Religion, Diversity, and Institutional Change in France and Turkey
A book talk with Murat Akan
Book: Discussions of modernity—or alternative and multiple modernities—often hinge on the question of secularism, especially how it travels outside its original European context. Too often, attempts to answer this question either imagine a universal model derived from the history of Western Europe, which neglects the experience of much of the world, or emphasize a local, non-European context that limits the potential for comparison. In The Politics of Secularism, Murat Akan reframes the question of secularism, exploring its presence both outside and inside Europe and offering a rich empirical account of how it moves across borders and through time.
Bio: Murat Akan is Associate Professor of Comparative Politics, Political Theory, and Turkish Politics in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University in 2005. He was a non-residential post-doctoral research fellow with the University of Amsterdam on the “Culturalization of Citizenship” project between 2009-2012, and a guest researcher in-residence at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in 2012-2013 on a scholarship from the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey. His research covers secularism, democracy, religion, institutions, minority issues, constitutions, social movements, and French and Turkish politics. His work has appeared in the British Journal of Sociology, Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, Studies in Comparative International Development, Journal of Constitutional Law (AYHD), French Cultural Studies, and Philosophy and Social Criticism.