Migration and Citizenship
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This eight-week multimedia course taught by The World House Project's Clayborne Carson and Johnny Mack will explore the enduring significance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision of a global community where all people may realize the ideals of human rights in their lives. Its goal is to give students a comprehensive understanding of the critical concepts of human rights, nonviolence, and the “world house” and practical skills, action tools, and strategies for resolving conflict from the local to the global community.

Through discussions of historic social justice movements, the course will challenge students to analyze the complex interrelationships of ideas such as universal rights and national sovereignty, civil disobedience, and the rule of law. It will offer critical reviews of their meaning and application to social change and social movement episodes throughout history and the new challenges emerging in this century, including threats to democracy and the rise of autocracy. The course will use digital, multimedia resources to reveal the religious and philosophical roots of human rights and struggles to overcome colonialism and authoritarian government and secure liberation from oppression through violence and nonviolent resistance strategies.

"We have inherited a large house, a great 'world house' in which we have to live together ... or perish as fools."
Martin Luther King, Jr.

The readings and discussions will focus on history, theory, and the intersection of the current practice of nonviolence and human rights. Course readings will include Martin Luther King Jr.’s Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?, Stephen Hopgood’s The Endtimes of Human Rights, Upendra Baxi’s The Future of Human Rights, and Johan Galtung’s Human Rights in Another Key.

Stanford Continuing Studies has lowered the tuition for this course as part of our mission to increase access to education around diversity, equity, inclusion, and issues related to social justice and participatory democracy.

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Enrollment is open now for "Nonviolence and Human Rights in the World House: Realizing Martin Luther King Jr.’s Vision," which will run Thursdays from April 14 through June 2.


The American Passport in Turkey
The American Passport in Turkey explores the diverse meanings and values that people outside of the United States attribute to U.S. citizenship, specifically those who possess or seek to obtain U.S. citizenship while residing in Turkey. Özlem Altan-Olcay and Evren Balta interviewed more than one hundred individuals and families and, through their narratives, shed light on how U.S. citizenship is imagined, experienced, and practiced outside of the United States. Offering a corrective to citizenship studies where discussions of inequality are largely limited to domestic frames, Altan-Olcay and Balta argue that the relationship between inequality and citizenship regimes can only be fully understood if considered transnationally. Additionally, The American Passport in Turkey demonstrates that U.S. global power not only reveals itself in terms of foreign policy but also manifests in the active desires people have for U.S. citizenship, even when they do not live in the United States. These citizens, according to the authors, create a new kind of empire with borders and citizen-state relations that do not map onto recognizable political territories.

The American Passport in Turkey has recently won the American Sociological Association, Global and Transnational Sociology Section, Best Book by an International Scholar Award.

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Özlem Altan-Olcay
Özlem Altan-Olcay is an associate professor in the Department of International Relations and the associate director of the Graduate School of Social Sciences and Humanities at Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey. She is also an editor of Gender, Place, and Culture as well as an assistant editor of Citizenship Studies. She has a Ph.D. degree from New York University, Department of Politics. Her primary research interests include citizenship studies and gender and development. Her research has been supported by the New York University International Center for Advanced Studies, the UN Population Council, the Middle East Research Competition, the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey, the Turkish Science Academy, and the EU Marie Curie Individual Fellowship Program. Some of her recent articles have appeared in Development and Change, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Feminist Economics, Gender, Place and Culture, International Feminist Journal of Politics, Sociology, Social Politics, and Women’s Studies International Forum. She has recently co-authored (with E. Balta) The American Passport in Turkey: National Citizenship in the Age of Transnationalism, published by the University of Pennsylvania Press (2020).

