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International Sociological Association

Civilization Between Politics and Economics
The Third International Ibn Khaldun Symposium
Istanbul, Turkey
September 28-29, 2013
Deadline: July 31, 2013

International Ibn Khaldun Society (IIKS); Alliance of Civilizations Institute (ACI) at Fatih Sultan Mehmet Waqf University; Istanbul Foundation for Research and Education (ISAR)

The purpose of this symposium is to reexamine the role of politics and economics in shaping civilizations and inter-civilizational relations by applying Khaldunian perspective(s) to specific cases. Today, the structure of the world economy is fast changing. So is world politics. These two forces have
a strong impact on individuals, societies, civilizations and their relations with each other. For Ibn Khaldun civilization is a fluid phenomenon which constantly changes under the pressure of political and economic forces while the laws of change remain constant. The central question of this symposium is:
How can we apply Khaldunian perspective(s), concepts, methods and theories to today’s world with a particular focus on the role of politics and economics on social change?

Social scientists are generally divided into two groups about how to explain social change. While some consider political dynamics to be more decisive, others place more importance on economic forces. However, each position is heavily inflicted with reductionism. Ibn Khaldun quite consciously tries to refrain from both economic and political reductionism and conceives economy and politics as two indispensable dimensions of society in constant interplay with each other. This symposium aims to promote Ibn Khaldun as an alternative to the current political and economic reductionism in social sciences. We are aware that there may be many different interpretations of Ibn Khaldun’s work. To
this end, we call researchers to apply Khaldunian perspectives to either current developments or historical cases from around the world.

One of the interesting current phenomena the symposium aims to explore is the Arab Spring, which has yet to be fully understood as contemporary social and political theories neither predicted nor have they thus far been able to convincingly explain it. The symposium invites researchers to revisit the Arab Spring and the subsequent quest for a new political system by putting Khaldunian perspectives in use to understand the delayed transformations in Arab societies.

This symposium aims to provide an interdisciplinary forum for those scholars who are interested in critically examining current perceptions preoccupying Khaldunian studies and to turn Ibn Khaldun into a subject of lively debate on theory, methodology, and empirical studies. The primary focus is on applying Ibn Khaldun to historical and contemporary issues rather than on making meta-theoretical statements on his work.

The symposium is organized by the International Ibn Khaldun Society, the Alliance of Civilizations Institute at Fatih Sultan Mehmet Waqf University as well as Istanbul Foundation for Research and Education. This international symposium is the third on Ibn Khaldun. The first took place in Istanbul in 2006 where the participants decided to establish the International Ibn Khaldun Society and to convene a meeting every three years in Istanbul. Selected papers from the First International Ibn Khaldun Symposium have been published in Turkish (Turkish Journal of Islamic Studies, 2006) and English (Asian Journal of Social Science, 2008). Selected papers from this symposium will also be
published in English, Arabic, and Turkish.

Your contributions may cover, but are not required to be limited, to the following themes:

Ibn Khaldun and Modern Social Science: Primitive Precursor or Alternative?

Was Ibn Khaldun merely the founding father of the scientific approach to history and some of the social sciences such as sociology, economy, political economy, and political science? What are the consequences of such a reading of Ibn Khaldun? On the other hand, might it be said that Ibn
Khaldun’s perception of politics, economy, history, and society constitutes an alternative to the modern social sciences? What are the differences between Ibn Khaldun’s theoretical framework and the modern social sciences regarding the ontological, epistemological, and methodological
presuppositions of knowledge?

Applying Ibn Khaldun to History and Contemporary Societies

How can Ibn Khaldun’s theory be applied to the study of current political, economic, cultural, and religious phenomena in different parts of our world? For instance, can the so-called clash of civilizations be re-interpreted from a Khaldunian perspective? How can we interpret ethnic conflicts, the rise and fall of states, empires and civilizations, and inter-cultural relations, alternatively using Ibn Khaldun’s theory?

