Monday, December 01, 2014

A New Issue: Sociology of Islam Journal - Volume 2, Issue 1-2, 2014

Sociology of Islam
Volume 2, Issue 1-2, 2014    
ISSN: 2213-140X    
E-ISSN: 2213-1418
A Genealogy of Muslims Dying in France

Author: Nur Yasemin Ural
pp.:1–20 (20)
Toward a Theory of “Islamist Movements”

Author: Mark Gould
pp.:21–59 (39)
G. Banna’s and A. Fadlallah’s Views on Dancing

Author: Joseph Alagha
pp.:60–86 (27)
Book Review: Black Star, Crescent Moon: The Muslim International and Black Freedom Beyond America, written by Sohail Daulatzai

Author: Thomas Maguire
pp.:87–90 (4)
Book Review: Islamic Civilization in South Asia: A History of Muslim Power and Presence in the Indian Subcontinent, written by Burjor Avari

Author: Ali Altaf Mian
pp.:91–93 (3)
Book Review: Living Out Islam: Voices of Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Muslims, written by Scott Siraj al-Haqq Kugle

Author: Gary Wood
pp.:94–98 (5)
Book Review: Why the West Fears Islam: An Exploration of Muslims in Liberal Democracies, written by Jocelyne Cesari

Author: Najm al-Din Yousefi
pp.:99–101 (3)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

An Interview with Prof. Donald Quataert on Academic Freedom, the Armenian Issue and Turkish Studies

By Tugrul Keskin

Assistant Professor of International and Middle Eastern Studies
Portland State University
I interviewed Dr. Donald Quataert, a historian at Binghamton University – State University of New York, on academic freedom, the Armenian Issue and Turkish Studies. Dr. Quataert was a chairperson of the Board of Governors at the Institute of Turkish Studies and he resigned from this position in 2006 as a result of controversial book review, ‘the Massacres of Ottoman Armenians and the Writing of Ottoman History,’ published in the Journal of Interdisciplinary History in 2006. According to some sources, such as the articles published in the Inside Higher Education by Scott Jaschik on July 1 2008[1], and Huffington Post by Harut Sassounian on June 3, 2008[2], Nabi Sensoy, Turkish ambassador in Washington DC implied that Dr. Donald Quataert should consider resigning from his position. This incident should deeply concern us as academicians who value free speech; therefore, my interview aims to explore the controversy that fueled his resignation. At the center of this debate over free speech is whether political actors should be allowed to interfere with academic research in the name of national interests. I have received similar types of threats and I was warned not to write critically of the Turkish government’s policies by two Turkish government officials in Washington DC; therefore, I am inclined to pay more attention to this subject. Even tough, I strongly disagree with using the term ‘Armenian Genocide;’ however, we must ensure that political actors are not manipulating academic discussions. Free speech should be protected whether we agree or not.  In short, as commonly attributed to Voltaire, I strongly agree with following quotation: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” (originated in “Friends of Voltaire”, 1906, by S.G. Tallentyre).
Donald Quataert is an Ottoman and Turkish Historian at Binghamton University - State University of New York. He received his Ph.D. degree in History from UCLA. He has published numerous books and articles on Ottoman History, such as The Ottoman Empire: 1700-1922 by Cambridge University Press. He speaks Ottoman Turkish, modern Turkish, German, French and Spanish. Professor Donald Quataert was a chairperson of the Board of Governors at the Institute of Turkish Studies and he resigned from this position in 2006.
Professor, History, Binghamton University State University of New York Binghamton, New York 13902-6000

Tugrul Keskin: Why did you resign from the Institute of Turkish Studies (ITS) at Georgetown University? I have read that you were told to resign by a high Turkish official in the US. Is that correct? Would you please explain the entire situation regarding what happened and why it happened?
Donald Quataert: The Institute is not part of Georgetown, it is only located there. I have attached the letter of resignation which I sent to the Ambassador and to all members and associate members of the ITS. The issue revolved around the book review. The Director of the Institute urged me to talk to the Ambassador because he, the Director David Cuthell, had heard rumors that the embassy was upset because Ankara had learned of the review and was very upset.  So, I called the Ambassador and we had a cordial conversation.  I was never told to resign; rather, the Ambassador made it clear that persons in Ankara had threatened to withdraw the funding of ITS, should I remain as ITS chairman.  He never asked me to resign, but simply told me what some people in Ankara were thinking.  The Ambassador encouraged me to remain as a member should I decide to resign as chair.

Tugrul Keskin: Do you think this was a suggestion or was it a direct instruction to resign? 

Donald Quataert It was neither—rather it was the ambassador informing me of sentiments in Ankara.  When I asked if there was a real chance that the funds would be withdrawn should I not resign as chair, the Ambassador said there was such a real possibility.

Tugrul Keskin: What I have heard is that someone in the US sent your article, "The Massacres of Ottoman Armenians," to a former Turkish ambassador, Sukru Elekdag. From what I understand, your resignation process began at this point. Can you please clarify?

Donald Quataert: I heard the same report from a colleague.  I do not choose to name the scholar in the US, who is of Turkish origins, who informed the officials in Ankara.  Ambassador Elekdag’s name was given to me as one of the officials who was deeply upset at my review.

Tugrul Keskin: Do you think the way that this took place conflicts with academic freedom? 

Donald Quataert: Of course it conflicts with academic freedom.  I do not expect agreement with my views, but I do expect to have the right to express those views.  I believe that academic freedom demands that I have the right to express my views and at the same time to be the officer, even the chair, of an organization.  When expressing my views, as long I as do not identify myself as the chair or officer; I have the right to my views.  When I wrote the review, I signed my name as Professor of History, Binghamton University.   According to the dictates of academic freedom, the Institute was not involved.

Tugrul Keskin: Some people claim that in your short article, "The Massacres of Ottoman Armenians" published in the Journal of Interdisciplinary History in 2006, you claim that the Armenians were massacred in Ottoman Turkey. Is this true?

Donald Quataert: I suggest that people read the review—and yes, I do write that Armenians were massacred during the late Ottoman Empire.

Tugrul Keskin: On the one side, in the US, the Armenian lobby has been using so-called 'genocide politics' in order to maintain power and ethnic solidarity for Armenians; on the other side, some Turkish scholars and organizations in the US are using the Armenian issue to receive more financial support from Turkey, and this issue becomes their occupation. I believe this is ethically wrong. What is your perspective? 

Donald Quataert: If what you say is true, then I would agree that it is ethically wrong.  I do not pretend to be a specialist on émigré politics in the US.  My task is to study Ottoman history.  For my views on Ottoman history, see the seven books I have authored or the fourteen books I have edited or co-edited.

Tugrul Keskin: What are the mistakes of both sides: Turks and Armenians in the US? 

Donald Quataert: No comment.

Tugrul Keskin: How can the conflict between Armenians and Turks be solved peacefully? Can Turks and Armenians become two friendly nations again? 

Donald Quataert: Yes. The question is—is the fate of the Ottoman Armenians an issue blocking peaceful relations? If so, why is this so? If so, how can these issues be addressed? A beginning step, but not an easy one, to allow free and open discourse within each community. 

Tugrul Keskin: I am not a historian on Armenian and Turkish relations; I am a sociologist, however, as far as I know there was no real conflict between Armenians and Turks until the late 19th century, actually, until arrival of British or European imperialism into the region. Imperialism, in the sense that it makes ethnic groups enemies to each other in the region for purposes of exploitation Do you think the conflict between Armenians and Turks is a product of imperialism?

