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About the Symposium

The inaugural joint graduate student symposium was held in March 2023 and co-organized by the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, TransAtlantic Masters, and the Curriculum in Global Studies master’s programs.

Broadly, the first joint symposium’s theme aimed to address the global crisis of liberal democracy. Across the world, liberal democracies are struggling to respond to manifold crises, and authoritarian forces are seeking to exploit these struggles to seize power. What are the trends or common threads across these events? Are there historical or contemporary case studies that help make sense of our current moment? What can be done to retake the ground lost to authoritarians and extremists? How can we better understand and address the challenges of the current day: climate catastrophe, skyrocketing inequality, and far-right extremism? What strategies are resistance movements employing in the defense of democracy? What alternative political systems or communities are emerging?

Thanks to everyone who showed up, presented their work, asked questions, and participated in this exciting event! For newcomers, stay tuned for information on next year’s symposium!

Symposium flyer

Keynote Speaker

Image of Dr. Urban Strandberg

Associate Professor Urban Strandberg is a graduate of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, where he also received his PhD in Political Science, and serves as a Senior Lecturer and Director of Master Program’s Double Degree Tracks. Strandberg is Managing Director of the IYTT-International Youth Think Tank, hosted by Lindholmen Science Park, which he cofounded in 2019. Strandberg has a longstanding endeavor to span academic disciplinary boundaries, with the overall aim of contributing to lifelong learning and the maintenance of public spaces for open deliberation around democracy and pressing societal matters. Due to his passion for art and his strong belief in combining various academic disciplines, Strandberg organizes innovative transdisciplinary projects, in which young scholars and artists from numerous disciplines come together to explore the complexities of humanity and democracy.

Agenda | March 2-3, 2023

Keynote Presentation
Dr. Urban Strandberg: “Youth for Democracy! Meeting Democratic Backsliding with Empowerment and Democracy Renewal”
Panel I

  • Chair: Dr. Yaron Schemer
  • Discussant: Dr. Jonathan Weiler
  • Anshu Shah (Business Administration): Abstract presentation
  • Samir Sefiane (DAMES): The roots of leftist movements in Morocco
  • Eleni Econopouly (Global Studies): Making refuge: Radical adaptation and community resilience in anarchist Athens
  • Alexander Weber (Global Studies): Nations of the South Caucasus as an active battlefield for Russian and European influence

Panel II

  • Chair: Dr. Banu Gökarıksel
  • Discussant: Dr. Jessie Barton-Hronešová
  • Jordyn Cooper (Global studies): The US visa immigration system as a tool that upholds global apartheid
  • Daniel Liberatore (TAM): Conditionality and the safeguarding of the rule of law in the European Union
  • Cate Small (TAM): Pandemic backsliding and the European Union
  • Sophia Brown (Global studies): An investigation into mass incarceration and mass deportation: How the concerted creation of “the other” corrodes citizenship rights

Student Organizers

  • Sinan Arda | TAM
  • Tarek Elsayad | DAMES
  • Nika Mukasashvili | Global Studies

Faculty Organizer:

  • Dr. Banu Gökarıksel | Chair, Curriculum in Global Studies

Staff Facilitators:

  • Erica Johnson | Director of Graduate Studies, Curriculum in Global Studies
  • Zach Ward | Student Services Manager, Curriculum in Global Studies