Evren Balta
Evren Balta is a Professor of International Relations and the chair of the International Relations Department at  Özyeğin University. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from The Graduate Center, CUNY. Her articles have appeared in journals such as Party Politics, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Sociology, Gender Place & Culture. She is the author of The American Passport in Turkey: National Citizenship in the Age of Transnationalism (with O Altan-Olcay, University of Pennsylvania, 2020), Age of Uneasiness (İletisim, 2019), and Global Security Complex (İletisim, 2012). She is the editor of Neighbors with Suspicion: Dynamics of Turkish-Russian Relations (with G. Ozcan and B. Besgul, İletisim, 2017); Introduction to Global Politics (Iletisim, 2014) and Military, State and Politics in Turkey (with I. Akca, Bilgi University, 2010). Her research has been supported by the American Association for the University Women, Mellon Foundation, Bella Zeller Scholarship Trust Fund, the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey, and the Fulbright Scholar Program. In 2018, she received the Distinguished Alumni Award of the Political Science Program at the CUNY-The Graduate Center. Balta is a senior scholar at Istanbul Policy Center, a member of Global Relations Forum, and co-editor of International Relations Journal. She is appointed as the academic coordinator of the TÜSİAD Global Politics Forum in 2021.

Online via Zoom. Register here.

Özlem Altan-Olcay Koç University
Evren Balta Özyeğin University
CDDRL Postdoctoral Scholar, 2021-22

I hold a PhD in Political Science from Stanford University. My research seeks to understand the causes and consequences of inequality in political representation across different political contexts. I am currently working on a book project that links inequality in representation and rising societal and political polarization to domestic migration. The book project focuses on contemporary Germany and combines household surveys with comprehensive data on domestic migration, voting in national and local elections, civil society organizations, political campaigning, and political recruitment. In a separate, co-authored book project, I research inequality in political participation among domestic migrants in sub-Saharan Africa. My other research asks how citizens can influence policy-making in non-democratic regimes, where political inequality is extreme by construction, and how unauthorized immigrants in the United States navigate life while being marginalized. My work has been published in the American Political Science Review, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the Journal of Politics, Democratization, the Journal of Economics, Race, and Policy, and the European Political Science Review, among others. Before coming to Stanford, I spent two years as Visiting Assistant in Research at Yale University and obtained BA and MA degrees in Political Science from Heidelberg University in Germany.


For three and a half decades following the end of the Maoist era, China adhered to Deng Xiaoping’s policies of “reform and opening to the outside world” and “peaceful development.” After Deng retired as paramount leader, these principles continued to guide China’s international behavior in the leadership eras of Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao. Admonishing Chinese to “keep your heads down and bide your time,” these Party leaders sought to emphasize that China’s rapid economic development and its accession to “great power” status need not be threatening to either the existing global order or the interests of its Asian neighbors. However, since Party general secretary Xi Jinping came to power in 2012, the situation has changed. Under his leadership, China has significantly expanded the more assertive set of policies initiated by his predecessor Hu Jintao. These policies not only seek to redefine China’s place in the world as a global player, but they also have put forward the notion of a “China option” that is claimed to be a more efficient developmental model than liberal democracy.

While Americans are well acquainted with China’s quest for influence through the projection of diplomatic, economic, and military power, we are less aware of the myriad ways Beijing has more recently been seeking cultural and informational influence, some of which could undermine our democratic processes. These include efforts to penetrate and sway—through various methods that former Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull summarized as “covert, coercive or corrupting”—a range of groups and institutions, including the Chinese American community, Chinese students in the United States, and American civil society organizations, academic institutions, think tanks, and media.

Some of these efforts fall into the category of normal public diplomacy as pursued by many other countries. But others involve the use of coercive or corrupting methods to pressure individuals and groups and thereby interfere in the functioning of American civil and political life.

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**To RSVP, please email Jessie Brunner at jbrunner@stanford.edu.**

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As the protracted and chaotic conflict in Syria continues into its fifth year, Syrians of all backgrounds are being subjected to gross human rights violations. A growing number of parties to the conflict, including the Government and the Islamic State, display disregard for international legal conventions and employ tactics such as sexual violence, murder, and torture that have resulted in mass civilian casualties, large-scale displacement, and the destruction of Syria’s cultural heritage.

Peter Bouckaert

Peter Bouckaert is Human Rights Watch’s emergencies director, coordinating the organization’s response to major wars and other human rights crises. A Belgian-born Stanford Law School graduate, Bouckaert has conducted fact-finding missions around the world, including currently documenting Syrian refugees in Europe.