Donald Quataert: Muslims and Christians during the Ottoman era were aware of differences between them and there was occasional violence before the 19th century.  But when the twin forces of imperialism and nationalism entered the Ottoman world, Muslim-Christian relations deteriorated badly, giving rise to ever-higher levels of violence.  And yet, the massive violence of 1915 against the Ottoman Armenians was not inevitable but rather the product of very specific historical conditions, including the fact that World War I was raging at the time.  Historians need to examine these specific conditions and not allow themselves to see the violence as inevitable or a necessary outcome of the relations between Muslims and Christians, or “Turks” and “Armenians” in the late Ottoman era.

Tugrul Keskin: How do we develop Turkish Studies in the United State? What is your view on this subject? 

Donald Quataert: For more than twenty years I have worked hard to promote an accurate view of Turkey, the Ottoman Empire and its peoples in the United States and among Americans.  Turkey is well served if the truth and nothing but the truth is told.  We should demand that of ourselves.  Turkey is a wonderful country and is not served by those who want to present just one side of a story.

Tugrul Keskin: Dr. Quataert, thank you for the interview.

Donald Quataert: Thank you.

Dr. Donald Quataert’s book review can be found in the following source:
The Massacres of Ottoman Armenians and the Writing of Ottoman History Journal of Interdisciplinary History, xxxvii:2(Autumn, 2006), 249–259.

[1] Is Turkey Muzzling U.S. Scholars?
[2] Turkish Ambassador Dismisses U.S. Scholar For Telling the Truth on Armenian Genocide

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Sociology of Islam and Muslim Societies Academic Mailing List Virginia Tech University


We have created a mailing list for scholars who may be interested in exchanging academic information related with Islam and Muslim Societies. You will find the information necessary to be a subscriber to this list. This is a scholarly network on Islam and Muslim Societies, which facilitates the academic exchange of information on conferences, panels, articles, books, and events. This network does not promote the orientalist approach toward Islam and Muslim Societies. We believe that Islam is a part and parcel of World civilization and has contributed toward the humanistic value of mankind. However, the last two hundreds years of human history shows us that Muslim Societies have been subject to a colonialist process. This process has transformed Islam from its original meaning and message to that of a reactionary identity. Therefore, today in Muslim Societies we witness poverty, economic inequality, chaotic urbanization, corruption, anti-democratic regimes, gender inequality, and occupations.

The Worldwide Islam Scholars Network promotes C. Wright Mills’ Sociological Imagination perspectives in relation to Islam and Muslim Societies. Within this network of Sociologists, Political Scientists, Religious Studies Scholars, Historians, we will exchange scholarly information on Islam and Muslim societies.  

The Sociology of Islam Academic Mailing list at Portland State University is a free professional and academic networking tool to encourage interaction between individuals & organizations involved in Islam/Sociology of Islam/Islamist Movements and related fields worldwide. Members and subscribers are encouraged to dialogue and share resources on books, articles, conferences, teaching, and other related purposes.

The Archive at Virginia Tech
April 2007 – October 2009
April 2014 - Present

The Archive at Portland State University
November 2009 – April 2014

If you want to subscribe to the list, please send me an email.

tugrulk (at)


*  Country                  Subscribers
*  -------                       -----------
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*  Spain                                   32
*  Sweden                                22
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* Total number of academicians subscribed to the list:          2275
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The Sociology of Islam subscription is open to anyone who is either a scholar or a student of Sociology of Islam and Muslim Societies. The Sociology of Islam and Muslim Societies Scholarly Network reserves the right not to include and to remove those who appear not to meet this criterion. However, we do not accept subscription request from anonymous email accounts, such as Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo or Gmx (or other); therefore, you should email your subscription request from your university email address with your full name.

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Tugrul Keskin
Founder and Moderator of the Sociology of Islam Mailing List

Assistant Professor of International and Middle Eastern Studies
Portland State University
International Studies
East Hall 333
632 SW Hall Street
Portland, OR 97201 - USA

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

CRITICAL AND ACTIVIST SCHOLARSHIP One-day Conference, Sponsored by Critical Sociology

Monday, August 18, 2014The San Francisco Marriot Marquis
Foothill E
WELCOME – David Fasenfest, Editor, Critical Sociology
Honoring Rod Bush
This year we saw the passing of a colleague, friend, activist and revolutionary, Rod Bush. The conference is dedicated to his work and memory, and will include two panels reflecting on Rod’s contributions to and impact on the struggle for revolutionary change and social justice.
Foothill E
A Tribute to Rod BushHéctor Delgado, Executive Officer of SSSP
Foothill D
Looking Back, Moving Forward: The Effects of Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast
Organizers: Lori Latrice Martin, Louisiana State University and Hayward Derrick Horton, University at Albany SUNY
Stronger than the Storm? Racial Group Consciousness in Black Baton RougeMelinda Jackson and Lori Latrice Martin, Louisiana State University
Collective Efficacy and Black Baton Rouge: A Look Back at the Effects of Hurricane KatrinaDari Green and Timothy Berry, Louisiana State University
Education in New Orleans Ten Years After Katrina — An Unnatural Disaster: Understanding the Predatory Greed of Neo-liberalism and Racism in the 'Pre'Post-racial.Kenneth Fasching-Varner, Louisiana State University
Hurricane Katrina: An Analysis of the Experiences and Recovery Process of Black Women in MississippiOphera Davis, Norfolk State University
Foothill E
Warrior for Justice Part I: The Integration of Ideas and Practice
Organizers: Bob Newby and Melanie Bush
Chair: David Fasenfest, Critical Sociology
Revolutionary as mentor and educatorDaniel Douglas, Graduate Center, CUNY
Rod Bush and 21st Century Internal Colonialism TheoryCharles “Cappy” Pinderhughes, Essex County College
Black Nationalism through the World System Lens: A Legacy of Rod BushJim Fenelon, California State University, San Bernardino
Reflections on Professor BushSt. John’s University Students
On Movement Scholarship and TeachingHoward Winant, UC Santa Barbara
Discussant: Melanie Bush, Adelphi University

Foothill D
House of a New Rising Sun?  Community Struggles after Katrina
Moderator A. Kathryn Stout, Manhattan College
Community Resilience and Participatory Action Research in Louisiana Bayous and BeyondC. Holly Denning, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Did Katrina Take Away a City’s Voice?  The Loss of the Daily Times-Picayune: A Critical Discourse AnalysisRussell Stockard Jr., California Lutheran University
Spaces of Technocracy: The Spatial Politics of Participation in Post-Katrina New OrleansSiri Colom, UC Berkeley
Building a Bridge Over Troubled Waters: Vietnamese Organizations and Community Mobilization After Hurricane KatrinaVy Thuc Dao, Tulane University
Foothill E
Warrior for Justice Part II: The Integration of Practice and Ideas
Organizers: Bob Newby and Melanie Bush
Chair and Discussant: Bob Newby, Central Michigan University
Development of Rod’s Ideas Over TimeBob Barber
Rod Bush and the quest for justiceRodney Coates, Miami University Ohio
Revolutionary theory and practiceWalda Katz-Fishman and Jerome Scott, Project South: Institute for the Elimination of Poverty, US Social Forum Planning Committee
Imagining the Power of Race Specific (but ​ ​Non-racist), Egalitarian Spaces: An Invitation from Rod BushDeidre Royster, New York University
Current Perspectives: Tensions in the American DreamMelanie Bush, Adelphi University

