The first class of the International Summer University was held in Istanbul in July 2013. Focusing on the theme, “The European Experience: from genocide and mass violence to reconciliation and cooperation”, the program brought together 53 top-performing American, British, French, German, Spanish, Iranian, Israeli, Moroccan, Palestinian, Jordanian, Tunisian, Algerian, Senegalese, Syrian, Azeri and Turkish students to learn the causes of wars and genocides in the 20th century Europe, the process of peace and reconciliation that laid the foundation for the European Union and the challenges facing European societies today. Eminent scholars on these subjects were invited from around the world to give lectures and accompany the students on this exhilarating educational and cultural journey.

Over a two-week period, students received a total of 19 lectures through plenary sessions of 90 minutes every morning that included a 50-minute lecture, followed by 10 minutes of group discussion, and 30-minute of Q&A session with the lecturer. Most discussion which started during the Q&A sessions would extend over lunch time and enabled the students to dialogue and share their understanding of the major issues addressed during the course and also learn from each other’s perception. The first week’s lectures gave students a broad understanding of the causes and consequences of mass violence in 20th century Europe. During the first half of the second week, students learnt about the processes of peace and reconciliation in Europe after World War II leading to political and economic union in the shape of the European Union. The final lectures focused on the challenges facing European societies today, and the conflicts that are still ongoing. Students were able to both learn from the past, and also engage in a critical reflection on the European model.

What students said:

  1. “I learnt how important it is to get to know each other and establish an atmosphere of mutual respect, goodwill and trust in oneself and each other”

  2. “I was especially impressed by the civil and affectionate bonds between students from Israel and Palestine”

  3. “We often think we have more differences than similarities with other people, but I learned first-hand that’s not the case…Programs like this teach people to break barriers and get past the ‘us and them’ mentality”

  4. “To the contrary of what I thought, meeting new people only made me more interested to know them better and made me understand that there are no real differences between us all”

  5. “I learned that people are very open-minded and ready to listen to different viewpoints. I also learned about their initiatives to make their worlds a better place, which inspired me to do the same at home”

  6. “I have learned to work with people who are from different cultures and this program provided me with the opportunity to meet those cultures”

  7. “Discussions and workshop sessions helped me discover totally new alternative viewpoints to look at particular things such as conflict between states, ethnicities, religions”

Origin of the students (Class of 2013)

In 2013, the program brought together a total of 53 students from Algeria, Azerbaijan, France, Germany, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine, Spain, Senegal, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, the United States & the United Kingdom. The following chart gives a general repartition of the students per region:
Europe - 38%
The Middle East - 34 %
Africa - 17 %
America - 11 %


Arnd Bauerkämper

Arnd Bauerkämper studied History and English at the Universities of Bielefeld, Oxford and Göttingen. He received his PhD from the University of Bielefeld in December 1989 and his venia legendi at Freie Universität Berlin in June 2001. From 1993 to 2001, he was a Research Fellow at the Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung in Potsdam, from 2001 to 2009 he was the Managing Director of the Berliner Kolleg für Vergleichende Geschichte Europas (until June 2004: Zentrum für Vergleichende Geschichte Europas). Since 2009, Bauerkämper is Project Administrator in the research center Transnationale Gesellschaftskonstruktionen in Europa im 20. Jahrhundert, and Professor for Modern History at the Department of History of the Freie Universität Berlin.

Ayse Bugra

Ayşe Buğra completed her Ph.D. in economics at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. She is currently professor of political economy at the Ataturk Institute of Modern Turkish History at Bogazici University, Istanbul. She is the co-founder and the current director of the Bogazici University research center Social Policy Forum where she initiated and conducted several studies on inequality, poverty and different foundations of social solidarity.

Yilmaz Esmer

Yilmaz Esmer is professor of Political Science at Bahcesehir University in Istanbul. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the World Values Survey Group and a Planning Committee member of the European Social Survey.He is the founding director of the UNDP Human Development Centre at Bogazici University, and he has also been involved in the preparation of Turkey Human Development Report. He was a visiting faculty member at Stanford and a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He served as Provost between 1996-1998. He holds a BA from Yale and a PhD from Stanford Universities. He has conducted various national and international surveys: * 2007 Transformation Research Initiative (study of elite values in seven countries) * 2007 European Social Survey, Round 4 * 2005-06 European Social Survey, Round 2 * 2003 Survey of the values of the economic elites * 2002 Turkish post-election survey including the international CSES module.

