2011 and in Turkish, with a new introduction, with Koç UP, 2012), she has published in journals such as International Organization, Cooperation & Conflict, International Studies Quarterly, International Theory, Review of International Studies, European Journal of International Relations, and International Relations, as well as in more policy-oriented outlets (such as the Journal of Democracy) and edited books. She is currently serving on the executive committee of The Program on New Approaches to Research and Security in Eurasia (PONARS Eurasia); the advisory board of the State-Making and the Origins of Global Order
in the Long Nineteenth Century and Beyond (STANCE) project at Lund University Sweden, as well as the journals of International Studies Review and International Relations. She is also involved in the ERC funded DIPLOFACE project led by Professor Rebecca Adler-Nissen at the University of Copenhagen. The contributions of her research have been recognised by a number of funding institutions and professional associations in the US, UK and Europe, including the designation of ‘rising star’ from the IR section of Swedish Political Science Association (SWEPSA). In 2016, Ayse was a visiting fellow at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Cambridge, and the Nobel Institute in Oslo.

Could you please tell us about your background and previous studies?

I grew up in Istanbul. I left when I was seventeen to attend university in the United States. I went to Middlebury College, a liberal arts college in rural Vermont where I majored in Political Science and Classical Studies. When I graduated from college I thought I wanted to go to law school (in the US law is studied at the graduate level) so I worked for a year at a law firm in New York City as a legal assistant. Realising this path was not for me, I applied in the last minute for PhD programs in Political Science, and ended up going to University of Wisconsin-Madison. It was the best last minute decision I have ever made. There I had the good fortune of studying with some great scholars, especially Michael Barnett (who left for Minnesota in the middle of my studies but stayed on as my dissertation advisor). This was a great time to be a student in Madison. Upon graduation, I got a tenure-track position in a small liberal arts college in Virginia (Washington and Lee University). After several years there and one year in Washington, DC, as Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow where I worked for the US government, I was appointed to my current permanent post as a University Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Cambridge. I am also a fellow at Emmanuel College.


What are the deficiencies in Turkish academic literature related to your field?

The deficiencies in Turkish IR literature mirror the deficiencies of the broader IR literature. IR is still an American dominated field. Until recently, American IR was characterised by what is called inter-paradigm debates between realism, liberalism and to some extent, constructivism. Later another major debate emerged between positivists and non-positivists, the end result of which has been an increasing divergence between American IR, which tends to be overwhelmingly positivist and European IR, which tends to be non-positivist (though not overwhelmingly so). American IR is supposed to have left “theory” behind in the sense that most recent research does not take strong paradigmatic position but is methods driven instead, to the extent of “fetishising” various statistical and experimental methods at the expense of asking big questions.  European IR, on the other hand, has become very (meta)-theoretical, to the extent that it is possible to see IR scholars who are incredibly well versed in the nuances of the writings of particular continental philosophers but have no interest in what the general public would consider IR questions.

Because many Turkish IR scholars are trained abroad, either in the US or Europe, and/or have to conform to the expectations of that literature to get published in “top” journals, which are invariably located in the US or Europe, we see the problems created by the situations I have described above replicated in the Turkish IR literature as well. The quantitative trend in the American IR literature has not quite taken hold in Turkish IR, but the paradigm-speak is very much a fact. How anyone can be familiar with Turkish politics and take the rationalist approaches of neorealism or neoliberalism to be descriptive theories of international relations is beyond me. At least in Americans defence we can say that they don’t know any better! Also, in the articles I am sent to review dealing with some aspect of Turkish politics and Turkish foreign policy, I sometimes see a very utilitarian approach to theory use – some theoretical framework is superimposed on a more nuanced case study without thinking too much about the assumptions and the implications of the theory itself.  On the flip side, the more “meta” European approaches to IR seem to give some Turkish scholars “critical” bona fides without having to go through the trouble of taking critical political stances with real world implications.