12:15 – 1:30 pm  Lunch Break
Foothill D
Scholar Activism—In the Trenches
Organizer:  Luis Fernandez, Northern Arizona University, and Chair SSSP Committee on Social Action
Beyond the Neoliberal University: Temporary Autonomous Zones of Knowledge ProductionManolo Callahan, San Jose State University
Fighting Back: Resisting University RetrenchmentWendy Chapkis, University of Southern Maine
Engaging the Immigrant Struggle
Luis A. Fernandez, Northern Arizona University
Queering the Agricultural Fields: Reflections on Methodologies of the OtherwiseElisa Oceguera, University of California Davis
The Battle for the Social Factory: Community Safety across the Bay
Annie Paradise, California Institute of Integral Studies
Studying Ourselves: Social Movement Scholarship and ActivismLesley Wood, York University

Foothill E
A Conversation on Racism and Capitalism
Organizers: Johnny Williams, Trinity College and Tanya Golash-Boza, UC-Merced
A panel discussion that examines the history ‘race’ shares with the rise of capitalism, and asks what does racial justice look like?
Tanya Golash-Boza, University of California, Merced
Ruha Benjamin, Princeton University
Corey Dolgon, Stonehill College
Nick Parker, Bay Area Teacher
LaShawnDa L. Pittman, University of Washington
Zulema Valdez, University of California, Merced
Johnny E. Williams, Trinity College
Foothill D
Human Rights from Critical Perspectives
Organizer and Moderator: Tugrul Keskin, Portland State University
Constitutionalism after 9/11Ian Patel, King's College London

Human Rights and “Humanitarian” Military InterventionBenjamin Gregg, Yale University
Natural Law, Human Rights and Sociological TheoryMark Gould, Haverford College
Children in Crisis: The Future of Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Afghanistan after the U.S. Withdrawal in 2014Sara Kamali, Executive Director, ForgetMeNot International
Human Rights Education and Critiques in the U.S. University ClassroomDanielle Aldawood, Arizona State University
Foothill E
Dialectics of Crisis, Movement and Strategy: Reconstructing Historical Agency
Organizers: R.A. Dello Buono, Manhattan College and David Fasenfest, Wayne State University
Dialectical Views on the Barriers to Systemic Change: From Lukács to ChamblissR.A. Dello Buono, Manhattan College
Beyond Marxology, Beyond Bolshevism: Returning to A Critique of Political EconomyJohn O’Connor, Central Connecticut State University
Breaking the Silence? The Mass Strike, Occupy Wall Street, and Demanding Jobs for AllJay Arena, College of Staten Island
Concepts and Context: Race, Racism and NeoliberalismMichelle D. Byng, Temple University
Performing “Mexican Labor”: Resist and Survive the Extralegal and Legal Structural Practices of the Drywall/Taper Trade of the Construction IndustryDiego Avalos, Arizona State University
Foothill D
Political Economy and Social Movements in the Middle East
Organizer: Tugrul Keskin, Portland State University
Moderator: Mark Gould, Haverford College
Secularization As Political Struggles: The Cases Of France, Mexico And Turkey Following State-Breakdown Doğa Kerestecioğlu, University of Pennsylvania
To Riot or Not to Riot: Exploring the Intersection of the State, Law, Human Rights and Migrant Worker Oppression in Singapore Saroja Dorairajoo and George Radics, National University of Singapore
Paradigm of the Ban in IranNiloofar Golkar, York University
Foothill E
Surviving Disaster Capitalism: Post-Katrina Case Studies
Moderator: R.A. Dello Buono, Manhattan College
Carceral Keynesianism in a post-Katrina Louisiana: New Forms of Policing Immigrants and Others in a post-Katrina LouisianaNicole Trujillo-Pagan, Wayne State University
Post-Katrina Higher Education: Still Separate, Still UnequalA. Kathryn Stout, Manhattan College
Specialist Survival among Alternative Certification Teaching Programs in New OrleansJennifer Nelson, Emory University
Lingering Legacies: Racialized and Class-ified Realities In the Wake of Hurricane KatrinaDuke W. Austin, California State University and Keyana Simone, University of Colorado at Boulder
Foothill E
CLOSING REMARKS - David Fasenfest, Editor, Critical Sociology

Friday, May 02, 2014

A Special Issue on the Gülen Movement: Sociology of Islam Journal (Edited by Joshua Hendrick) Volume 1, Issue 3-4, 2014 (Brill)

Sociology of Islam Journal
A Special Issue on the Gülen Movement
Volume 1, Issue 3-4, 2014

Perspectives on the Gülen Movement
Authors: Gary Wood ; Tugrul Keskin
Source: Volume 1, Issue 3-4, pp 127 –130

Approaching a Sociology of Fethullah Gülen
Author: Joshua D. Hendrick
Source: Volume 1, Issue 3-4, pp 131 –144

“Is Hizmet Liberal?” Mediations and Disciplines of Islam and Liberalism among Gülen Organizations in Istanbul
Author: Jeremy F. Walton
Source: Volume 1, Issue 3-4, pp 145 –164

The Netherlands and the Gülen movement
Author: Martin van Bruinessen
Source: Volume 1, Issue 3-4, pp 165 –187

The Sohbet: Talking Islam in Turkey
Author: Smita Tewari Jassal
Source: Volume 1, Issue 3-4, pp 188 –208

Said Nursi’s Notion of ‘Sacred Science’: Its Function and Application in Hizmet High School Education
Authors: Caroline Tee ; David Shankland
Source: Volume 1, Issue 3-4, pp 209 –232

Translocal Ethics: Hizmet Teachers and the Formation of Gülen-inspired Schools in Urban Tanzania
Author: Kristina Dohrn
Source: Volume 1, Issue 3-4, pp 233 –256

What is the Hizmet Movement? Contending Approaches to the Analysis of Religious Activists In World Politics
Author: Sabine Dreher
Source: Volume 1, Issue 3-4, pp 257 –275

Book Review: The Anthropology of Islam Reader, edited by Jens Kreinath
Author: Michael Vicente Perez
Source: Volume 1, Issue 3-4, pp 277 –280

Book Review: God’s Century, written by Monica D. Toft, Daniel Philpott, and Timothy S. Shah
Author: Turan Kayaoğlu
Source: Volume 1, Issue 3-4, pp 281 –283

Book Review: The Headscarf Controversy: Secularism and Freedom of Religion, edited by Hilal Elver
Author: Z. Fareen Parvez
Source: Volume 1, Issue 3-4, pp 284 –286

Book Review: Democracy, Islam, and Secularism in Turkey, edited by Ahmet T. Kuru and Alfred Stepan
Author: Mustafa Gökçek
Source: Volume 1, Issue 3-4, pp 287 –289

Book Review: Connected in Cairo: Growing Up Cosmopolitan in the Modern Middle East, written by Mark A. Peterson
Author: Kendra Salois
Source: Volume 1, Issue 3-4, pp 290 –292

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Black Bag Lunch: Nikitah Okembe-RA Imani - May 15, 2014


Transformation in Black, African and Africana Studies 

Thursday May 15, 2014
12-2 PM

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Introduction to Turkish­-American Studies
Boğaziçi University Alumni Association Building

 June 6­-7, 2014

Workshop Program

Introduction to Turkish­American Studies Boğaziçi University Alumni Association Building June 6­7, 2014

organized by the Cultural Studies Association of Turkey

Thursday, 5 June

18:00—Drinks at the Bebek Hotel Bar

Friday, 6 June

9:00 to 17:00—Workshop registration

10:00—Opening Remarks

Cash bar

Oya Başak (Boğaziçi University)
Gönül Pultar (Cultural Studies Association of Turkey) Louis Mazzari (Boğaziçi University)

5­minute break

10:35 to 11: 35—Keynote Speech I

Chair: Belma Baskett (International Society for Theatre and Literature) Justin McCarthy (University of Louisville), “The Turk in America”

