The Politics of Secularism:
Religion, Diversity, and Institutional Change in France and Turkey
November 22, 2018
Abstract: 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 his book, 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.
Murat Akan is Associate Professor of Comparative Politics, Turkish Politics, and Political Theory in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science (2005) from Columbia University, New York. He was a non-residential post-doctoral research fellow with the University of Amsterdam (2009-2012), and a guest researcher in-residence at the Max-Planck-Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Göttingen (2012-2013). He was a visiting scholar at the Institute for Middle East Studies in George Washington University in July and August 2017. He will be a visiting researcher at the Groupe Sociétés, Religions, Laïcités, CNRS-EPHE-PSL in Paris in December 2018. He has a book from Columbia University Press, The Politics of Secularism: Religion, Diversity, and Institutional Change in France and Turkey. His research articles have appeared in a multitude of prestigious international journals.