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CAIS Virtual Public Lecture Series | Erdogan's Islamism: A Moral Void in Political Islam

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In this lecture, Prof Hakan Yavuz will delve into the crises facing political Islam, using Erdogan's Turkey as a case study. He will start by distinguishing between Islam and Islamism, and then analyze how and why Islamism has emerged as an oppositional force against Kemalist modernization. Next, he will provide a brief social history of political Islamism, exploring the origins, cooperation, and conflicts among the Naksibendi, Nurcu, and Milli Gorus movements. Finally, he will examine Erdogan's two decades of Islamist governance and his legacy of promoting Islam devoid of ethical considerations. Erdogan's approach has reshaped Islam into an authoritarian project focused more on ritual and political activism, neglecting its moral dimensions.

M.Hakan Yavuz is a professor of political science at the University of Utah. His current projects focus on transnational Islamic networks in Central Asia and Turkey; the role of Islam in state-building and nationalism; and ethno-religious conflict management. Prof Yavuz has published many books including: Erdoğan: The Making of an Autocrat (Edinburg University Press, 2022); Nostalgia for the Empire: The Politics of Neo-Ottomanism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2020); Toward an Islamic Enlightenment: The Gülen Movement (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013); Secularism and Muslim Democracy in Turkey (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009); Islamic Political Identity in Turkey (Oxford University Press, 2003; 2005). (3rd print).  Prof Yavuz has received several fellowships, some of which are the MacArthur Fellowship, University of California Fellowship, and Rockefeller Fellowship, and most recently was a Tanner Humanities Center Fellow in 2014.

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