11:35 to 11:50—Coffee break

11:50 to 13:20—Session I

“Turkish­American Relations”

Chair: Emine O. İncirlioğlu (Maltepe University)

Pınar Dost­Niyego (Atlantic Council Istanbul Office), “History of Turkish­American Relations”
Işıl Acehan (İpek University), “Impact of Ottoman Immigration on Turkish­American Relations”
Louis Mazzari (Boğaziçi University), “A Palazzo on the Bosphorus: The American Embassy in Beyoğlu”

13:20 to 14:30—Lunch hour

14:30 to 16:30—Session II

“The Ottoman Legacy”

Chair: Gönül Bakay (Bahçeşehir University)

Erin Hyde Nolan (Boston University), “Eyes Wide Shut: Images of Istanbul in Mark Twain's Innocents Abroad”

Bahar Gürsel (Middle East Technical University), “Letters from Abroad to Kindred at Home: Catherine Maria Sedgwick’s Ideas about the Old World and the Ottoman Empire”

Cafer Sarıkaya (Boğaziçi University), “Ottoman Participation in the 1893 Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition”

Emrah Şahin (University of Florida), “‘Terrible Turk Beaten’: Fighting the Turkish Athletes during the Progressive Era”

16:30 to 16:45—Coffee break

16:45 to 17:45—Session III “Turkish­American Associations” Chair: Selhan Endres (Kadir Has University)

Zeynep Kılıç (University of Alaska) “Organizational Interpretations of Belonging and Identity ­ Politics of Incorporation among Turkish American Associations in New York”

Alice Leri (University of South Carolina), “A Study of ATAA (Assembly of Turkish American Associations)”

18:00 to 20:00—Cultural Studies Association Reception at Kennedy Lodge (Boğaziçi University)

Saturday, 7 June

9:00 to 17:00—Workshop registration

9:00 to 11:00—Keynote Speeches II

Chair: Louis Mazzari (Boğaziçi University)

Sabri Sayarı (Bahçeşehir University), “Turkish Studies in the USA”

Kemal Sılay (Indiana University), “Deconstructing Kemalism, Celebrating ‘Diversity’: American Academia’s Contributions to Islamist Dystopia in Turkey”

11:00 to 11:15—Coffee break

11:15 to 12:15—Session IV “Turkish Studies in the USA”page2image14608  page2image14768  page2image14928  page2image15088  page2image15248

Chair: Clifford Endres (Kadir Has University)
Tuğrul Keskin, “Orientalism to Neo­Orientalism in Modern Turkish Studies”
Brian T. Edwards, “What's in a Hyphen?: Between Turkish American Studies and Turkish­American Studies”

12:15 to 13:30—Lunch hour

13:30 to 15:30—Session V

“Immigration, Identity Formation, Diaspora”

Chair: Dilek Doltaş (Boğaziçi University)

Fazia Meberbeche (Abu Bakr Belkaid University of Tlemcen­Algeria), “The Turkish Diaspora in the United States: Immigration and Identity Formation”

Müzeyyen Güler (Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts), “The Second Generation of Turks who Migrated to America”

İlke Şanlıer Yüksel (Doğuş University), “We’re Still Living the Journey”: Media in the Daily Lives of Immigrants from Turkey”

Tahire Erman (Bilkent University), “Turkish Tailors Establishing Themselves in American Society: Experiences of ‘Lower Class’ Immigrants”

15:30 to 15:45—Coffee break

15:45 to 17:45—Session VI

“Turkish­American Art and Artists”

Chair: Oya Başak (Boğaziçi University)

Belma Baskett (International Society for Theatre and Literature), “A Brief Look at the Literature about the Turkish Immigration to the United States of America and the Hitherto Unrecorded Story of Osman and Timur”

Elena Furlanetto (Dortmund Technical University), “An Implausible Juncture? Locating Turkish Literature in an American Frame”

Elif Huntürk (Bilkent University), “Building up a New Identity through Music: The Case of Ahmet Ertegün”

H. Alper Maral (Yıldız University), “Bülent Arel and İlhan Mimaroğlu: Two Turkish Pioneers of Electronic Music Tuning the United States to the New World of Sounds”

17:45 to 18:00—Closing remarks / Wrap­up session

Chair: Gönül Pultar

19:30—Dinner at the Baltalimanı İstanbul University Faculty Restaurant

Saturday, April 19, 2014


Call for Papers


Beginning in 1969, Critical Sociology has examined social structures, social change, and social problems through the lenses of the critical imagination. Critical Sociology publishes scholarly work on transnational and global sociology, and as a result of its initiatives, Latin American, and African Sociology is now represented in the journal. Recently, the journal has appointed a Middle East and North Africa Editor to attract work from scholars in the region, and to coordinate a special issue, Sociological Imagination in the Middle East.

As a social science, sociology has European origins; as a result, scholarship on the Middle East has long been either ignored or enamored with a European worldview. Conversely, social analysts and critics from the Middle East have often rejected certain aspects of European sociology due to its role in promoting “modernization,” colonialism,” or secularism. The emergence of sociology in Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, and Algeria in the mid-twentieth century, however, produced research that warrant broader engagement and dialogue. Although some scholars found an audience in academic circles outside their countries, for example, Ali Shariati (Iran) and Niyazi Berkes (Turkey), much of this foundational scholarship unfortunately remains overlooked. Late nineteenth/early twentieth century critical scholarship from Prince Sabahaddin (Turkey), Ziya Gokalp (Turkey), Cemil Meric (Turkey), Amir-Hossein Aryanpour (Iran), Hassan Hanafi (Egypt), Ehsan Naraghi (Iran), and others is unknown outside the author’s respective country of origin.

As it stands, four perspectives tend to dominate the sociology of the Middle East: secular liberalism, whose authors tend to reproduce moderate variations of modernization theory; state-centered conservatism, whose authors do the same but in the interests and/or service of conserving state legitimacy; left-critical, whose authors tend to reproduce variations of Marxist, world systems, or dependency theory; and Islamic-oriented conservative nationalism. Since the end of the Cold War, Islamic-oriented, conservative nationalist scholarship has increased, and left-critical scholarship has shifted toward a more liberal, market orientation. This shift is directly linked with the current social, political and economic transformations in the region, and warrants closer scrutiny. Also, revolution, technological advancement, and globalized education in the region have opened new spaces and new opportunities for Middle East and North African Sociology.

For this special issue of Critical Sociology, we invite scholarship by researchers and analysts who incorporate diverse intellectual perspectives that include, rather than marginalize, intellectual engagement with scholarship from the North Africa and the Middle East. We welcome submissions by sociologists working on, but not limited to, the following subjects:
·      Middle East and North African Sociology as a field of inquiry   
·      Commodification of Middle East and North African Studies in Europe and the USA
·      Neoliberal transformations and structural adjustment in the Middle East and North Africa
·      Urban – rural demographic change and urbanization    
·      Durability, success, and failure of leftist/Marxist movements
·      Ethnic/religious movement, tension, or conciliation 
·      Workers, unions, labor Rights
·      Capital accumulation
·      Western Feminism versus Third World Feminism  
·      Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual identities and movements
·      Human rights  - challenges in discourse and practice

The deadline for submitting abstracts is May 30, 2014. Abstracts should be approximately 300 words and include the author’s name and contact information. Please send all abstract or other queries to Tugrul Keskin, Middle East and North Africa Editor, at: (tugrulkeskin (at)

For more information on CRITICAL SOCIOLOGY, including instructions for authors, see:

Authors will be notified by July 15, 2014 if their abstracts are selected, with a full draft of the article due by December 31, 2014.  All manuscripts are subject to the standard peer-review process at Critical Sociology. Prospective authors should feel free to communicate with the Middle East and North Africa Editor about the appropriateness of their proposed papers.