Sareta Ashraph

Sareta Ashraph specializes in international criminal, humanitarian, and human rights law and has served since 2012 as the Senior Analyst on the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, investigating and reporting on violations of international law in the context of ongoing events in Syria.

To RSVP, please email Jessie Brunner at jbrunner@stanford.edu.

Peter Bouckaert Director, Emergencies, Human Rights Watch
Sareta Ashraph Senior Analyst, UN Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic
Based on first-hand participant-observation, this talk will examine the culture, politics, and spatiality of the Sunflower Movement. Taiwan's most significant social movement in decades, the Sunflower Movement not only blocked the passage of a major trade deal with China, but reshaped popular discourse and redirected Taiwan's political and cultural trajectory. It re-energized student and civil society, precipitated the historic defeat of the KMT in the 2014 local elections, and prefigured the DPP's strong position coming into the 2016 presidential and legislative election season.
The primary spatial tactic of the Sunflowers-- occupation of a government building-- was so successful that a series of protests in the summer of 2015 by high school students was partly conceived and represented as a "second Sunflower Movement". These students, protesting "China-centric" curriculum changes, attempted to occupy the Ministry of Education building. Thwarted by police, these students settled for the front courtyard, where a Sunflower-style pattern of encampments and performances emerged. While this movement did not galvanize the wider public as dramatically as its predecessor, it did demonstrate the staying power of the Sunflower Movement and its occupation tactics for an even younger cohort of activists.
The Sunflower Movement showed that contingent, street-level, grassroots action can have a major impact on Taiwan's cross-Strait policies, and inspired and trained a new generation of youth activists. But with the likely 2016 presidential win of the DPP, which has attempted to draw support from student activists while presenting a less radical vision to mainstream voters, what's in store for the future of Taiwanese student and civic activism? And with strong evidence of growing Taiwanese national identification and pro-independence sentiment, particularly among youth, what's in store for the future of Taiwan's political culture? 

Speaker Bio

Ian Rowen in Legislative Yuan
Ian Rowen in Taiwan's Legislative Yuan during the Sunflower Student Movement protest.

Ian Rowen is PhD Candidate in Geography at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and recent Visiting Fellow at the European Research Center on Contemporary Taiwan, Academia Sinica’s Institute of Sociology, and Fudan University. He participated in both the Sunflower and Umbrella Movements and has written about them for The Journal of Asian StudiesThe Guardian, and The BBC (Chinese), among other outlets. He has also published about Asian politics and protest in the Annals of the Association of American Geographers (forthcoming) and the Annals of Tourism Research. His PhD research, funded by the US National Science Foundation, the Fulbright Program, and the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, has focused on the political geography of tourism and protest in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. 


Presentation Slides

Ian Rowen Doctoral Candidate University of Colorado Dept of Geography
Arab Reform and Democracy Program
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As part of the Arab Reform and Democracy Program's speaker series, George Mason University scholar Noura Erakat examined the political and legal contexts for the 2014 Gaza war. In July and August of 2014, hostilities in the Gaza Strip left 2,131 Palestinians and 71 Israelis dead, including 501 Palestinian children and one Israeli child. Of Gaza’s 1.8 million residents, 475,000 are living in temporary shelters or with other families because their homes have been severely damaged. The extent of destruction has raised questions around culpability for war crimes on all sides of the conflict.


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Over the past year and more, Taiwan’s political elite has been deadlocked over the question of deepening economic relations with the People’s Republic of China. This controversial issue has led to a standoff between the executive and legislative branches, sparked a frenzy of social activism and a student occupation of the legislature, and contributed to President Ma Ying-jeou’s deep unpopularity.

On October 17-18, the Taiwan Democracy Project at CDDRL, with the generous support of the Taipei Economic and Culture Office, will host its annual conference at Stanford University to examine the politics of polarization in Taiwan.

