Democracy Participation and Social Movements


New University in Exile Consortium
Thursdays 16:00 – 17:30 (CEST) / 17:00 - 18:30 (TSI) / 10:00 - 11:30 (EDT)
10 Weeks (5 April 2021 - 11 June 2021)


Democracy, Political Participation, and Social Movements is a co-led seminar by Dr. Devrim Kabasakal Badamchi and Dr. Selin Bengi Gumrukcu. The course considers democracy both as a set of normative ideas and an ideal that is intertwined with practice. Therefore, it is divided into two parts: The first five weeks focus on the normative landscape of democracy and the second five weeks focus on reasoning and reflecting on the meaning of political participation and democracy within the contexts of social movements.


In the first part of the course, we will try to answer questions such as “Why is democracy important?”, “What are the normative concepts that we associate democracy with?”. Within this scope, we reflect on the relation of democracy with concepts such as equality, justice, neutrality, toleration, multiculturalism, and secularism.


The second part of the course focuses on the relationship between democracy and social movements in general. It starts with analyzing the relationship between democracy and social movements by asking questions such as “Are social movements necessary for democracy?” and “Can democracies survive without social movements?”. In the following weeks, the nature of social movements and protests as well as their relation with the state are analyzed in detail. The last two weeks concentrate on mobilization under authoritarianism with specific reference to the Arab Spring as well as populism and its connection to social movements.



    A full outline of the course syllabus can be found here.

    Please note that there will be a preparatory meeting that will take place during the usual class hours one week before the class starts. In this meeting, we will introduce you how the platform works and we will offer technical support so that everybody is technically ready for the first session.



    Devrim Kabasakal Badamchi received her Ph.D. in political theory from Luiss Guido Carli University in Italy in 2009. Her research is in the field of contemporary political theory with a focus on liberalism. More particularly, she specializes in free speech, hate speech, toleration, multiculturalism, and pluralism. Dr. Badamchi has published articles in various peer-reviewed journals including Turkish Studies and Philosophy and Social Criticism. Currently, she is completing a monograph titled “Dimensions of Free Speech: An Exploration of a New Theoretical Framework” which will be published by Springer in the edited series, Philosophy and Politics: Critical Explorations.

    Selin Bengi Gümrükçü is a Postdoctoral Associate at the Center for European Studies, Rutgers University in New Brunswick. She received her Ph.D. degree from University of Zurich in 2014. She studies various aspects of social movements, political parties, the far right, violence, and Europeanization and Euroscepticism, mainly focusing on the case of Turkey. Her publications have appeared in international journals, such as Turkish Studies, Southeast European and Black Sea Studies, Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, and in edited volumes. She is currently working on her first book, forthcoming from Routledge: Protest and Politics in Turkey in the 1970s: The Making of a Protest Wave.

    This Seminar is hosted by the New University in In Exile Consortium.