Special Issue Editors:
Joshua Hendrick, Loyola University of Maryland jdhendrick (at) 
Tugrul Keskin, Portland State University tugrulkeskin (at)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Post-Islamism in Turkey Panels at the Fourth World Congress for Middle East Studies” (WOCMES), METU, Ankara, Turkey August 18-22, 2014

Fourth World Congress for Middle East Studies” (WOCMES), METU, Ankara, Turkey August 18-22, 2014.


Co-sponsored by Sociology of Islam Journal 
Moderator Tugrul Keskin 
1.Intellectual debate on Post-Islamism - Associate Professor Michelangelo Guida - Istanbul 29 Mayis University
2.“Respeaking the Ottoman Words, Reliving the Ottoman World: The Cultural Significance of Turkey’s Imperial Past and Its Political Significance for Turkish Islamism(s)” Professor Kemal Silay – Indiana University, Bloomington
3.Vakif as Intent and Practice: Charity and Poor Relief in Contemporary Turkey  - Assistant Professor Damla Isik - Regis University
4.Muslimism and Sites of Hybridity: Re-theorizing Contemporary Islam in Turkey - PhD. Neslihan Cevik – University of Virginia

Co-sponsored by Center for Turkish Studies at Portland State University, Turkish and Ottoman Studies at Indiana University and Turkish Review
Moderator Kemal Silay 
1.Post-Islamism or Veering Toward Political Modernity? Ideology and Islam in the Gülen Movement - Post-Doctoral Research Fellow  - Fabio Vicini - 29 Mayıs University 
2.Becoming Muhacir, becoming Şakirde: A Case of Female University Students from Central Asia in the Gülen Movement in Turkey - MA Candidate - Marhabo Saparova - Sabanci University
3.Post-Islamist practices between Turkey and Tanzania: A perspective on teachers and businessmen inspired by Fethullah Gülen - Kristina Dohrn - Freie Universität
4. Emergent Actors, Emerging Narratives: Competing Representations of Islam and Turkey in North America - Oguz Alyanak PhD Student - Washington University in St. Louis Washington University St. Louis  

Co-sponsored by Critical Sociology
Moderator Isabel David   
1.AKP’s Shifts between Islamism and post-Islamism: What can the “December 17 Process” Tell Us? - Assistant Professor Beken Saatcioglu - MEF University
2.Beyond Takkiye vs. Liberalism?: Turkey’s “Post-Islamist” Foreign Policy - Assistant Professor  Nora Fisher Onar - Bahcesehir University
3.A Customized Neo-Liberalism with a Moral Call: An Assessment of the Growing JDP Connections in Turkish Businesses  - Reader, Gül Berna ÖZCAN University of London and Umut Gunduz Istanbul Technical University
4.Distilling the Problems of Post-Islamism through the case of Turkey’s AKP (or AKP through a glass darkly) PhD Bilge Azgin - University of Manchester

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Call for papers: Human Rights and Social and Politcial Economy in the Middle East

Call for Papers:

Panel sponsored by Critical Sociology
The official journal of the Association of Critical Sociology

Dear all,

As you all know, the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association (August 16-19, 2014 and the Society for Study of Social Problems (August 15-17, 2014 / will hold their yearly meetings in San Francisco, CA. 

Critical Sociology is sponsoring another conference in conjunction with ASA and SSSP on August 18, 2014. We would like to invite you to participate in this conference. Please let us know if you would like to present a paper. Your disciplinary methodology is not important, as long as you consider yourself to be a critical scholar and have a sociological imagination. We welcome International and Global Studies scholars, political sociologists and economists, cultural theorists, LGBT scholars, Post-Colonial Studies researchers, and Black Studies scholars. We would like to organize two panels on
·      HUMAN RIGHTS FROM CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES (Gerald Sussman, Portland State University, sussmag(at)
·      POLITICAL ECONOMY AND SOCIAL MOVEMENTS IN THE MIDDLE EAST (Mark Gould, Haverford College, mgould(at)

If you have any suggestions or recommendations, please do not hesitate to contact me at

Please email a paper abstract of 400-500 words to Tugrul Keskin at tugrulkeskin(at) by April 30, 2014.

The Conference will take place on Monday, August 18, 2014, in San Francisco, California, at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis


If you would like learn more about Critical Sociology, please visit our websites or contact the editor of Critical Sociology, David Fasenfest at

Friday, December 27, 2013

A New Course: Think Tanks, International and Non-Governmental Organizations SPRING 2014

Think Tanks, International and Non-Governmental Organizations

INTL 399 - 65374 - 002

Instructor: Tugrul Keskin             
Office:    333 East Hall                 
Google Phone: (202) 630-1025
Office Hours: Tuesday 1:00 – 4:00 PM or by appointment      E-mail: tugrulkeskin (at)
(PLEASE include “Think-Tanks” in the subject line when you email me) 

Of the many influences on the US foreign policy formulation, the role of think tanks is among the most important and appreciated.
Richard N. Haass
Former Director of Policy and Planning - U.S. Department of State    

Course Description and Objective:

In this course, we will examine the emergence and development of think tanks and international and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in comparative perspective. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the concept of the modern state grew out of the growth of capitalism and industrialization, and led to the creation of a complex bureaucracy and an interconnected social, political and economic environment within the global political arena.  However, WWI and II gave birth to a venue for negotiation between nation-states in the international arena in order to prevent political conflicts; the creation of the UN (The League of Nations).

Particularly after the 1929 economic crisis, and the move from Keynesian capitalism to the neoliberal era in the second half of the 20th century, we started to see the materialization of political institutions above and beyond the state bureaucracy. The result was the creation of the World Bank and IMF, because of the Washington Consensus. Over the next half-century, the world economic community was dominated by the policies of these institutions. In the 1950s, we also saw the birth of the European Union as a new political actor within world politics. This led to the rise of regional economic, political and cultural organizations competing with each other over economic resources.

In addition, think tanks (semi-governmental institutions) are other important economic and political actors within and between the modern nation-state, which we will review in this class. The emergence of think tanks or policy institutes dates back to the time of imperial Britain. These institutions are affiliated with security studies at the beginning stages of their emergence because they support the colonial dream of imperialism; however, this has slightly changed with the establishment of American think tanks and the rise of the US as a global power. Hence, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (1910), Brookings Institute (1916), the Hoover Institution (1919), The Century Foundation (1919), Council on Foreign Relations (1921) and Rand Corporation (1946) were founded in the first half of the 20th century. They were, and still are affiliated with the security establishment of the US. However, these organizations started to play a more effective role within domestic politics in the second half of the 20th century, because of the rise of the neoliberal economy. Less Keynesianism in the modern American Economy led to an increase in the power and number of these policy-oriented institutions, and they expanded to the social and economic field within the US. Therefore, the Heritage Foundation (1973) and Cato Institute (1974) were established. However, the power of think tanks did not become apparent until the first half of the 1980s. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, think-tank politics began to dominate the American political landscape; from issues like drug policy to immigration, foreign policy and health care. This power led to considerable attention from American corporations. As a result of this trend, many more think tanks were established, and some changed their structures to collaborate with and meet the needs of corporations. Private funding has poured into these policy institutions ever since, and the term, ‘inside the beltway politics,’ coined in the 1980s and popularized in the 1990s, describes these circumstances. Today, the power and role of think tanks cannot be ignored, and should be studied academically from the standpoint of their origins; particularly their domestic and now international political usage.       

