February 26, 2014, 4:30pm
Secular after State-Breakdown: Political Struggles and Institution-Building in France 1789-1906, Mexico 1910-1940, Turkey 1920-1938
Presenter: Doga Kerestecioglu, University of Pennsylvania Middle East Center Graduate Student Colloquium 13-14
Location: David Rittenhouse Laboratory (209 South 33rd Street) Room:2C6

This paper proposes a new sociological theory of secularism by studying the rise of secular societies in cases transitioning to a secular state through revolution. For long, scholars assumed that modern revolutions result in secular states regardless of becoming democracies. This may not always be the case as revealed by current events. Secularization happens through political and cultural struggles. This research aims to explain the factors that lead to the emergence of a secular state and the dynamics that affects its stability.

Through a comparative and historical study of how institutions, ideology, networks, leadership and gender plays a role following the French Revolution in 19th Century, Turkish Secular Revolution after WWI (1919-1938), and in the second half of the Mexican Revolution (1920-1935); this dissertation aims to shed light on the struggles that shape the secularization process.

Middle East Center