But I do not mean to come across as overly critical of Turkish IR; my colleagues in Turkey are working in difficult conditions, to put it mildly, and yet are still able to contribute in very significant ways to the broader IR literature. Turkish IR is taken very seriously in the broader discipline due to their efforts. Of the younger generations, I very much admire the works of Pinar Bilgin, Bahar Rumelili, Lerna Yanik, Sinan Birdal, Senem Aydin Duzgit, just to name a few names off the top of my head; I am leaving out many others who are also doing excellent work (my apologies in advance). These are scholars who could work anywhere in the world, yet choose to stay in Turkey. Their contributions to Turkish IR cannot be overestimated. There are also many Turkish scholars with positions abroad who are doing very interesting work: Nukhet Ahu Sandal, Kerem Nisancioglu and Karabekir Akkoyunlu are three recent examples that come to mind.

As these examples clearly demonstrate, Turkish IR actually has the potential to make very worthwhile contributions to the broader literature if freed from the shackles of working with imported theoretical templates that have no grounding in global history. Both American and European IR suffer greatly from the blind spots generated by the ahistoricism and Eurocentrism endemic in their approaches. Because those of us in or with links to Turkey are well-versed in both those literatures and a case study (Turkey!) that puts all of those assumptions to test, we are actually really well-positioned for constructing IR theories that better explain the world.


Could you recommend any articles or books which were recently published?

My work is more historically oriented, so the books and articles I have read recently reflect that orientation. Of recently published books, I would especially recommend: Buzan and Lawson’s The Global Transformation (CUP 2015), which deals with the significance of the nineteenth century in creating the modern international order;  Branch’s The Cartographic State (CUP 2014), which deals with the overlooked role of cartography in the creation of modern states; Anievas and Nisancioglu’s How the West Came to Rule (Chicago 2015), which contextualises the “rise of the West” in a truly global account; and Patricia Owens’  Economy of Force (CUP 2015), which provides an account of the historical rise of the “social” realm. Another great book is Phillips and Sharman’s International Order in Diversity: War, Trade and Rule in the Indian Ocean (CUP 2015). All of these books also have interesting implications for those of us interested in Turkish/Ottoman history.

Could you please tell us about your recent works and these works’ findings?

I am close to finishing a multi-year collaborative project about the reconceptualisation of the discipline of IR, called “Hierarchies in World Politics”.  An article from this project is coming out this month in International Organization, and I hope the book will be out within the year as well. The project brings together many high profile names working on hierarchies and we are arguing that the anarchy assumption that has dominated the field in the recent decades has closed off many avenues of interesting research to IR scholars.

I have two other forthcoming peer-reviewed articles this year: one article (forthcoming in Cooperation & Conflict) is about conceptualising and historicising “the state” as an ontological security providing and a short article providing a critical assessment of the TRIP surveys, which is my contribution to a forum on the state of constructivism in IR in PS. I have also co-authored a chapter with Zeynep Gulsah Capan in a forthcoming volume edited by Charlotte Epstein and titled Anti-Norms; our chapter criticises the uses of postcolonial critiques in Turkish academia and politics from a postcolonial perspective.


Lastly, what are your future plans in the field?

I have several items active on my research agenda at the moment. I have a long-term historical project about the politics of great power decline. I am also working on a couple of articles on non-Western experiences in state-building and conceptualisations of sovereignty. I am collaborating with Jelena Subotic on a project about the implications of nation-branding for the study of IR. I am also involved in a multi-year project led by Rebecca Adler-Nissen and funded by ERC about EU diplomacy and social media, overseeing the relations with Turkey/Russia dimension. These are some of the highlights.

Dear Changing Turkey readers,

Chris_RumfordIt is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we inform you that the father of ChangingTurkey initiative and an excellent role-model for young researchers on globalization, cosmopolitanism and Turkey, Professor Chris Rumford has passed away.

Chris is a world-leading scholar, dedicated to always helping young researchers from different parts of the world, and he successfully presided over the UK Global Studies Association for many years. He always supported Changing Turkey events by personally attending many of them, aiding and sponsoring their organization. He is the one who first inspired and encouraged us to develop ChangingTurkey blog and he was a senior advisor to ChangingTurkey research group. We are sure that you will feel his loss as much as we do.

As ChangingTurkey team we extend our sincere condolences to Chris’s family, friends, and colleagues.