We will also study the emergence, development and role of Non-Governmental Organizations such as the Committee to Protect Journalists, Doctors Without Borders, Mercy Corps, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch; all fairly new to the global social and political arena.           

Learning Outcomes (Tugrul Keskin):
By the end of the course, you will have enhanced your:
§  Critical thinking in relation to international studies
§  Ability to question dogmas and taboos in today’s societies
§  Consciousness of differing perspectives and diversity
§  Understanding of world issues and trends
§  Understanding of the impact of colonialism and imperialism in developing nations
You also will have increased your knowledge concerning:
§  Resources in your potential discipline
§  Resources specific to your region
§  Traditional information sources
§  Alternative information sources
§  Knowledge of relevant methodologies

Learning Outcomes (Shawn Smallman)
Core Learning Outcome: Students will demonstrate an understanding of world cultures, politics, and economics, within the context of globalization, as well as developing the skills and attitudes to function as “global citizens.”

Specific Outcomes:
  • Demonstrates knowledge of global issues, processes, trends and systems (i.e. economic and political interdependency among nations; environmental-cultural interaction; global governance bodies).
  • Can articulate an understanding of her/his culture in global and comparative context; that is, recognizes that her/his culture is one of many diverse cultures and that alternate perceptions and behaviors may be based in cultural differences.
  • Demonstrates an understanding of the meaning and practice of political, military, economic, and cultural hegemony within states and within the global system.
  • Demonstrates an understanding of how her/his field is viewed and practiced in different international contexts.
  • Uses diverse cultural perspectives and frames of reference, including those of the media, to think critically and solve problems.
  • Uses information from other languages and other countries to extend their access to information and experiences.
  • Interprets issues and situations from more than one cultural perspective.
  • Can articulate differences among cultures; demonstrates tolerance for the diverse viewpoints that emerge from these differences.
  • Demonstrates a critical understanding of the historical origins of the nation-state, and its current role in the global system.
  • Can apply the key theoretical concepts in the field to interpret global issues.
  • Exhibits an ongoing willingness to seek out international or intercultural opportunities.

Required Readings:
1.     Think Tanks: The Brain Trusts of US Foreign Policy By Kubilay Yado Arin (2014).
3.     NGOization Complicity, Contradictions and Prospects (Edited) By Aziz Choudry and Dip Kapoor (2013)

Other Readings will be posted on the blackboard and you will find them under the course documents.

1.     Do Think Tanks Matter? Opportunities, Constraints and Incentives for Think Tanks in Canada and the United States, Global Society. Donald E. Abelson. (2000) 14:2, 213-236.
2.     Behind Closed Doors: Elite Politics, Think-Tanks and US Foreign Policy. Tugrul Keskin and Patrick Halpern. Insight Turkey April-June 2005 Volume 7 Number 2. 
3.     The Role of the Think Tanks in the US Foreign Policy. U.S. Foreign Policy Agenda Volume 7 An Electronic Journal of the U.S. Department of State Number 3.
4.     Demanding Information: Think Tanks and the US Congress. Anthony M. Bertelli and Jeffrey B. Wenger. British Journal of Political Science / Volume 39 / Issue 02 / April 2009, pp 225 – 242.
5.     US Think Tanks and the Politics of Expertise: Role, Value and Impact Mahmood Ahmad. The Political Quarterly, Vol. 79, No. 4, October-December 2008.
6.     A Challenge to Washington Think Tanks Murray Weidenbaum. Challenge, vol. 52, no. 1, January/February 2009, pp. 87–96.
7.     Why don’t the French do Think Tanks?: France faces up to the Anglo-Saxon superpowers, 1918–1921 Andrew Williams. Review of International Studies / Volume 34 / Issue 01 / January 2008, pp 53 – 68.
8.     The Think Tanks behind ‘Cameronism’ Hartwig Pautz. BJPIR: 2013 VOL 15, 362–377.
9.     British think tanks: advancing the intellectual debate? Philippa Sherrington. British Journal of Politics and International Relations, Vol. 2, No. 2, June 2000, pp. 256–263.
10.   Players Beyond Borders? German Think Tanks as Catalysts of Internationalisation. Martin Thunert (2000) Global Society, 14:2, 191-211.
11.   Think Tanks and Their Impact. Robert O'neill (2008) Asia-Pacific Review, 15:2, 9-12.
12.   Think Tanks in Transitional China. Xufeng Zhu and Lan Xue. public administration and development Public Admin. Dev. 27, 452–464 (2007).
13.   China’s Foreign Policy Think Tanks: Changing Roles and Structural Conditions. Pascal Abb. GIGA Research Unit: Institute of Asian Studies No 213 January.
14.   Chinese Think Tanks, Policy Advice and Global Governance. James G. McGann. Research Center for Chinese Politics and Business-Indiana University, Bloomington. Working Paper #21 March 2012.
15.   China's International Relations Think Tanks: Evolving Structure and Process. David Shambaugh. The China Quarterly, No. 171 (Sep., 2002), pp. 575-596.
16.   The Role of China’s Think Tanks in Policymaking. July–August 2009.
17.   Does Israel Need Think Tanks? by Hannah Elka Meyers Middle East Quarterly Winter 2009, pp. 37-46.
18.   The Israel Lobby John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt. London Review of Books Vol. 28 No. 6 · 23 March 2006 pages 3-12.
19.   Latin America’s Think Tanks: The Roots of Non-Profit Privatization. Daniel C. Levy. Studies in Comparative International Development. Summer 1995, Vol. 30, No. 2, 3-25.  
20.   Think Tanks. Peter T. Leeson, Matt E. Ryan, Claudia R. Williamson. Journal of Comparative Economics 40 (2012) 62–77.
21.   Think Tanks in the U.S. Media Andrew Rich, R. Kent Weaver. The Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics, Volume 5, Number 4, Fall 2000, pp. 81-103.
22.   The Ties That Used to Bind The Decay of American Political Institutions. Francis Fukuyama. The American Interests - December 8, 2013.
23.   Where Have All the Lobbyists Gone? Lee Fang. The Nation. February 19, 2014.

Recommended Readings:

Think Tanks:
1.     Do Think Tanks Matter?: Assessing the Impact of Public Policy Institutes By Donald E. Abelson (2009)
2.     A Capitol Idea: Think Tanks And US Foreign Policy By Donald E. Abelson 2006.
3.     NGOs in International Politics By Shamima Ahmed and David Potter (2006).
4.     Think Tanks, Public Policy, and the Politics of Expertise by Andrew Rich (2005).
5.     Think Tanks in America by Thomas Medvetz (2012 and 2014)
6.     The Competition of Ideas: The World of the Washington Think Tanks By  Murray L. Weidenbaum (2011).
7.     What Should Think Tanks Do?: A Strategic Guide to Policy Impact By Andrew Selee (2013).
8.     Global Think Tanks: Policy Networks and Governance B James McGann and Richard Sabatini (2011)
9.     Think Tank Traditions: Policy Analysis Across Nations By Diane Stone and Andrew Denham (2004).
10.   Capturing the Political Imagination: Think Tanks and the Policy Process By Diane Stone (1996)
11.   The Idea Brokers: Think Tanks And The Rise Of The New Policy Elite By James A. Smith (1993)
12.   How Institutions Think By Mary Douglas (Syracuse University Press, 1986)

Non-Governmental Organizations:
1.     The Third Force: The Rise of Transnational Civil Society Ann M. Florini (2000).
2.     Non-State Actors in World Politics Paperback By (Eds) William Wallace and Daphne Josselin (2002).
3.     The Marketing of Rebellion: Insurgents, Media, and International Activism By Clifford Bob (2005).
4.     Non-Governmental Organizations in World Politics: The Construction of Global Governance By Peter Willetts (2010).
5.     Civil Society: The Critical History of an Idea By John R. Ehrenberg (1999).
6.     Civil Society By Michael Edwards (2009).
7.     The Nature of the Nonprofit Sector By J. Steven Ott (Editor) and Lisa A. Dicke (2011).

