We are delighted to announce that the II. Middle Eastern Congress on Politics and Society, organised by the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies at Sakarya University, will take place in Sakarya, Turkey, 14-17 October, 2014. Over the two years following the first annual congress in 2012, further significant developments have been experienced in politics of the Middle East. This year’s congress, the details of which can be found below, aims to bring together a number of perspectives on political and social developments in the region.
At the outset, peoples’ revolutions emerging in the Middle East have brought about an opportunity for a new regional restoration, starting from each country’s democratic consolidation. However, rather than drawing on domestic political and social dynamics, the Arab Revolutions have moved away from their promised democratisation target under the effect of regional and global actors involved in each country where the transformation took place. Now, we need to discuss the “New Middle East” around emerging teo-political antagonisms, new ways of conflict and new stories of existence. Even so, in almost all countries of the region existing political and social orders were shaken and there existed a significant opportunity for change notwithstanding the efforts of all actors playing a role in the failure of the revolutions. In other words, the Arab Revolutions put a number of regional and global actors, primarily the Islamic world, in a position vis-a-vis a new historical challenge. This challenge makes it necessary more than ever to rethink about a wide array of concepts, phenomena and processes ranging from state-religion relationships to secularism in the “New Middle East”, from new social subjectivities to new identity projections and new diplomacy.
As a result of this dynamism and emerging situations both policy makers and social scientists needed to reconsider the social and political dynamics in the Middle East. This congress aims to re-address and discuss different perspectives on political, economic and social structures as well as the recent events and transformation in the Middle East.
In the first year of its establishment, the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies at Sakarya University invites academics, politicians and activists to participate in panels and meetings for strengthening our understanding of the dynamics in the region.
With simultaneous translations, the congress will be held in Turkish, Arabic and English. The opening speech and panels on the first day of the congress will be translated into Turkish, Arabic and English. On the second and third day of the congress, presentations that will be conducted in Arabic and Turkish will only be translated into these two languages. In tandem with these there will also be presentations in English only.