Roundtable: Kurdish Struggle for Liberation – Challenges and Opportunities for the Republican Ideal

12 05 2015

banner-reset-2015-enIstanbul Seminars, 26-30 May 2015: Politics Beyond Borders – The Republican Model Challenged by the Internationalization of Economy, Law and Communication, Istanbul Bilgi University

For at least two centuries, Republicanism has been the political ideal of the subjugated people around the world, from the French Revolution to the anti-colonial struggles. The Republic has come to be seen as the place that realizes true freedom and self-determination independently from gender, religious or ethnic backgrounds. However, in the last decades, Republicanism has been challenged by the progressive weakening of state borders as guarantee of sovereignty. More and more Republicanism has become the synonym of state nationalism and very often of authoritarianism, taking into account only poorly, if ever, pluralism, cultural differences and the rights of minorities. Republican thought has to face the internationalization of politics, law, economy and communication through the power of information technology and social media. The Arab Spring contested explicitly Republicanism as a political model. Yet, how to move ahead? So far the Arab Spring resulted into political turmoil without bringing forth a viable and legitimate alternative political system. At the same time even in Europe the Republican tradition is threatened by populist and illiberal movements and by independentist parties which challenge the state unity. Therefore the Istanbul Seminars ’15  ask what, if anything, remains of the Republican dream in a plural world without borders. Does Republicanism still have emancipatory potential or does it have to be replaced by other, more cosmopolitan oriented models?

The Istanbul Seminars ’15 includes a Roundtable on the Kurdish Struggle for Liberation – Challenges and Opportunities for the Republican Ideal, with the following presentations:

Can Cemgil: The Kurdish Alternative to the Republican Ideal: the Rojava Experiment
Ramin Jahanbegloo: The Kurdish Solution: An Empathic Republicanism
Ömer Turan/Cemil Boyraz: Challenging the Turkish Republicanism: Political Imagination of Kurdish Movement
Barış Ünlü: The Kurdish Struggle and the Crisis of the Turkishness Contract

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