CALL FOR PAPERS – Democracy, Public Spaces and “Open Society”: Gezi Park Protests and the Birth of the “Gezi Movement
CALL FOR PAPERS – Italian Political Science Association, SISP (Società Italiana di Scienza Politica)
XVIII SISP ANNUAL CONFERENCE
University of Perugia, Department of Political Science and University for Foreigners of Perugia, Department of Human and Social Studies,
11 – 13 September 2014
Section. 14: Focus on Turkey
Panel. 14.5: Democracy, Public Spaces and “Open Society”: Gezi Park Protests and the birth of the “Gezi movement” http://www.sisp.it/convegno/2014/sezioni/116/
On 28th May 2013, a small group of Turkish environmentalists organised a peaceful protest, in Taksim Square, Istanbul, against a redevelopment plan for Gezi Park. The brutality of the police force’s attempt to repress this protest launched a civic movement that spread throughout the main cities of Turkey and persists to this day. With the passage of time, the movement has defined its own vocabulary, symbols and characteristics. The square is now the “real” place in which to manifest the need for pluralism and freedom, and social networks are now the “virtual” places for protest and dissent. Thus, the battle for public space increasingly resembles a clash between control and freedom, between standardisation and diversity, and between authoritarianism and plurality.
What is the most authentic meaning of the Turkish protest movement? Should it be considered the expression of a modern, complex and dynamic civil society, one that was born specifically in the AKP decade and that has now grown beyond its rulers? The demand for pluralism, the collective ownership of public space, the free expression of citizenship, the freedom of the press and of public opinion, the desire for an “open society” – are these the deepest and most urgent challenges for Turkish civil society? Has the movement jeopardised the credibility of the AKP decade as exemplifying the co-existence of Islam, secularism and democracy, or does it rather constitute an opportunity to relaunch democratic and pluralistic growth? Finally, does the Europeanization of Turkey, controversial and fitful as it is, contribute to the formation of a new Turkish civil society? These are the central questions proposed by the panel, whose intention is to encourage interdisciplinary contributions, that primarily develop a multidimensional understanding of the Turkish protest movement within the context of the complex balance between democracy, Islam and secularism.
Abstracts (in English or Italian) should be submitted to Dr. Carola Cerami (email@example.com) and Federico Donelli (firstname.lastname@example.org) by May 8th 2014.
Abstracts should not exceed 250 words and should be accompanied by a short biographical note.