Chris’ departmental profile is available here: https://pure.royalholloway.ac.uk/portal/en/persons/chris-rumford(5901db04-0f97-411a-87b5-787a7c7dd95a).html

Chris’ funeral will take place on 2nd August at 2pm at Easthampstead Park Crematorium, Wokingham.

Chris’ family has decided to set up a just giving page in memory of Chris, so that people can donate money to the Multiple System Atrophy Trust, which is a trust for the condition that Chris had suffered with. Any donations, small or large would be greatly appreciated as this would’ve been something that Chris would’ve wanted. Thank you in advance. The link for this is justgiving.com/fundraising/chrisrumford

Chris will be missed dearly.

Date: 13 July 2016 (Wednesday)

Venue: Istanbul Kemerburgaz University (Mahmutbey campus)

We invite doctoral  students to present their research in International Relations, Political Science and Public Administration in a friendly and motivating atmosphere. At the end of the presentations, there will be a roundtable organized by Assoc. Prof. Alper Kaliber, Assist. Prof. Tolga Demiryol, Assist. Prof. Aslı Yılmaz Uçar, Assist. Prof. Tuba Turan and Assist. Prof. Didem Buhari Gulmez, which will give the opportunity to discuss several key issues such as (1) publishing in internationally recognized journals and book series; (2) preparing national and international research projects; and (3) pursuing academic research abroad as doctoral or postdoctoral fellows.

All PhD students  in International Relations, Political Science and Public Administration at Turkish Universities are welcome. Presentations can be made in either Turkish or English. There is no participation fee. Participants are responsible of their own expenses. There will be refreshments.

Please send your short abstract proposals (max. 200 words) to didem.buhari@kemerburgaz.edu.tr by 1st July.

The call in Turkish is available here: Kolokyum İKBU


British International Studies Association Working Group on South East Europe and Aston Centre for Europe present:
Refugee Crisis in South East Europe
21 June 2016, Aston University

12.30 Registration & Welcome

13.00 Panel 1: Turkey, EU and the Refugee Crisis
Rhetorically Entrapped No More: the EU, Turkey and the migration crisis
Natalie Martin, The Nottingham Trent University
Turkey’s 2013 Migration Policy Reform in the Context of the EU Deal
Kelsey Norman, University of California, Irvine
Repercussions on the Protection of (Asylum) Rights and Welfare for Refugees in Europe
Henriette Holm Johansen The Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs

15.15 Panel 2: Regional & Local Dynamics in South East Europe
Reconfiguring Diversity within New Corridors of Forced Migration: 2015 Refugee Crisis & the Question of Multiculturalism in the post-Yugoslav Space
Julia Sardeljic, University of Liverpool
Serbia and the Refugee Crisis: Solidarity Within Policy Shifts
Jovan Teokarevic, Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Belgrade
To what extent is the refugee crisis affecting EU-Balkan relations?
Ruth Ferrero Turrion, Universidad Complutense, Madrid
From a close distance: individual reactions to the ‘refugee crisis’ at the Romanian Borders
Julien Danero Iglesias, University of Glasgow

17.15-18.30 Keynote Panel
Changing Dynamics of the Refugee Crisis in Serbia
Marta Stojic Mitrovic, Serbian Academy of Arts & Sciences
Place in the Midst of Movement – Diaspora Translocal Engagement for Post-Conflict Reconstruction
Deneta Karabegović and Maria Koinova, University of Warwick

This event is free & open to all. Reserve a place here: http://bit.ly/26oopkZ
Aston University, Main Building, Room TBC Aston Triangle, Birmingham B16 8DD.https://bisasoutheasteurope.wordpress.com

 By Umut Can ADISÖNMEZ (Research Associate)

Could you please tell us about your background and previous studies?