International Organizations:
1.     United Nations at a Glance By United Nations (2012).
2.     An Insider's Guide to the UN By Linda Fasulo (2009).
3.     Basic Facts about the United Nations 2014 By United Nations (2014).
4.     International Organizations: The Politics and Processes of Global Governance By Margaret P. Karns and Karen A. Mingst (2009).
5.     Rules for the World: International Organizations in Global Politics By Michael Barnett and Martha Finnemore (2004).
6.     International Organizations By Kelly-Kate S. Pease (2011).
7.     Unholy Trinity: The IMF, World Bank and WTO By Richard Peet (2009).

Internet Websites:

Some Newspaper Articles:

Documentaries and Movies: 
1.     The U.N. Deception
2.     League of Nations
3.     Woodrow Wilson
4.     Treaty Of Versailles Documentary
5.     What Do Think Tanks Do? Session 1, 2, 3 and 4
6.     "Think Tanks" Shaping US Policy -
7.     US Research 'Think Tanks' Have Notable Policy Role
8.     FUND Panel II The Role of Political Foundations and Think Tanks

Course Philosophy:
The goal of this course is to become familiar with think tanks, international and non-governmental organizations in comparative perspective in the context of International Studies. The success of this course depends on your continued and sustained reading and participation. The course will be based on a four-dimensional method of learning, and this includes inquiry and critical thinking; communication; and will draw on the diversity of human experience; and ethics and social responsibility. First, I would like you to critically analyze what you learn in this class or have learned so far through the media and your education, because in today’s world, truth is a relative concept. Throughout human history, critical thinking is one of the most important factors that have contributed to human development.  In order to become active, self-motivated, and empowered learners and future leaders, you will need to have the ability to think critically, and therefore your criticism, feedback and suggestions are necessary. Second, I would like for you to enhance your writing and oral communication skills in this course. Therefore, it is important to clearly elaborate your arguments in class discussion as well as in the written assignments.

Third, we are each part of the human mosaic, and all have different experiences based on our unique social, political and economic differences. We can all learn from and respect each other and benefit from our diversity. Please try to learn from and understand those with different perspectives from your own. Lastly, we need to learn that we are all part of this intellectual community and part of a larger society, and all have social and ethical responsibilities to our family, community, classmates, and humanity. We live in a globalized world and therefore, we need to be aware of events in our community, and the world today. In order to enhance our knowledge, we must critically examine our social, political and economic environment in order to apply this knowledge to our experience.

Course Requirements

To prevent confusion later, please read the following information carefully:

Grades: Your grade for this course will be based on your performance on the following components, shown below with their dates and respective weights.

Item                                                                    Date                                        Weight (%)

Weekly Reflection Papers or online quizzes             Sunday                                   60.0
Final Paper                                                          June 8th                                  20.0
Attendance                                                                                                        4.0                  
Class Participation                                                                                             6.0      
Online Discussions                                                                                            10.0     

You have two options; either you can choose to do a weekly reflection paper, or take a weekly online quiz. See details for each option below.

1. Weekly Reflection papers: The reflection papers will include an open book essay that will determine what you have learned in class each week. I will ask you four questions regarding the weekly reading and class discussion. The reflection papers should be at least 1600 words. Font size should be Times New Roman, 12 point. The due date for each exam is Sunday by 12:00 midnight. You need to email me your reflection papers with Word document. Criteria: If your paper is less than 1600 words, or late, you will loose 4 points.

2.     Weekly Online Quizzes on D2L: You will have 4 quizzes. The quizzes will have 15 questions from each week class readings. Each Quiz is worth 15 points and each question is worth 1.0 point. You will find the schedule of quizzes below. Please carefully review the online quiz schedule. If you have schedule conflict, drop the class. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.          

Online Discussions: During the semester, you will have 5 online discussions. In order to receive a grade for this, you should participate in the discussions in a meaningful way. One-sentence contributions, derogatory usage or meaningless contributions without any factual background from academic sources and class readings will not be counted and will be deleted. Every week, I will post movies/documentaries and questions for discussion. You have five days to participate in the discussions. You will have to participate at least two times to receive 2 points. Your perspectives should be based on classroom materials, journal and newspaper articles. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate contact me.

Final Paper: You will select a think tank, or an international or non-governmental organization, and will write a critical and analytical review. I must approve your final paper proposal first. The options for your final paper project are listed on D2L. Each student must select a different international organization, think tank or NGO, so it is important to clear your topic with me as soon as possible. For your final paper, I created a sample format, which you will find on D2L. Follow the sample format, and answer the questions clearly! The due date for obtaining approval on your topic selection is April 27th.     
The final paper must be at least 4000 words. The last day to submit your final paper is Sunday June 8th at midnight.
CRITERIA:        If you select a book after April 27th you will loose 3 points!
                            If your book reviews is late, you will loose another 4 points!
                            If your final paper is less then 4000 words, you will loose 5 points!  

Participation/Attendance: Each student must read the course materials before they attend class, and I expect them to participate in class discussion. Regular class attendance is one of the most important parameters to successful completion of the course requirements. If you find interesting articles, books, videos, or other sources that pertain to the class topics and discussion, please share them with me and with your classmates. This can count towards your class participation score.

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY! - Electronic Devices & Other Classroom Policies

Coming late to class and leaving early: Latecomers will not be accepted in the class, so be on time. If you are late for a class, please do not disturb your classmates and me and do not come at all. Please also do not send an email or call me regarding your class attendance. If there is a medical need, bring a letter from a doctor. Whatever the reason is, if you cannot come to class, this is your responsibility. If you miss more than 3 classes, you will not receive an attendance/participation grade. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE EARLY EITHER! This is a class, not a coffee shop!

Laptop and cell phone policy: No electronic devices (including but not limited to laptops, cell phones, blackberries, etc) are to be used in the classroom. This includes talking on the phone, texting, playing games, surfing the web, or any other inappropriate usage. Those caught using restricted devices will be asked to leave class. Lectures may not be recorded with audio or multi-media devices. Please turn your cell phone off before you come to class.

Responsibility: You and/or your parents pay tuition for this class; therefore, you have responsibility to yourself and/or your parents. Passing or failing the class is not the main objective, rather that you learn and improve your knowledge. Please read and try to understand the main concepts of this class. If you are having difficulty, please do not hesitate to see me and discuss your concerns!

Each year, almost half a million people graduate from American public universities (see As you will see from the statistics, the job market is very competitive; therefore, students need to improve their knowledge, skill, and experience in order to find a job they want. Learning is a lifelong process. An academic institution like Portland State University will provide you with an educational discipline and methodology; everything else is up to you. You should study and improve your skills, in order to compete with the rest of the graduates. While you are in the program, you should apply for internships to obtain relevant experiences before you graduate. Therefore, if you need a letter of recommendation for an internship or job, please do not hesitate to ask me, if you receive at least an A, A- or B+ grade from my class. Please also remember that an undergraduate degree might not be enough to find the job you want; therefore, you might need to apply to graduate school. In order to apply to graduate school, you will also need to have a letter of recommendation. I am also happy to advise you on graduate school or provide a letter of recommendation if you receive an A, A- or B+ grade. 

