Oecumene Dialogue October 2012

Dear Oecumene friends and colleagues,

We are very pleased to send you the October edition of Oecumene Dialogues, our monthly newsletter.

Summary of items covered in this issue:

  1. Second Symposium 'Deorientalizing citizenship?', 12-13 November 2012
  2. Book publication: 'Citizens Without Frontiers' by Engin Isin
  3. Blog: 'A critique of Levantine women rights movements'
  4. Blog: 'A response to 'A critique of levantine women rights movements''
  5. News: openDemocracy guest week for Oecumene

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1. Second Symposium 'Deorientalizing citizenship?', 12-13 November 2012

Abstracts of panels and the final programme for our Second Symposium 'Deorientalizing citizenship? Experiments in political subjectivity', 12-13 November 2012, are now online.

To read through the abstracts of our Second Symposium please visit http://www.oecumene.eu/events/2nd-symposium/keynotes-and-panels

We hope you will be able to attend and look forward to welcoming you at our forthcoming event. To book a place, please visit:


2. Book publication: 'Citizens Without Frontiers' by Engin Isin

'Citizens Without Frontiers' (2012, Continuum Books) offers a new way of thinking about citizenship by interpreting citizen acts that cross borders and by moving away from the sovereignty principle. States define who their citizens are and exert control over their life and movements. But how does such power persist in a global world where people, ideas, and products constantly cross the borders of what the states see as their sovereign territory?

This groundbreaking work sets to examine and interprets such challenges to offer a new way of thinking about citizenship. Abandoning the sovereignty principle, it develops a new image of citizenship using the connectedness principle. To do so, it interprets acts of citizenship by following “activist citizens” across the world through case studies, from Wikileaks and the Gaza flotilla to China’s virtual world and Darfur.

The book imagines citizens without frontiers as a politics without community and belonging, inclusion without exclusion, where the frontier becomes a form of otherness that citizens erase or create. This unique work brings forth a new and creative way to approach citizenship beyond boundaries that will appeal to anyone studying citizenship, social movements, and migration.


3. Blog: 'A critique of Levantine women rights movements'

By Zahra Albarazi

Initiatives to achieve gender equality in access to citizenship, alongside accessing various levels of effective citizenship, have been at the forefront of advocacy movements worldwide for decades. The establishment of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in 1979, provided the motor for significant advancements on this front. One of the main advancements concerns the specific issue of ensuring that women have the right to pass their nationality on to their children.


4. Blog: 'A response to 'A critique of levantine women rights movements''

By Deena Dajani

I read with much interest Zahra’s recent blog ‘A critique of the Levantine women rights movements’ on the Oecumene website. I found myself agreeing with her over some aspects of her analysis; for example, she states that ‘there has been a generalized policy amongst dictators to allow some, albeit restricted, space for women’s movements in order to propagate the notion among domestic and international audiences of their regimes’ ‘acceptance’ of certain aspects of human rights’. There is little to disagree with here. Arabic governments continue to use ‘women’s rights issues’ as pawns in a chess game: on the one hand reducing domestic reform efforts to ‘token’ gestures that work towards increasing female ‘visibility’ in institutions like parliaments (arguably powerless to begin with), and on the other using such token reforms as bargaining chips in view of attracting funding from foreign donors.


5. News: openDemocracy guest week for Oecumene 

We are delighted to announce that openDemocracy.net will feature a selection of articles by Oecumene team members and fellows in the week starting 5 November 2012. Each day one or two articles will be published on openDemocracy.net with an introduction by Engin Isin.


Oecumene: Citizenship after Orientalism is funded by an European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant (Institutions, values, beliefs and behaviour ERC-AG-SH2).

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