Nassef is a lifelong learner of comparative study between Islam and International Relations. He co-founded the International Relations and Islamic Studies Research Cohort (Co-IRIS) and founded the Philippine International Studies Organization (PhISO).
For a very long time, the Muslim world was regarded as an outsider from the cultural and normative pretext and state relations of the West. Even during the reign of the Ottoman Empire, scholars of International Relations (IR) excluded her as a subordinated non-ally or stealth ally of major European powers. It is now apparent that there is an imperative motivation why Islamic discourses gradually dominate contemporary international relations and events, e.g. Palestinian question, Iranian nuclear issue, Arab oil, gas and Turkish water resources, rise of extremist movements, terrorism, post-war Afghanistan and Iraq, tensions in the Maghreb countries, Sudanese conflict, Muslim rebels in Southeast Asia, and how all of these events affect the West in a theory-praxis spectrum.
If IR scholars and members of the English School of International Relations were able to associate and converge their thoughts on conceptualizing International Relations with Christianity, this is of course majority of them are Christians. Then, it is a precedent and an indication that along the strand of the Abrahamic Faiths Islam is putatively feasible and probable to understand and interpret IR.
The objectives of the panel are to show juxtaposed positions of mutual perceptions between Islam and IR based on conceived notions of sensitive conceptions like sovereignty, state, human rights, gender, and etcetera, to eliminate deplorable and pejorative (mis)conceptions of IR scholars towards Islam and vice versa, and add or put Islam in the epitome of global discourse of international relations as a major causal factor that affects the behaviors of every actors in the international community particularly those which have interest and peculiar relations with the Muslim world. The panel will examine two outstanding inquiries that will guide the panel in hoping to find, discover or create patterns of tangency. Questions below magnify the totality of where the panel will lead at and to what extent it is presented and analyze.
1. How International Relations scholars perceived the field of Islam?
2. How Islamic scholars (Muslims or non-Muslims) perceived the field of IR?
The organizer humbly hopes that through this panel, we may able to add to the realm of literature on how human races and civilizations are linked through intellectual, cultural, economical, and social exchanges particularly on the relations between the East (Islam) and the West (International Relations).
Ari Varon, a PhD candidate in Political Science co-advised from two institutions: the University of Sciences Po located in Paris France as well as at Tel Aviv University in Israel. Ari served as the Deputy Foreign Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister of Israel from April 2005 through April 2009.
Prof. Dr. John L. Esposito, the Professor of Religion and International Affairs and of Islamic Studies at Georgetown University. The founding director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding in the Walsh School of Foreign Service.
Ghaidaa Hetou, a PhD candidate at the Political Science department at Rutgers University. Her work focuses on contemporary Foreign Policies of Middle Eastern states. Her paper, however, will focus on a turning point in Islamic history (late 1480s) through the eyes of a scholar and politician, Ibn al Azraq, with a discussion on how to integrate the prominence of Islamic identity in moments of crisis in IR.
Prof. Dr. Moain Sadeq, a half Palestinian and Canadian teaching at Qatar University. He received his PhD degree from the Free University of Berlin 1991 and has over 15 years experience in teaching and developing curricula of history and archaeology. His paper discusses the civilizational links of religion (Islam) and Islamic culture to the Western (Christian) discipline of International Relations by dwelling on inter-faith events and inter-cultural orientations with an aim of fostering mutual understandings as its case study.
Alessandra Gonzalez, a PhD candidate in Sociology of Religion at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. She is one of the reviewers of Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion and Journal of Church and State. Her paper addresses the demographic profile of feminists in the Muslim vis-à-vis Western communities particularly a case study of 1139 Kuwaiti college students.
Didem Doganyilmaz, a PhD candidate in Historical Societies, Land and Heritage at the Universitat Rovira I Virgili in Avinguda Catalunya, Spain. She is one of the project researchers of the “Identity Conflicts in the Middle East” at the UNESCO Chair of Intercultural Dialogue in the Mediterranean. Her paper focuses on the variables that determine Turkey's behavior which ostensibly influences the implementation of its foreign policy, whether Islamic or Secular (Western) elements in nature.
Prof. Dr. Haila Al-Mekaimi, the Professor of Political Science at Kuwait University. Her paper focuses on the Islamic radical groups relations toward a state and a global order. The paper inquire three main things: (1) what kind of revisions these movements were able to conclude? (2) How these revisions differ from the traditional beliefs of the past movements? (3) What kind of impact does this new wave of change, which swept in several countries in the Middle East, affects established Islamic groups?
Chair: Nassef M. Adiong
Prof. Dr. Jocelyn Cesari, the Director of inter-faculty Islam in the West program of Harvard University and John Hopkins University. She is an Associate at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and Center for European Studies. She has served as a Senior Research Fellow and Associate Professor at the French National Center for Scientific Research.
Prof. Dr. Istar Gozaydin, the Professor of Law and Politics at the Istanbul Technical University. Her paper examines the operational code of Prof. Dr. Ahmet Davutoğlu, the current Minister of Foreign Affairs and a notable scholar of Islam and International Politics in Turkey.
Christopher Dallas-Feeney, a PhD candidate in Political Science at the George Washington University and the Adjunct Professor of Management at the Villanova University, PA. His paper discusses the social fitness of Hamas, Hezbollah, and Taliban insurgencies to examine their organizational payoff for legitimated power dwelling on the literature of Islamic and IR concepts.
Ari Varon will discuss how Muslims integrate, or not, between Western and Islamic concepts of religion, law and the nation-state. Using Muslims living in Europe as a case study, analyzing four distinct and comprehensive Islamic discourses reveals significant variations on how Muslim scholars address the construct of Western identity.
Jessica Daniels, a Master student in Historical Studies at the New School University in New York. She is going to present the debate on the “East” and “West” discourse drawing on the Iranian revolution as her case study.
Gokhan Duman, a PhD candidate in Historical Societies, Land and Heritage at the Universitat Rovira I Virgili, Avinguda Catalunya, Spain. He is also one of the project researchers of the “Identity Conflicts in the Middle East” at the UNESCO Chair of Intercultural Dialogue in the Mediterranean. He will present the evolution of the debate on 'Islam and Democracy' and whether the Turkish model is applicable to Arab states.