Grades: Your grade for this course will be based on your performance on the following components, shown with their dates and respective weights:

The grading system in this class is as follows:
A                95-100     
A-              90-94    
B+              86-89    
B                85     
B-               80-84    
C+              76-79    
C                75    
C-               70-74    
D+             66-69    
D                65    
D-              60-64
F                (Failure)     

-You are expected to follow PSU’s student code of conduct, particularly 577-031-0135 and 577-031-0136, which can be found at
Violations of the code will be reported to the Office of the Dean of Student Life.
-You are encouraged to take advantage of instructor and TA office hours or email communication for help with coursework or anything else connected with the course and your progress.
-If you are a student with a documented disability and are registered with Disability Resource Center (503.725.4150 or TDD 725.6504), please contact the instructor immediately to arrange academic accommodations.
-Make sure you have an ODIN account; this email will be used for D2L and important emails from the instructor and TA.  DO NOT USE THE INTERNAL D2L mail function to contact us. If you do not typically use your PSU ODIN account, figure out how to get your mail from this account forwarded to the account you usually use.


No Laptops and cell phones will be allowed in this class.
If you have any questions regarding class related subjects, please do not hesitate to ask me.

Course Timeline

First Week
March 31 – April 4

·       Introduction to Course and overview syllabus
·       Behind Closed Doors: Elite Politics, Think-Tanks and US Foreign Policy By Tugrul Keskin and Patrick Halpern (Posted on D2L)
·       Methodological Approach: Typologies of Think Tanks (Kubilay Yado Arin)
·       Policy Communities, Advocacy Coalitions and Epistemic Communities (Kubilay Yado Arin)
·       Introduction to the study of international organizations (Ian Hurd)
·       A guide to the study of international organizations (Ian Hurd)
Second Week
April 7-11

·       Do Think Tanks Matter? Opportunities, Constraints and Incentives for Think
Tanks in Canada and the United States By Donald E. Abelson (Posted on D2L)
·       Demanding Information: Think Tanks and the US Congress. Anthony M. Bertelli and Jeffrey B. Wenger. (Posted on D2L)
·       The Role of the Think Tanks in the US Foreign Policy. U.S. Foreign Policy Agenda Volume 7 An Electronic Journal of the U.S. Department of State Number 3.
·       The World Trade Organization (Ian Hurd)
·       Theoretical Explanations for the Political Influence of Think Tanks (Kubilay Yado Arin)  
·       Fragmentation of the Political System and Veto Players (Kubilay Yado Arin)

Third Week
April 14-18
·       US Think Tanks and the Politics of Expertise: Role, Value and Impact Mahmood Ahmad. (Posted on D2L)
·       A Challenge to Washington Think Tanks Murray Weidenbaum. (Posted on D2L)
·       The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank (Ian Hurd)
·       CFR, Brookings and the Neoconservative Advocacy Think Tanks (Kubilay Yado Arin)
·       Elite Theory (Kubilay Yado Arin)

Sunday April 20st

Reflection Paper – 1
Online Quiz-1
Fourth Week
April 21-25

·       British think tanks: advancing the intellectual debate? Philippa Sherrington. (Posted on D2L)
·       Players Beyond Borders? German Think Tanks as Catalysts of Internationalisation. Martin Thunert. (Posted on D2L)
·       Think Tanks and Their Impact. Robert O'neill. (Posted on D2L)
·       The United Nations I: law and administration (Ian Hurd) 
·       Government Contractors - Frontrunners of the Military-Industrial Complex (Kubilay Yado Arin)
·       Foundations, Corporate Philanthropy and Political Advocacy  (Kubilay Yado Arin)

Fifth Week
April 28-May 2

·       Think Tanks in Transitional China. Xufeng Zhu and Lan Xue. (Posted on D2L)
·       China's International Relations Think Tanks: Evolving Structure and Process. David Shambaugh. (Posted on D2L)
·       China’s Foreign Policy Think Tanks: Changing Roles and Structural Conditions. Pascal Abb. GIGA Research Unit: Institute of Asian Studies No 213 January.
·       The Role of China’s Think Tanks in Policymaking. (Posted on D2L)
·       The United Nations II: international peace and security (Ian Hurd)
·       Advocacy Tanks Acting like Policy Entrepreneurs (Kubilay Yado Arin)
·       The Role of Neoconservative Think Tanks in US Foreign Policy (Kubilay Yado Arin)

Sunday May 4th

Reflection Paper – 2
Online Quiz-2
Sixth Week
May 5-9

·       Does Israel Need Think Tanks? by Hannah Elka Meyers.
·       The Israel Lobby John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt.
·       The International Labor Organization (Ian Hurd) 
·       The Clinton Administration (Kubilay Yado Arin)
·       The Bush Administration (Kubilay Yado Arin)
·       Introduction - NGOization: Complicity, Contradictions and Prospects - Aziz Choudry and Dip Kapoor
·       Saving Biodiversity, for Whom and for What? Conservation NGOs, Complicity, Colonialism and Conquest in an Era of Capitalist Globalization - Aziz Choudry (Aziz Choudry and Dip Kapoor)

Seventh Week
May 12-16

·       The Ties That Used to Bind The Decay of American Political Institutions. Francis Fukuyama.
·       Where Have All the Lobbyists Gone? Lee Fang.
·       International Court of Justice (Ian Hurd)
·       The Bush Doctrine, the Neoconservative Concept for Primacy? (Kubilay Yado Arin)
·       The Neoconservative Think Tanks, an Advocacy Coalition (Kubilay Yado Arin)
·       Social Action and NGOization in Contexts of Development Dispossession in Rural India: Explorations into the Un-civility of Civil Society - Dip Kapoor (Aziz Choudry and Dip Kapoor)
·       NGOs, Indigenous Peoples and the United Nations - Sharon H. Venne (Aziz Choudry and Dip Kapoor)

May 22nd
Reflection Paper – 3
Online Quiz-3
Eighth Week
May 19-23

·       The International Criminal Court (Ian Hurd)
·       Conclusion: American Politics and the War of Ideas (Kubilay Yado Arin)
·       From Radical Movement to Conservative NGO and Back Again? A Case Study of the Democratic Left (Aziz Choudry and Dip Kapoor) Front in South Africa - Luke Sinwell (Aziz Choudry and Dip Kapoor)
·       Philippine NGOs: Defusing Dissent, Spurring Change - Sonny Africa (Aziz Choudry and Dip Kapoor)

Ninth Week
May 26-30

·       Regional organizations: EU, AU and ASEAN (Ian Hurd)
·       Disaster Relief, NGO-led Humanitarianism and the Reconfiguration of Spatial Relations in Tamil Nadu - Raja Swamy (Aziz Choudry and Dip Kapoor)
·       Seven Theses on Neobalkanism and NGOization in Transitional Serbia - Tamara Vukov (Aziz Choudry and Dip Kapoor)
Sunday June 1st

Reflection Paper – 4
Online Quiz-4
Tenth Week
June 2-6

·       Conclusion (Ian Hurd)
·       Emergence, development and future trajectories of Civil Society and NGOs By Tugrul Keskin
·       Peace-building and Violence against Women: Tracking the Ruling Relations of Aid in a Women's
·       Development NGO in Kyrgyzstan - Elena Kim and Marie Campbell (Aziz Choudry and Dip Kapoor)
Alignment and Autonomy: Food Systems in Canada - Brewster Kneen (Aziz Choudry and Dip Kapoor)

Sunday – JUNE 8TH