Contesting Pluralism(s): A New Key to (Turkey's) Politics

Thursday, April 6, 2023
12:00 PM - 1:15 PM

Virtual to Public. Only those with an active Stanford ID with access to E008 in Encina Hall may attend in person.

  • Nora Fisher-Onar
Nora Fisher-Onar seminar

Nora Fisher-Onar will present an original and timely key to (Turkey’s) politics as driven not by any perineal conflict between “Islamist vs. secularist,” “Turk vs. Kurd,” or “Sunni vs. Alevi.” Rather, she argues, the driving force of political contestation is shifting coalitions of moderates across camps who seek to pluralize public life, versus coalitions of those who champion ethno- and ethno-religious nationalism. Using the key to retell Turkey’s political history from the late Ottoman empire through to the present, she concludes with insights for coalition dynamics today. The talk emanates from her book, Contesting Pluralism(s): Islam, Liberalism, and Nationalism in Turkey and Beyond (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).

This talk is hosted in partnership with CDDRL's Program on Turkey.


Nora Fisher-Onar is Associate Professor and Director of the Masters of Arts in International Studies at the University of San Francisco, as well as coordinator of Middle East Studies. Her research interests include IR and social theory, comparative politics (Turkey, Middle East, Europe), foreign policy analysis, political ideologies, gender, and history/memory.

She received a doctorate in IR from Oxford and holds master's and undergraduate degrees in international affairs from Johns Hopkins (SAIS) and Georgetown universities, respectively.

Fisher-Onar is the lead editor of the volume, Istanbul: Living With Difference in a Global City (Rutgers University Press, 2018) and author of Contesting Pluralism(s): Islam, Liberalism and Nationalism in Turkey (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).

She has published extensively in academic journals like the Journal of Common Market Studies (JCMS), Conflict and Cooperation, Global Studies Quarterly, Millennium, Theory and Society, Women’s Studies International Forum, and Turkish Studies.

Fisher-Onar also contributes policy commentary to platforms like the Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, the Guardian, and OpenDemocracy, and fora like Brookings, Carnegie, and the German Marshall Fund (GMF). At the GMF, she has served as a Ronald Asmus Fellow, a Transatlantic Academy Fellow, and a Non-Residential Fellow.

Virtual to Public. Only those with an active Stanford ID with access to E008 in Encina Hall may attend in person.