This conference will bring together specialists from Taiwan, the U.S., and elsewhere in Asia to examine the sources and implications of this political polarization in comparative perspective. It will include a special case study of the Trade in Services Agreement with China that triggered this past year’s protests, as well as a more general overview of the politics of trade liberalization in Taiwan, prospects for Taiwan’s integration into the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other regional trade agreements, and a consideration of the implications for Taiwan’s long-term democratic future.

Conference speakers will include: Chung-shu Wu, the president of the Chung-hwa Institute of Economic Research (CIER) in Taipei; Steve Chan of the University of Colorado; Roselyn Hsueh of Temple University; Yun-han Chu, the president of the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation; and Thitinan Pongsudhirak of Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok.

Panels will examine the following questions:

1. What are the sources and implications of political polarization in Taiwan, and how have these changed in recent years?

2. How does Taiwan’s recent experience compare to political polarization in other countries in Asia (e.g. South Korea, Thailand) and elsewhere (the US)?

3. To what extent does the latest political deadlock in Taiwan reflect concern over the specific issue of trade with the People’s Republic of China, versus a deeper, systemic set of problems with Taiwan’s democracy?

4. How are globalization and trade liberalization reshaping Taiwan’s domestic political economy, and what are the prospects for forging a stronger pro-trade coalition in Taiwan that transcends the current partisan divide?

The conference will take place October 17-18 in the Bechtel Conference Room in Encina Hall at Stanford University. It is free and open to the public. 


Conference Resources



Speaker Bios


Conference Report

Conference Flyer


Conference Papers


How Cross-Strait Trade and Investment Is Affecting Income and Wealth Inequality in Taiwan by Chien-Fu Lin, National Taiwan University


Generational Differences in Attitudes towards Cross-Straits Trade by Ping-Yin Kuan, Department of Sociology & International Program in Asia-Pacific Studies, National Chengchi University


Change and the Unchanged of Polarized Politics in Taiwan by Min-Hua Huang, National Taiwan University; Center for East Asia Policy Studies, The Brookings Institution


Social Media, Social Movements and the Challenge of Democratic Governability by Boyu Chen, National Sun Yat-sen University, Institute of Political Science 


Coping with the Challenge of Democratic Governance under Ma Ying-jeou by Yun-han Chu, National Taiwan University


Taiwan’s Bid for TPP Membership and the Potential Impact on Taiwan-U.S. Relations by Kwei-Bo Huang, National Chengchi University, Department of Diplomacy


In the Wake of the Sunflower Movement: Exploring the Political Consequences of Cross-Strait Integration by Pei-shan Lee, National Chung Cheng University, Political Science Department 


The Roots of Thailand’s Political Polarization in Comparative Perspective by Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Chulalongkorn University; The Institute of Security and International Studies


The Role of the United States in Cross-Strait Economic Integration by Chen-Dong Tso, National Taiwan University


The China Factor and the Generational Shift over National Identity by Mark Weatherall, Taiwan Foundation for Democracy


Taiwan’s Strategy for Regional Economic Integration by Chung-Shu Wu, Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research


Polarized Electorates in South Korea and Taiwan: The Role of Political Trust under Conservative Governments by Hyunji Lee, Institute of Asian Research, University of British Columbia


Polarization in Taiwan Politics by Steve Chan, University of Colorado, Boulder


Conference Biographies
Taiwan Polarization Conference Flyer
Politics of Polarization in Taiwan: Conference Report
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Appeared in Stanford Report, May 29, 2014

By Clifton B. Parker

The electoral eruption of anti-European Union populism is a reflection of structural flaws in that body but does not represent a fatal political blow, according to Stanford scholars.

In the May 25 elections for the European Parliament, anti-immigration parties won 140 of the 751 seats, well short of control, but enough to rattle supporters of the EU, which has 28 member nations. In Britain, Denmark, France and Greece, the political fringe vote totals stunned the political establishments.

Stanford political scientist Francis Fukuyama said the rise of extremism and anti-elitism is not surprising in the wake of the 2008 economic downturn and subsequent high levels of unemployment throughout Europe. In one sense, the EU elites have themselves to blame, he said.

