To attend in Ankara: Radicalization in the Mediterranean Region. Old and New Drivers

Lorenzo Kamel's picture
December 14, 2015
Subject Fields: 
Middle East History / Studies, Humanities, Social Sciences


Radicalization in the Mediterranean Region:

Old and New Drivers

A New-Med Conference

in cooperation with the center for middle eastern strategic studies (Orsam), Ankara

Ankara, 14 December 2015

Büyükhanli Park Hotel

Simon Bolivar Caddesi, 34 - Lycia Hall

8:30                        Registration of Participants


9:00-9:30             INTRODUCTORY REMARKS

                             Şaban Kardaş, ORSAM

                             Massimo Carnelos, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation


9:30-11:00            Session I – How It Was, How It Is: Root Causes of the Current Regional Instability


Key questions: What is the mix of root causes and contingent factors behind processes leading to instability and violent radicalization in the Mediterranean region? Are these causes linked, as often claimed, to a “Middle Eastern exceptionalism”? What role does religion play? What role do unsolved conflicts play? What is the link between the macro level (geopolitical competition, weak governance, conflict) and the micro level (individuals and groups embracing radicalization in their respective communities)? How the equilibrium between the local regional “minorities” and “majorities” were in the past? What are the main new aspects, if any?


                        Chair:               Emiliano Alessandri, OSCE, Vienna


Panelists:        Toby Matthiesen, Oxford University: "Sectarianism in the International Relations of

                        the Middle East: Does it matter?” 

                        Moshe Ma’oz, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem: “Religious-Nationalistic

                        Radicalization in Israel/Palestine: A Disastrous Syndrome?”

                       Lorenzo Kamel, Harvard University/IAI: “Ethnocentric Drives in the Middle East: an Historical Perspective”

                        Benoit Challand, New School for Social Research, New York: “Thinking Beyond

                        ‘Regional Stability’. The Destabilizing Factor of International and Regional Aid”


11:00-11:30            Coffee Break


11:30-13:00            Session II – The Phenomenon of “Foreign Terrorist Fighters” Explained


Key questions: What do we know and what lessons have we learned from the apparently burgeoning phenomenon of so-called “foreign terrorist fighters” leaving their homes in neighboring countries and regions to join conflicts in the Middle East? Is this phenomenon truly new or have only the scope and the modalities evolved? In which way radicalization processes intersect with the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters? What role can anti-radicalization policies and campaigns play in the mix of strategies aimed at stemming the phenomenon?


Chair:                         Murat Yeşiltaş, SETA Foundation


Panelists:             Lisa Watanabe, ETH Zurich: “Foreign Fighters and North African Countries”

Dietrich Jung, University of Southern Denmark: “The search for meaning in war’: Foreign fighters in comparative perspective” 

Haldun Yalçinkaya, TOBB University of Economics and Technology: “Foreign Terrorist Fighters and Turkey”

Cemil Kilinç, Hedayah Center : “Lessons Learned on FTF Phenomena from Hedayah’s Perspective”‬


13:00-14:30            Buffet-Lunch


14:30-16:00            Session III: De-Radicalization and The Dynamic Interaction Between

                                                         Religion and Politics


Key questions: Which roles do religion, nationalism and religious nationalism play in the processes unfolding in the MENA? Do religions explain dynamics of conflict or merely provide manifestations of it? What role can religious traditions and religious leaders play in countering radicalization processes? In which ways interreligious and intra-religious dialogue help?


Chair:                               Necati Anaz, UTSAM


Panelists:             Matteo Legrenzi, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice: “Iran, Saudi Arabia and the

                        New Religious and Political Proxy Wars in the Middle East”

Saban Ali Düzgün, University of Ankara: “Islam and Radicalization”

Paolo Branca, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan: “The Caliphate Between History and Myth”

                        Mohammad Abu Rumman, Center for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan:

                        “What Went Wrong with the ‘War on Terrorism’?”                                   


16:00-16:30            Concluding Remarks


                        Emiliano Alessandri, OSCE, Vienna

                        Fatma Ceren Yazgan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Turkey

                        Lorenzo Kamel, Harvard University/IAI


16:30                         End of the Conference