Hope M. Harrison

Hope M. Harrison holds a PhD from Columbia University (1993) and published a prize-winning book in 2003 on the East German and Soviet decision to build the Berlin Wall.
An expanded and updated version of the book was published in Germany in 2011 to glowing reviews. Co-founder and co-director of GW’s Cold War Group, she is fluent in Russian and German and worked extensively in archives in Moscow and Berlin. Her current book project examines the Berlin Wall as a contested site of memory in Germany from 1989-2011. She has appeared on CNN, C-SPAN and the History Channel, the BBC, Deutschlandradio, and elsewhere. Professor Harrison has received fellowships from Fulbright, the American Academy in Berlin, the Norwegian Nobel Institute, the Kennan Institute of the Woodrow Wilson Center, the Davis Center at Harvard University, the Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University, the Institute for Contemporary History in Potsdam, Germany, and the Council on Foreign Relations. From 2000-2001, Professor Harrison served at the National Security Council as Director of European and Eurasian Affairs at the White House under President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush. She worked on US relations with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan.

Riva Kastoryano

Riva Kastoryano is a research director at the CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research), and Professor at SciencesPo. Paris. She holds a PhD in Sociology from the Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences sociales (EHESS). She was a lecturer at Harvard University 1984-1987, a former research fellow at the Princeton University Institute for Advanced Studies (1997), the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin (1998) and the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard (2003-2004). She has been teaching at the Institute for Political Studies in Paris (SciencesPo.) since 1988 and at the New School for Social Research since 2005. Her work focuses on Europe, nationalism, identity and minority issues and more specifically to their relations to states in France, Germany, the United States.

David S. Katz

Professor David S. Katz (D.Phil., Oxon.) is Director of the Lessing Institute for European History and Civilization at Tel Aviv University in Israel, where he has taught since 1978. He also holds the Abraham Horodisch Chair for the History of Books. His area of research is the history of ideas in the long early modern period (1500-1900), and he has published three books about the Jews in early modern England, and three books about Christianity and radical Christian thought, same time and place. Among these are The Jews in the History of England, 1485-1850 (Oxford University Press, 1994); God’s Last Words: Reading the English Bible from the Reformation to Fundamentalism (Yale University Press, 2004); and The Occult Tradition from the Renaissance to the Present Day (Random House, 2005). He has now completed a cultural history of Anglo-Turkish relations from 1776 to 1923, which will be published next year. Professor Katz is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, England.

Mohammed Kenbib

Mohammed Kenbib is a graduate of Sorbonne University (Doctorat d’Etat). His field of study and research includes international relations history and Muslim – Jewish relations in Morocco. For the last ten years he has been focusing his work on Present time issues. He has been Visiting Professor at Paris I – Sorbonne, Senior Professor at Oxford and Fulbright Scholar at New York and Penn Universities. He has participated in conferences in several Universities in Western Europe, the United States and Canada. From 1997 to 2001 he was posted as Cultural Attaché at the Moroccan Embassy in Paris.

Annabelle Littoz-Monnet

Annabelle Littoz-Monnet is an Assistant Professor at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. Between 2005-2009, Annabelle Littoz-Monnet was an Assistant Professor at the Central European University, Budapest. She has also worked for the Socio-Legal Studies Centre at Oxford University and as a Research fellow at the Royal Institute of International Relations, Brussels (2004-2005). In 2007 she published The European Union and Culture: between economic regulation and European cultural policy (Manchester University Press). Her articles have appeared in journals such as the European Journal of Political Research, West European Politics, the Journal of European Public Policy and the Journal of Common Market Studies. Her current research interests include European integration theory, public policies and governance, the politics of European memory and the relationship between science and politics.

