Talk: Secularism and National Identity in Post-Soviet Azerbaijan
Assoc. Prof. Ayça Ergun
Department of Sociology
Middle East Technical University
Thursday, 19 October 2017, 12:30 p.m.
FEASS Building, A-130
The aim of this paper is to analyse the role of secularism in the construction of national identity in post-Soviet Azerbaijan. The existing literature mainly concentrates on the role of religion in defining state society relations, potentials for radical Islam to be influential in Azerbaijani society and whether religion can constitute a basis for social mobilization and political alternative. This paper, however, investigates the role of secularism in defining national identity through identifying the components of secularism represented both at state and society level. The paper is based on the fieldwork conducted in Azerbaijan in November-December 2016. The author conducted in-depth interviews with experts, scholars, representatives of non-governmental organizations, state officials and deputies.
Ayça Ergun is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Middle East Technical University. Here research interests include democratisation, civil society, nation-building, national identity, state-building, state-society relations, political elite in the Southern Caucasus; civil society in Turkey, in Turkey; internationalization and Europeanization; qualitative research methodology, questionnaire, in-depth interview and focus group design, relations in the fieldwork. She also serves as a Deputy Director of Center For Black Sea and Central Asia (KORA) at METU and the chair of the Turkish German Master Programme in Social Sciences (GetMA). She previously worked on a number of research projects within the framework of FP6 and FP7.