Category Archives: News

IRCPL Visiting Research Scholar George Gavrilis report for East West Institute now available


The East West Institute has just released Afghan Narcotrafficking: The State of Afghanistan’s Borders, with IRCPL Visiting Research Scholar George Gavrilis as Principal Author.

This report is the third produced by EWI’s working group of Russian and U.S. experts, and presents an analysis of the current state of affairs at Afghanistan’s borders in relation to counter narcotics efforts.  Much more information about the report, and the working group’s other papers in the series, is available at  The entire paper is available to read here.


Alfred Stepan on Democracy and Religious Tolerance in Tunisia

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Alfred C. Stepan, founding director of Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Democracy, Toleration, and Religion, recently discussed democracy and religious tolerance in Tunisia for the Council on Foreign Relations, as part of CFR’s Religion and Foreign Policy Initiative.  Amna Guellali, Researcher, Middle East and North Africa Division, Human Rights Watch, acted as moderator.

Listen to the full talk here at


Tomorrow is the Question: Afrofuturism and engaging prophetically with history


Didier Sylvain, PhD student in Ethnomusicology at Columbia University, curated Tomorrow Is the Question for the IRCPL on February 13th of this year.  Recently, he interviewed Barnard’s Professor Kaiama L. Glover for Africa Is a Country (, to discuss her thoughts on the event.

According to Glover:

George Lewis provided a capacious set of introductory remarks, reminding us that to imagine black futures is to be always recalling black pasts — engaging prophetically with history. Emphasizing the centrality of sound to the public — the social, the political — sphere, Lewis opened up some real space for thinking about the ways sound has mattered, matters, should and will matter to #blacklives in an all-too-often condescending and downright dangerous world.

Read the full interview at

Karen Barkey on women’s rights in Turkey, for BBC’s The Inquiry


IRCPL Director Karen Barkey was interviewed on the BBC’s The Inquiry this week, discussing the state of women’s rights in Turkey.

The Inquiry asks: “Is Life Getting Worse for Women in Erdogan’s Turkey?”

Turks are united in revulsion at the murder of a female university student. The powerful president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, says that violence against women is the “bleeding wound” of Turkey. But he’s also said that women are “not equal” to men. So, is it life getting worse for woman in Turkey? Expert witnesses include a leading Turkish feminist and a member of the governing AK party.

Download or listen to the entire podcast at


IRCPL’s Arabic Translation Project book series now available as e-books

Democracies in Danger by Al Stepan book cover

ektablogoThe IRCPL and All Prints Publishers in Beirut have already published and have begun to distribute the first three print books in their Arabic Translation Project series.  We are pleased to announce that these books will now also be available as e-books, through

The Arabic Tranlsation Project will translate and publish a dozen important English language books on democracy and individual scholarly articles into Arabic and distribute them free of charge.  Now, with these books available both in print in bookstores, schools, and libraries throughout the Middle East and North Africa and as downloadable electronic books, the breadth of their distribution continues to expand.

Democracies in Danger, by Alfred Stepan is available for download here, and Robert Dahl’s On Democracy is available here.  Patterns of Democracy by Arend Lijphart, which was just published this month, will be available soon.

More information on the Arabic Translation Project is available at  For information about obtaining a copy of any of the books in the series, please contact Walid Hammam, Assistant Director of IRCPL, at





Souleymane Bachir Diagne honored among 2015 Distinguished Columbia Faculty awardees

Souleymane Bachir Diagne

The IRCPL would like to congratulate Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Professor of French and Romance Philology and of Philosophy and IRCPL Advisory Committee member, on being among the awardees for the 2015 Distinguished Columbia Faculty Award.

The award was created in 2005 by Columbia Trustee Emeritus, Gerry Lenfest, (LAW’58, HON’09), to honor exceptional faculty in the Arts and Sciences. The awards are given annually to recognize unusual merit across a range of activities including scholarship, University citizenship, and professional involvement, with primary emphasis on teaching and mentoring of undergraduate and graduate students.

This year’s honorees are:

  • Brian Cole, Professor of Physics
  • Patricia Dailey, Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature
  • Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Professor of French and Romance Philology
  • Bradford Garton, Professor of Music
  • Stathis Gourgouris, Professor of Classics
  • Rebecca Kobrin, Russell and Bettina Knapp Associate Professor of American Jewish History
  • Liza Knapp, Associate Professor of Slavic Languages
  • Feng Li, Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures
  • Mary Pollard Murray, Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature
  • Carol Rovane, Professor of Philosophy
  • Dorothea von Mücke, Professor of Germanic Languages

Istanbul Seminars – Call for Scholars and Students

Call for Scholars and Students

Politics Beyond Borders. The Republican Ideal Challenged by the Internationalization of Economy, Law and Communication.

8th Istanbul Seminars | 16-30 May 2014
Philosophers Bridge the Bosphorus

Venue: Istanbul Bilgi University

POSTER-studenti 2015For 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 we are going to ask at the Istanbul Seminars ’15 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?

Among Speakers 2015: Albena Azmanova, Richard Bellamy, Seyla Benhabib, Georges Corm, Nilüfer Göle, Mohammed Haddad, Regina Kreide, Ivan Krastev, Stephen Macedo, Max Pensky, David Rasmussen, Larbi Sadiki, Diego von Vacano.

Application period for students and young scholars will start in January 2015.  Events are free of charge and open to all.  Small grants are available for students who apply until March 31st.  Much more information available at