Nilufer Narli

Prof. Dr. Nilufer Narli holds a degree in Education with a major in Philosophy and minor in Sociology; and MSc in Humanities with a major in Logic, the Philosophy of Science and Philosophy from Middle Eastern Technical University, Ankara. She holds a PhD in Social Sciences with a major in Political Sociology from the School of Comparative Social Sciences, University Sains Malaysia. Prof. Narli was selected as an Eisenhower Fellow from Turkey in 1993. Narlı is a Full professor of Political Sociology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Bahçesehir University. Currently, she is teaching in the Sociology Department she founded in 2005. She was Vice Rector of the university till September 2006. Before being appointed as Vice-rector on September 1, 2005, she was the founding Dean to the Faculty of Communication at Kadir Has University (October 2003-August 2005). Before that, she had been the founder and department head of Sociology Department at Marmara University, where she also chaired the Sociology and Anthropology Department of the Middle East Studies Institute. She also taught at Istanbul University Women Studies Institute (1995-1999). She was visiting scholar at Maryland University (in the summer of 2007). Narli’s topics of research and teaching interest include: civil-military relations and military and good governance in Turkey, Islamist movements in Southeast Asia and Middle East, political participation of Muslim women, irregular migration in the Balkans, and political memory. Narli has experiences in distant learning with CUNY and Shangai TV University of China (2004).

İlber Ortaylı

İlber Ortaylı is a leading Turkish historian. He obtained his doctorate from Ankara University, and completed his postgraduate studies at Chicago University with a thesis on Local Administration in the Tanzimat Period. In 1980 he was appointed professor of political science. Ortaylı served as visiting professor in Vienna, Berlin, Paris, Princeton, Moscow, Rome, Munich, Strasbourg, Jannina, Sofia, Kiel, Cambridge, Oxford and Tunis. He was Chair of the Department of the History of Public Administration from 1989 until 2002, at the Faculty of Political Science, Ankara University. He taught history at Galatasaray University, Istanbul (2002-2004) and at Bilkent University, Ankara (2004-2005). Professor Ortaylı is a member of the executive committee of the International Ottoman Studies Association and a member of the European Association of Iranian Studies. Since 2004, he is the President of the Topkapı Palace Museum.

Anne Pauwels

Anne Pauwels is Professor of Sociolinguistics and Dean of the Faculty of Languages and Cultures at SOAS. She is also Director of the London Confucius Institute and Head of the Hans Rausing Endangered Language Program. She is an elected Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences, Australia. She has a PhD in Linguistics from Monash University, Australia. Prof Pauwels’ research expertise concerns the relationship between language, communication and society. Her main areas of research include language policy, multilingualism, intercultural communication and social aspects of language use. She has well over 100 publications on these topics. Her most recent book publications include Language and Communication: Diversity and Change (2007, Mouton De Gruyter), Maintaining minority languages in a transnational context (2007, Palgrave Macmillan) and Boys and language learning (2008/2005, Palgrave Macmillan). She is currently working on a monograph on language maintenance in a global context.

Tudor Parfitt

Tudor Parfitt is Distinguished Professor at Florida International University, the President Navon Professor of Sephardi and Mizrahi Studies and Founding Director of the Center for Global Jewish Communities at FIU. He is corresponding fellow of the Académie Royale des Sciences d’Outre-Mer and Emeritus Professor of Modern Jewish Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London and non-resident fellow of the W.E.B. du Bois Institute, Harvard University. He studied Hebrew and Arabic at Oxford and after a year as Goodenday Fellow at the Hebrew University, completed a D.Phil at Oxford on the history of the Jews in Palestine and their relations with their Muslim neighbours. In 1972 he was appointed lecturer in Hebrew at the University of Toronto and in 1974 Parkes Fellow at the Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/non Jewish Relations in the University of Southampton and junior associate at the Centre of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at Oxford.

Shortly afterwards he became lecturer in Hebrew at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He was successively, senior lecturer, reader and professor (Professor of Modern Jewish Studies) at SOAS where he founded the Centre of Jewish Studies and was its director from 1993 to 2006 and from 2010-11. He was also Chair of the Middle East Centre at SOAS. In 2012 he was Distinguished Visiting Scholar, (Global Engagement Program) at the University of Pennsylvania, Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellow (Spring Term) at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute Harvard University (where he gave the Huggins Lectures in 2011) and Visiting Professorial Fellow at the Isaac and Jessie Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies and Research, Cape Town, South Africa.

Over his career his chief academic interests have included the Sephardi/Mizrahi communities of the Muslim world, Jewish-Muslim relations, Hebrew and Hebrew Literature, Judaising Movements, Jewish genetic discourses and issues around race in modern times and Jews in Asia and Africa. He has authored or edited 26 books and presented 7 documentaries for the BBC, PBS, Channel Four and the History Channel. His latest books are Black Zion ed. with Edith Bruder (Cambridge Scholars’ Press 2012) and Black Jews in Africa and the Americas (Harvard University Press, March 2013).

