Call for Papers: New Modalities for Democratic Autonomy for Minorities that do not entail Dismembering States – The Case of the Turkish Republic

26 02 2015

Ankara_University_Logo-2The School of Politics International Relations and Philosophy, Queen’s University Belfast, and, the Faculty of Politics of the University of Ankara (Ankara Üniversitesi, Siyasal Bilgiler Fakültesi),  with the generous support of the British Council, calls for applications from early carrier researchers with a doctoral standing of less than ten years to participate in the British Council Researcher Links Workshop to be held at the Faculty of Political Science of the University of Ankara on the topic New Modalities for Democratic Autonomy for Minorities that do not entail Dismembering States: the Case of the Turkish Republic from 15th to 19th May 2015.

The workshop is an intense research meeting for the evaluation and discussion of ideas and models for democratic autonomy for cultural and national minorities within the framework of a multination state. Fifteen early career researchers form UK and fifteen early career researchers from Universities in the Turkish Republic will be invited for four days to Ankara. Full expenses will be paid to those selected to participate in the workshop, courtesy of the generous support of the British Council. This is a call for early career researchers in the United Kingdom. A separate call will be made in the Turkish Language for early career researchers in Turkey.

All participants, from the UK and Turkey, are required to deliver a 20 minutes presentation IN ENGLISH on a topic closely related the theme of the workshop.

The workshop will include the following subsections:

Theories and concepts of Non Territorial Autonomy and Demoicracy as applied to Turkey, Led by Dr. Ephraim Nimni

Minority rights, representation of minorities and International law, led by Professor Bill Bowring, Law Department, Birkbeck College University of London.

National Cultural Autonomy in the Baltic States and the former Soviet Union. Development and Democratisation, what can the Turkish Republic learn from this experience? led by Professor David Smith, of the University of Glasgow, School of Social and Political Sciences.

Minority Representation in the Turkish Republic, led by Professor Baskin Oran from the University of Ankara.

Empowering women through minority representation, led by Dr. Rebecca Bryant from the European Institute, London School of Economics

The Antinomies of the Kurdish Question in The Turkish Republic, led by  Dr. Elçin Aktoprak, Faculty of Politics University of Ankara

The coordinators of the workshop are:

Dr. Ephraim Nimni, School of Politics International Relations and Philosophy Queen’s University Belfast. Email:

Dr. Elçin Aktoprak, Faculty of Politics University of Ankara, email:

Criteria for the selection of candidates from the UK and Ireland:

Fifteen applicants will be selected in accordance to the following criteria:

  1. A doctoral standing of ten years or less.
  2. A 250 word abstract of a paper proposal with a title, showing the ability to present a paper closely related to the topic of the workshop.
  3. An affiliation to a Higher Education Institution in the UK or the Irish Republic

The criteria for selection are:

1)      A demonstrable research interest on the topic of the workshop, ideally through a PhD thesis and publications

2)      A demonstrable ability to present a paper closely related to the topic of the workshop, and a demonstrable ability to convert this paper into a chapter for an edited collection that will result from the workshop.

There are no application forms.

An application must consist of:

A NOT MORE than 250 word  abstract for a  20 minute presentation with a title, of on a theme closely related to the topic of the workshop.

All applicants must indicate in writing that if selected, they are able and willing to travel to Ankara all expenses paid, from 14 to 19 May 2015.

A SHORT CV (not more than half of an A4 page) indicating and email address and institutional affiliation date of completion of doctoral dissertation, and relevant recent publications.

Women and minorities are especially encouraged to apply. The selectors will try, as much as possible, to select a gendered balanced group of participants.

THE DEADLINE FOR THE SUBMISSION OF APPLICATIONS FROM THE UK AND IRELAND IS FRIDAY 20 MARCH midnight GMT. And if in Turkey, midnight Ankara time. Late applications will not be considered. Successful applicants will be notified on or before Monday 30 March. If you do not hear from us by that date, please assume that you have not been selected.


UK and Irish applicants to:

Applicants from Turkey to:


Cultural diversity is the norm in a world of nation-states, particularly in developing societies. A recurrent problem is how to organise developing multi-ethnic and multi-nation states so that majorities and minorities are able to coexist and effectively participate in the life of the state, bolstering allegiance without suffering cultural alienation and without resorting to territorial secession.

The consolidation of modalities for the growth of democratic pluralism is a crucial strategic goal for developing democracies. Multicultural liberal democracies sincerely champion equality and individual human rights, but often have difficulties in accommodating the representation of culturally diverse minority communities. Territorial representation is only possible when minority communities inhabit a compact territorial space, yet in many cases, minority communities do not reside compactly, making any territorial representation impossible. These situations undermine the proper functioning of democracies, and require modalities of non-territorial autonomy (NTA) as a remedy for the representation of minority communities.

The aim of this workshop is to examine in theory, in relevant case studies and through the work of legal practitioners, the challenges, and possible solutions offered by different models of NTA for the effective participation of minorities in public life, in accordance with the Lund Recommendations of the OSCE.

With a specific reference to the Republic of Turkey, and, drawing on the experience of Northern Ireland, and, other recent attempts of minority accommodation in other parts of the world, and considering, the Turkish and Ottoman experience of minority autonomy (The Millet System), this workshop aims to bring together researchers from the Turkish Republic, with their counterparts in the UK, to develop an ongoing dialogue and examine critically various models of minority accommodation. The focus will be on the Kurdish minority and on the other minorities that constitute 30% of the population of the Republic of Turkey.

The aim is to organise a joint ongoing research group in the UK and Turkey interested in issues of minority recognition and representation.  The goal is to see how it is possible to cross-fertilise the experience of both countries into models of minority autonomy and representation that are a crucial ingredient for a stable democracy.




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