"Imagining and regulating ethnic and religious diversity in Turkey. Macro-configurations and micro-dynamics"

Workshops, conferences 2016

  • Beginn: 08.07.2016
  • Ende: 09.07.2016
  • Ort: MPI-MMG, Hermann-Föge-Weg 11, Göttingen
  • Raum: Library Hall
"Imagining and regulating ethnic and religious diversity in Turkey. Macro-configurations and micro-dynamics"
Co-organizers: Sinem Adar • Markus Dressler • Matthias Koenig • Zeynep Özgen

For more details please contact esser(at)mmg.mpg.de.

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- by invitation only -

Ethnic and religious differences have played a prominent role in Turkish nation-state formation throughout the 20th century. Up until today, Turkey’s sociopolitical landscape is profoundly shaped by struggles over secularism, citizenship, national belonging, and minority rights. In fact, modern Turkey is a crucial case to study how the long-term transition from empire to modern nationstatehood has reconfigured imaginations and regulations of ethnic and religious diversity, thus causing new cleavages, conflicts and contestations. The situation of various Muslim (e.g. Kurds, Alevis) as well as non-Muslim minorities (e.g. Armenians, Greeks, Jews), their relationship with the Sunni Turkish majority, and the Turkish state’s regulations of ethnic and religious diversity have therefore received increased attention from historians as well as from anthropologists, comparative sociologists, and political scientists.

The current literature on ethnic and religious difference is largely divided between macro- and microperspectives. While macro-comparative studies identify slow-moving structural processes of stateformation and nation-building, micro-ethnographic approaches document everyday practices of belonging and their discursive representations. This conference is set up to bring these two perspectives into closer dialogue, while also paying explicit attention to shifting international power relations and transnational normative frameworks affecting arrangements of diversity, such as under the League of Nations, within the UN or in negotiations with the EU. Adopting a historical perspective, it aims to highlight the interplay of macro-configurations and micro-dynamics in the organization of ethnic and religious difference in Turkey. A particular analytical focus will be on sociolegal dynamics (transnational law, constitutional politics, and judicial mobilization) and how they relate to modes of belonging, inter-communal relations and day-to-day encounters.

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