Call for papers for a workshop on:

Active citizenship and young people in Turkey:

organised and non-organised forms of participation


Dr. Cristiano Bee (Marie Curie Fellow, European Institute, Istanbul Bilgi University), and

Prof. Dr. Ayhan Kaya (European Institute, Istanbul Bilgi University)

21 January 2016, Thursday

Venue: European Institute, Istanbul Bilgi University, santralistanbul Campus

This workshop invites paper proposals focused around the establishment of the concept of active citizenship in Turkey, and aims at gathering new insights regarding the transformation of political participation and civic and political engagement, with a specific focus on young people. The workshop also aims at scrutinizing both organised (civil society and non-state actors) and non-organised (social movements, public opinion, etc) forms of participation. More specifically we aim at discussing papers that look at the various formulations that civic and political engagement and political participation take by focusing on patterns driving political behaviour and civic activism. We are interested in perspectives that look at both conventional–such as electoral politics- and non-conventional means of participation and mobilisation –such as social media. In addition, we welcome papers that deal with the complexity of the notion of active citizenship from different methodological and disciplinary perspectives and that explore different components inherent to political participation and civic and political engagement of young people.

The Turkish context is an extremely important one for fostering this discussion for a number of different reasons. On the one side, it can be argued that the process of development of the Turkish civil society in the last 15 years has gone by hand with the Europeanisation process, and is critically enhanced by the support of the EU. The key financing of projects in different areas has been an essential factor that has facilitated the internationalisation of civil society organisations. This process has enhanced the structuring of organized form of civil society groups in a way similar to what has been happening in many other European countries. On the other side, bottom up processes of participation have been key to bring about new challenges for the understanding of active citizenship. Recent events show that non-institutionalised forms of participation bring in new elements to the analysis of active citizenship. The experiences of Gezi movement are in fact central for re-orienting current research on civic and political participation in Turkey as well as they offer important insights for the emergence of active citizenship. Last but not least, when looking at traditional channels of political participation, it can be argued that public opinion’s political behaviour is highly affected by a sound attachment to the traditional ideological orientations that dominate the socio-political arena of the country. To this effect, some of the key questions that the panel seeks to answer are:

  • How can we evaluate the impact of Europeanisation in changing patterns of civic and political engagement and political participation of young people?
  • What are the key determinants and motivational factors underlying political participation, engagement and active citizenship?
  • How can we explain the new power assumed by social media in structuring political mobilisation?
  • How successful are recent protests in achieving their aims?
  • What are the key social and public problems that motivate the civil society to engage in social movements?
  • What are the institutional policy responses to growing protests in Turkey?
  • How do ideological orientations affect youngsters’ political behaviour?
  • What is the role of emotions in shaping political participation, engagement and interest into politics?


Abstract should be no longer than 250 words and sent to Dr. Cristiano Bee: by 30 November 2015

Draft papers should be sent to Dr. Cristiano Bee: by 15 January 2016.

Please note: selected papers will be submitted for a special issue proposal with a peer reviewed journal


Prof. Dr. Ayhan Kaya and Dr. Cristiano Bee

The workshop is supported by a Marie Curie Fellowship within the 7th European community Framework Programme (FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IEF project no. 625977)