Jacques Sémelin

Jacques Sémelin is a Senior Researcher at CERI-Sciences Po Paris. He holds a PhD in contemporary history from the Sorbonne (1986) and a post-graduate degree in psychopathology from the Université Paris V. Former post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University, Center for International Affairs (1986-1988). Professor in political science and modern history since 2007. Founder and scientific director, and since January 2011 honorary President of the international project of Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence. Member of the editorial boards of the European Review of History, the Journal of Genocide Research and Vingtième siècle. Member of the International Genocide Scholars Association (IGSA) and of the International Network of Genocide Scholars (INOGS).


WEEK ONE (July 1st – 7th 2013)
WEEK TWO (July 8th to 15th)
The two week course started with the lecture “World War II : The Race war” in which Prof. Parfitt, introduced students to the controversial and essential topic of race, reminding them that despite differences, whether physical or cultural, “the idea of race simply did not exist”, except as a “human construction” which translated facts of physical differences into painful stereotypes and destructive ideologies. “Meaningful biological differences are illusory and they belong to the realm of human culture and cultural subjectivity which are deeply embedded in the modern period”. The lecture went on to describe the way ideas about race came to exist, starting from the enlightenment period, and the use of racist ideologies throughout history, in particular with regards to Nazi Germany and the Second World War.
Professor David Katz’s first lecture entitled “World War I and Propaganda”, dealt with the use of propaganda in the First World War with regard to Germany, Turkey, with special reference to the role played by John Buchan, not only a popular author but ultimately the man in charge of wartime British propaganda.
Professor Katz’s second lecture on “Religion, Tolerance and Violence in Europe”, opened a wider reflection on truth and the nature of truth, showing how it is around these concepts that religion has been associated with violence. The lecture elaborated on the theological roots of religious violence from the early Christian period with the conversion of Emperor Constantine, up until Martin Luther and the Reformation in Germany. As a result of these socio-political movements, European life was divided into two distincts and opposed system violent in nature, with for the first time, a new form of religious violence, not based on fight from above against heresies, or heretics, such as the catholic inquisition, but a struggle between “two un-compromising European versions of truth, radical Calvinist Protestantism, against roman Catholicism”. The lecture ended with an overview of religious toleration, and the early modern period.
Professor Mohammed Kenbib’s lecture on “Europe’s Colonial Wars” gave an historical account of European violence exported outside of European borders, and the different wars and crisis that have separated the Europe continent from the southern parts of the Mediterranean. Starting from the Punic wars to the crusades up until the colonial wars, the lectures enabled students to learn and consider the issue of violence in a broader context, understanding the colonial wars not as an isolated element but as part of the European experience, and as a factor that have been hindering peace and prosperity in the region.
Professor Arnd Bauerkämper lecture on “Fascism in Europe in the 20th Century” gave an account of the unique national and international context that explained the rise of fascist ideology after the First World War, the transnational dimension of fascism in Europe, the relationship between fascism in Italy and Germany, and how these extreme ideologies managed to spread and enhance war prone behavior eventually leading to world conflicts.
Professor Sémelin’s first lecture “Understanding Genocide & Mass Violence” tried to give an answer to a basic yet seemingly unfathomable question: “How can ordinary people can commit extra-ordinary crime?”. After a careful definition of the term and uses of the word Genocide, this lecture gave an introduction on mass violence and genocide history in the 20th century, before moving on to a study of the roots of mass violence, its political uses, the similarities and differences between the different types of Genocide, as well as the role played by perpetrators, helping students understand “the genocidal process”.
The second lecture of Jacques Sémelin “Never Again?” focused on another set of questions relating to the previous one : whether or not knowledge and understanding on genocide could help to prevent such atrocities from occurring again. The lecture questioned the role of the international community and introduced different doctrines and concepts of international law and diplomacy (“responsibility to protect”, preventive diplomacy, crisis prevention, conflict prevention), as well as the different organizations that work in the field of genocide prevention. The question of the persistence of mass violence after WWII was also raised with case studies such as Indonesia, Burundi, Cambodia, Guatemala, Rwanda, Iraq, Bosnia.
The lecture on European Reconciliation Processes after WWII as an International Model? from Professor Arnd Bauerkämper draw to a close the first week of the summer university and made a transition into the themes of the second week. Focusing on post 1945 issues, it showed how reconciliation was made possible because of important leaders, trials of war criminals and the creation of the United Nations. The lecture gave detailed information on the role of commemoration and the establishment of a common narrative between France and Germany. The lecture also related the French-German example to other case study throughout the world and ended by asking the question whether or not, it could be used today as a model.
