Call for Papers

Open Civilization

Encounters, Differences and Uncertainties

It is not possible for a civilization to live by isolating itself from the influence of other civilizations in our day. Humanity is living within an integrated “open civilization” with no borders. Every civilization has become party to obligatory or voluntary interaction with other civilizations. Similarly, states are also in a relation of high interdependency with each other. This state of “encounter”, where the relations among “different” cultures and civilizations, states, social groups and individuals are intensifying, paves the way for civilizations to intertwine rapidly. When we consider the speed and dynamism with which these interactions are taking place, we see that this era is different from periods of great interweavings in history. This atmosphere offers a new basis for coexistence which we can call “multi-civilizational society” or “open civilization”, as people from different civilizations don’t live in different geographies any longer but they share the same space together. The cities are getting more cosmopolitan. People from very different religions, civilizations and cultural spheres are living side by side in the same country, same system, same institution or the same neighbourhood. Moreover, this state of co- existence is getting reflected on all walks of life such as education, economy and politics. This state of affairs brings about “encounters, differences and uncertainties”.

The inevitable question becomes: How are relations among people who are from different civilizations that encounter and blend into each other going to be regulated within this “state of open civilization”? While such “encounters and uncertainties” offer new opportunities on the one hand, they can also be grounds for various conflicts on the other. It is possible to say that the most important challenge that all civilizations and countries face is reading these ambiguities and differences correctly, transforming the opportunities into action, and preventing possible conflicts; in short being able to manage this diversity.

Although we are confronted with a new situation in terms of its scale, speed and dynamism, different cultures and civilizations co-existing in an intertwined way is not a new phenomenon. In order to benefit from the opportunities created by ambiguities and differences and to cope with the threats, it is essential to make recourse to humanity’s heritage of knowledge and wisdom. In this respect, there is no doubt that Ibn Khaldun is one of the most significant thinkers to take into consideration. Within the framework of “Encounter, Difference and Uncertainty” we want to make use of Ibn Khaldun’s approach, and using theories, concepts and methods, to contribute, bringing together as many different experiences as possible, to the effort of understanding and explaining the reality we live in. The principle theme of the Fourth International Ibn Khaldun Symposium, organized by Ibn Khaldun University this year, will be Open Civilization: Encounters, Differences and Uncertainties.

Symposium Topics

We assume that the significance of Ibn Khaldun’s Muqaddimah and its place in intellectual history have been sufficiently stressed both in the Islamic and the Western world for the last two centuries. However, we observe that the living aspects of Ibn Khaldun’s thought which are relevant to today’s circumstances have not yet been studied extensively. Therefore, in this series of symposiums we encourage studies that focus on reflections of Ibn Khaldun’s thoughts on today’s world and the applied analysis of his model. In this framework, through a Khaldunian approach; the symposium is open to academic contributions in Turkish, English and Arabic, mainly related, but not strictly limited to the topics below.

Method in social sciences and humanities

  • Unit of analysis, level of analysis
  • Historiography
  • Eurocentrism and Orientalism

Knowledge, science and education

  • New developments in kalam, fiqh, ijtihad, tafseer and other understanding methods
  • Education of the individual in the world of “open civilization”

Society and culture

  • Cultural pluralism
  • Identity and asabiyyah
  • Human mobility such as migration and asylum
  • Social media and collective action groups

Political issues

  • Justice, law and legitimacy
  • Relation between morality and politics
  • Constitution, political regimes, democracy, elections
  • Citizenship, belonging and asabiyyah

International relations

  • Great powers politics and transformation
  • Human mobility
  • Global governance
  • Sectarian tensions and politics

Urban policies

Economic-political issues

  • Increasing inequalities and injustice in resource and income distribution
  • Social politics issues

Business administration

  • Family companies


Round table meeting

  • Application of Khaldunian model to current issues.

Language of Symposium

  • Simultaneous interpretation will be provided so that presentations can be made in Turkish, English, or Arabic.

Symposium Book

  • Presentations will be published in the form of academic articles in an edited volume following the Symposium.

Ibn Haldun University
Ulubatlı Hasan Caddesi, No:2
34494 - Başakşehir, İstanbul, Turkey
Tel. +90 212 692 0 212