"The elites who designed the EU and the eurozone failed in a major way," he said. "There was a structural flaw in the design of the euro (monetary union absent fiscal union, and the method of disciplining countries once in the zone)," said Fukuyama, the Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at Stanford's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and the Center for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law, and Research Afflilate at The Europe Center.

Some have argued that the European Union should adopt a form of fiscal union because without one, decisions about taxes and spending remain at the national level.

As Fukuyama points out, this becomes a problem, as in the case of a debt-ridden Greece, which he believes should not have qualified for EU membership in the first place. In fact, he said, it would have been better for Greece itself to leave the euro at the outset of the 2008 crisis.

Still, Fukuyama said the big picture behind the recent election is clear – it was a confluence of issues and timing.

"It is a bit like an off-year election in the U.S., where activists are more likely to vote than ordinary citizens," he said.

Fukuyama believes the EU will survive this electoral crisis. "I think the EU will be resilient. It has weathered other rejections in the past. The costs of really exiting the EU are too high in the end, and the elites will adjust, having been given this message," he said.

Meanwhile, the populist parties in the different countries are not unified or intent on building coalitions with each other.

"Other than being anti-EU, most of them have little in common," Fukuyama said. "They differ with regard to specific positions on immigration, economic policy, and they respond to different social bases."

Ongoing anger

Dan Edelstein, a professor of French, said the largest factor for success by extremist candidates was "ongoing anger toward the austerity policy imposed by the EU," primarily by Germany.

Edelstein estimates that a large majority of French voters are still generally supportive of the EU. For the time being, the anti-EU faction does not have a majority, though they now have much more representation in the European Parliament.

Edelstein noted existing strains among the anti-EU parties – for example, the UK Independence Party in Britain has stated that it would not form an alliance with the National Front party in France.

Immigration remains a thorny issue for some Europeans, Edelstein said.

"'Immigration' in most European political debates, tends to be a synonym for 'Islam.' While there are some countries, such as Britain, that are primarily worried about the economic costs of immigration, in most continental European countries, the fears are cultural," he said.

As Edelstein put it, Muslims are perceived as a "demographic threat" to white or Christian Europe. However, he is optimistic in the long run.

"It seems a little early to be writing the obituary of the EU. Should economic conditions improve over the next few years, as they are predicted to, we will likely see this high-water mark of populist anger recede," said Edelstein.

Cécile Alduy, an associate professor of French, writes in the May 28 issue of The Nation about how the ultra-right-wing National Front came in first place in France's election.

"This outcome was also the logical conclusion of a string of political betrayals, scandals and mismanagement that were only compounded by the persistent economic and social morass that has plunged France into perpetual gloom," she wrote.

Historian J.P. Daughton said that like elsewhere in the world, immigration often becomes a contentious issue in Europe in times of economic difficulties.  

"High unemployment and painful austerity measures in many parts of Europe have led extremist parties to blame immigrants for taking jobs and sapping already limited social programs," he said.

Anti-immigration rhetoric plays particularly well in EU elections, Daughton said. "Extremist parties portray European integration as a threat not only to national sovereignty, but also to national identity.

Edelstein, Alduy and Daughton are all Faculty Affiliates of The Europe Center.

Wake-up call

Russell A. Berman, a professor of German studies and comparative literature, said many Europeans perceive the EU as "somehow impenetrable, far from the civic politics of the nation states."

As a result, people resent regulations issued by an "intangible bureaucracy," and have come to believe that the European Parliament has not grappled with major issues such as mustering a coherent foreign policy voice, he said.

"The EU can be great on details but pretty weak on the big picture," said Berman, who is the Walter A. Haas Professor in the Humanities, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and Faculty Affiliate of The Europe Center. "It is this discrepancy that feeds the dissatisfaction."

Yet he points out that the extremist vote surged in only 14 nations of the EU – in the other 14, there was "negligible extremism," as he describes it.

"We're a long way from talking about a fatal blow, but the vote is indeed a wake-up call to the centrists that they have to make a better case for Europe," Berman said.

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