Cambridge, MA – Former Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter will join the Harvard Kennedy School as the Belfer Professor of Technology and Global Affairs and Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. As Secretary of Defense, Carter, a physicist, became known for pushing the Pentagon to “think outside its five-sided box” in order to transform the way the military fought adversaries and strengthened alliances, managed its budget and talent, developed its technology, and more. He will now lead the Belfer Center’s programs and will focus his scholarship on the role of innovation and technology in addressing challenges at home and around the world.
A seminar with Jocelyne Cesari, Professor and Senior Research Fellow at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, Lecturer in contemporary Islam at the Harvard Divinity School, and Director of the Harvard interfaculty program, "Islam in the West." Professor Cesari will discuss her latest book The Awakening of Muslim Democracy: Religion, Modernity and the State (Cambridge University Press, 2014).
The event will be moderated byFarah Pandith, Former Special Representative to Muslim Communities, U.S. Department of State and Senior Fellow at the Middle East Initiative.
Co-sponsored by the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Islamic Studies Program at Harvard University and the Middle East Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School.
About The Awakening of Muslim Democracy:
Why and how did Islam become such a political force in so many Muslim-majority countries? In this book, Jocelyne Cesari investigates the relationship between modernization, politics, and Islam in Muslim-majority countries such as Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan, Tunisia, and Turkey - countries that were founded by secular rulers and have since undergone secularized politics. Cesari argues that nation-building processes in these states have not created liberal democracies in the Western mold, but have instead spurred the politicization of Islam by turning it into a modern national ideology. Looking closely at examples of Islamic dominance in political modernization - for example, nationalization of Islamic institutions and personnel under state ministries; reliance on Islamic references in political discourse, religiously motivated social unrest, or violence; and internationalization of Islam-aligned political movements or conflicts - this study provides a unique overview of the historical and political developments from the end of World War II to the Arab Spring that have made Islam the dominant force in the construction of the modern states, and discusses Islam's impact on emerging democracies in the contemporary Middle East.
About Jocelyne Cesari:
Jocelyne Cesari is a senior fellow at Georgetown University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and visiting associate professor in the Department of Government. A renowned scholar of Islam and Middle Eastern politics, she also directs the “Islam in the West" program at Harvard University and the Berkley Center’s Islam in World Politics program.
Professor Cesari's research focuses on Islam and globalization, Islam and secularism, immigration, and religious pluralism. Her most recent book, The Awakening of Muslim Democracy: Religion, Modernity, and the State (Cambridge University Press, 2014), is based on three years research on state-Islam relations in Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, Pakistan and Tunisia, conducted when she was the Minerva Chair at the National War College (2011-2012). She also recently published Why the West Fears Islam: An Exploration of Islam in Western Liberal Democracies (2013).
A French political scientist, Cesari is tenured at the French National Center for Scientific Research in Paris. Her book, When Islam and Democracy Meet: Muslims in Europe and in the United States (2006) is a reference in the study of European Islam and integration of Muslim minorities in secular democracies.