How to Read Ibn Khaldun Today? Risks and Opportunities

How can Ibn Khaldun be read as more than a mere supplier of historical data or a thinker whose works apply only to the so-called Orient? How would Ibn Khaldun end up being re-evaluated as we attempt to use him to understand and explain our own times? For example, is it meaningful to speak of neo-Khaldunian sociology, economics, and political science?

Ibn Khaldun and the Islamic Civilization Today

What is the relevance of the Khaldunian approach to current debates concerning the transformation in Muslim societies, their worldviews, and future?

In particular, what would Ibn Khaldun’s contribution be to the interpretation and evaluation of the social change commonly called as the Arab Spring?

Applications to the symposium can be submitted through e-mail. It should include:
1) Cover page (containing: title, participant’s name and institutional affiliation, participant’s e-mail address, telephone and fax numbers if available)
2) Abstract (300 words maximum)
3) Biographical statement of participant that describes research interests and recent publications (200 words maximum)

Papers can be presented in Turkish, Arabic, and English. Simultaneous translation will be available. Selected papers of the symposium will be published.

July 10, 2013: Deadline for submission of abstracts. Extended: July 31.
July 15, 2013: Confirmation of the accepted abstracts
September 1, 2013: Deadline for submission of drafts to chairs
September 28 – 29, 2013: Symposium
December 1, 2013: Deadline for submission of final articles

The symposium will begin on Saturday, September 28, 2013 and end on Sunday, September 29, 2013.

Accommodation will be provided for all participants for up to three days. A limited amount of funding, particularly for participants from abroad, is available for travel expenses. Please contact the Symposium Secretariat for further information.

Visits to historical and cultural sites of Istanbul such as the Topkapi Palace, the Saint Sophia, and the Blue Mosque, and a Bosporus tour will be arranged for participants.

Recep ŞENTÜRK (Chair, Alliance of Civilizations Institute, Fatih Sultan Mehmet Waqf University)
Alparslan AÇIKGENÇ (Yıldız Technical University)
Syed Farid ALATAS (National University of Singapore)
Nurullah ARDIÇ (İstanbul Şehir University)
Khalid AZAB (Library of Alexandria)
Murteza BEDİR (Istanbul University)
Abdelaziz BERGHOUT (International Islamic University Malaysia)
Tahsin GÖRGÜN (İstanbul 29 Mayıs University)
Saif el-Din Abdel Fattah ISMAIL (Cairo University)
İbrahim KALIN (Prime Ministry of Turkey)
Bekir KARLIĞA (Bahçeşehir University)
Mehmet Akif KAYAPINAR (İstanbul Şehir University)
Burhan KÖROĞLU (Bahçeşehir University)
Bruce LAWRENCE (Duke University)
Mahmud MISRİ (Fatih Sultan Mehmet Waqf University)
Sabri ORMAN (İstanbul Commerce University)
Cengiz TOMAR (Marmara University)
Hüseyin YILDIZ (George Mason University)
Hayrettin YÜCESOY (Washington University in St. Louis)

Recep ŞENTÜRK (Chair) (Fatih Sultan Mehmet Waqf University)
Nagihan HALİLOĞLU (Fatih Sultan Mehmet Waqf University)
Ercüment ASİL (Fatih Sultan Mehmet Waqf University)
Vahdettin IŞIK (Fatih Sultan Mehmet Waqf University)
Halil İbrahim ALEGÖZ (Fatih Sultan Mehmet Waqf University)
Haşim KOÇ (Yunus Emre Institute)
Cemaleddin DEMİROK (First-Class Organization)
Coordinator : Enis Mansur ANAŞ (Fatih Sultan Mehmet Waqf University)

Alliance of Civilizations Institute, Fatih Sultan Mehmet Waqf University
Merkezefendi Mh. Mevlevihane Cd. No:25
Zeytinburnu, İstanbul, Turkey
Tel: + 90-212-582 90 70
Ercüment Asil (ext: 2013)
Enis Mansur Anas (ext: 2005)
Fax: +90-212-582 81 10
International Sociological Association