I am currently Assistant Professor of Modern Turkey at the Centre for Southeast European Studies, University of 13054929_10101027363571971_669607740_oGraz. Previously I was a doctoral candidate in comparative politics at the London School of Economics, where my research looked at political and institutional change in Iran and Turkey. As part of my PhD, I studied Persian at Isfahan University and conducted field work in Iran and taught courses on Middle East politics and theories of democracy and democratisation at the LSE. Before entering academia, I spent several years working as a political analyst in London and teaching English in Indonesia. I took my Bachelor’s degree in History from Brown University in the USA and M.Phil in International Relations from the University of Cambridge. My M.Phil thesis was a comparative study of military reform and democratisation in Turkey and Indonesia. I was born and raised in Istanbul and even though I haven’t lived there regularly since 2001, I travel back very frequently and try to spend at least a few months in Turkey every year.

What are the deficiencies in Turkish academic literature related to your field?

There is already a large and growing number of wonderful academics from Turkey – based both inside and outside the country – conducting impressive research in history, society and politics of the country. In Graz, I also see how young academics from Turkey are increasingly active in area studies beyond the traditional focus of Turkey-EU or Turkey-US relations. However, I still find the Turkish academic literature on the Middle East in general, and in particular on Iran, very limited. For decades, Iran was presented to Turks as a backward theocratic dystopia and I guess old habits really die hard. In reality, Iran is not only a fascinating place with a rich history, poetic language and complex socio-political structures, but it is also a crucial actor that we in Turkey need to better understand and engage with if we are to stay ahead of fast changing regional dynamics.

Could you recommend any articles or books which were recently published?

Cihan Tugal’s The Fall of the Turkish Model: How the Arab Uprisings Brought Down Islamic Liberalism (Verso: 2016) is a surgical, thought-provoking and damning account of why and how everything went so wrong for Turkey regionally and domestically in such short time. On Iran, I look forward to Hamid Dabashi’s Iran Without Borders: Towards a Critique of the Postcolonial Nation, which will come out (also from Verso) in August. On democratisation studies, Nancy Bermeo’s article “On Democratic Backsliding” (Journal of Democracy, Volume 27, Number 1, January 2016, pp. 5-19) sheds a new light on cases where the very institutions that democracy promoters once prioritised (such as elections) are now being used to legitimise democratic backsliding; a work with important implications for Turkey.

Could you please tell us about your recent works and your future plans in the field?

Last year, together with my colleague in Graz, Professor Kerem Öktem, we co-founded the Consortium for European Symposia on Turkey (CEST) bringing together leading European research institutions with the aim of organising annual academic events on Turkey, making the field of Turkish studies more accessible to the debates in social sciences and creating platforms of networking and visibility particularly for younger academics through publications and awards. The inaugural symposium was held in Graz in October 2015 with the title “Populism, Majoritarianism and Crises of Illiberal Democracy”. We had a fascinating two and a half days of discussion based on 20 high quality papers from diverse disciplinary backgrounds and are now in the process of compiling the best papers in a special issue. The second CEST symposium is being organised by Sciences Po and will take place in Paris on 1-2 December 2016 with the theme “Politics from below in Turkey and beyond”. (You can find the Call for Papers here: https://www.facebook.com/CESTurkey/posts/621069548042745.)

I am also the managing editor of a new research blog that we launched recently at the Centre for Southeast European Studies aimed at facilitating discussion on research experiences from the wider region. We cover a range of issues and categories, including notes from archives, methodological challenges, experiences in the field and broader reflections on conducting research on the region from an interdisciplinary background. The idea is to build the blog into an open platform for researchers at all levels and disciplines. We welcome contributions and proposals from researchers everywhere: http://www.suedosteuropa.uni-graz.at/blog/index.php/submissions/

On an individual level, it’s a busy year of teaching. Presently I co-teach courses Interdisciplinary Research Methods, Political Systems in the 21st century and a two-semester lecture series on the History of Modern Turkey, from the late Ottoman Empire to Present Day. When not teaching or traveling, I am busy writing preparing the manuscript of my PhD dissertation for publication as a monograph as well as writing three academic papers ahead of conferences I will participate in this year, one on regime transformation in Turkey and two comparative political analyses of Iran and Turkey, basically offshoots of my doctoral research.

I occasionally comment on everyday politics and social issues in Turkey and its neighbourhood in forums such as Open Democracy, Huffington Post, or (in Turkey) Diken.com.tr, but lately I’ve been finding it more difficult to spare time for these types of contributions.


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