The lecture “European Construction Post-1945” explored the post-war context that gave birth to the European community, and provided students with an historical account of its construction, while giving an overview of the different school of thoughts and narratives that tried to best explain the European project.
This lecture provided students with a sociological analysis of immigration, looking at the role of immigration in the construction of the European Union, and acknowledging the tension it created in different democratic states with issues such as integration, assimilation, citizenship, identity politics. It ended by asking the question to what extent multiculturalism should be perceived as a challenge or as a chance for states to develop themselves and benefit from the presence of other groups.
“The Challenges of Memory and Identity in Europe Today” focused on more recent issues as memory became a central element of EU-identity building strategies, and the following question: Is it possible for Europeans to remember their past together? At stake in this process is the possibility of constructing a Europe-wide historical narrative and the fostering of a common European identity among European citizens.
Elaborating on the theme of multiculturalism, the second lecture “Secularism and Islam in Europe” discussed the fact that the incorporation of new identities, including religious identities
such as Islam ask the question of civil rights and equality in certain countries where other dominant values such as secularism are strong foundation of the state. The creation a new political and social space for these non-European identities that are simultaneously national, regional, linguistic, and religious, represents a “challenge” to secular democratic states which are political systems supposed to encompass differences and provide equal civil rights to their citizens
Hope M. Harrison gave a lecture “Reconciling with the Past: The German Experience”. With Germany being at the center of Mass violence in the 20th century and having experienced the rule of two different dictatorships, this lecture focused more narrowly on the Nazi past, 1933-45. (The Third Reich, Hitler, The Holocaust) and the communist past, 1945-1990 (which included the German Democratic Republic (GDR), East Germany) and the different forms that were used by Germany to deal and atone for these experiences (Restitution, helping former victims, trials, opening up archives, research, museums, arts, films, novels, paintings) and how it managed to turn these dark hours into positive ones.
The lecture from Professor Nilufer Narli “Women in Europe Today” offered an analysis of how women’s movements, including the first, second and third waves of feminist movements, have liberated women, remade citizenship in Europe. It also covers the impacts of the World War I and II, the civil wars (e.g., Spanish Civil War), and the process of the European integration on the changing position of women. Presenting the findings of a large scale, multi-disciplinary, cross-national data on women’s political participation, women in labor force, and the position of Muslim migrant women, the lecture provides insights into the progress and challenges for gender equality, diversity and harmony in Europe.
Building on Prof Harrison’s first lecture, “Lessons and Legacies of the Cold War for Today” shifted the focus on global world issues that arose during the cold war with a study of US-Russian relations, ongoing transitions from old communist regimes, Afghanistan and the Taliban, the on-going division in Korea, US-Cuban relations. The lecture ended with an analysis of today’s similarities and differences between the cold war and the war on terror and asked question about the different lessons that could be taken from the cold war such as unification between West and East Germany and its relevance for Korea today.
International relations and intercultural dialogue is not only linked to knowledge of history, or knowledge of the other’s behavior and culture, but also to language and communication. Prof Pauwels’ lectures added some very interesting input into this theme and showed the complex relations between language and identity, and the types of conflict in which language(s) or communication play (s) a role, with reference to several case studies and current conflicts where language plays a major role.
It elaborated on the functions of language, the relations between language and ideology, impact of media on political discourse, and the use and manipulation of language in the construction of political discourse. (Language planning and policy). These lectures were of great value to enable students to better understand the importance of communication and intercultural dialogue and leadership.
coming soon


In order for students to meet outside the classroom and make the most of their intercultural experience in Istanbul, many extracurricular activities had been planned throughout the two weeks. These activities were coordinated by the Turkish NGO Anadolu Kültür, one of the Aladdin Project’s partner, and formed an integrant part of the summer university programme. They allowed students to bond together and discover the variety of Turkey’s rich heritage as well as some aspects of its multi-faceted society, including the coexistence that continues to exist between the three monotheistic religions.