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Biographical notes for "The Trap of Polarization: The Erosion of Democratic Discourse"

See all details on this March 14 event here.

Giuliano Amato is Professor Emeritus at the EUI in Florence and at the Università La Sapienza in Rome, member of Parliament for 18 years, twice Treasury Minister, Minister of Interior and twice Prime Minister of Italy, he also headed the 2003-2005 International Commission on the Balkans and was Vice President of the Convention on the Future of Europe. Honorary Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and former President of the Superior School S.Anna in Pisa and of the Istituto dell’Enciclopedia Italiana, he currently is judge of the Italian Constitutional Court. He has written books and articles on antitrust, personal liberties, government, European integration and humanities.

Kwame Anthony Appiah received a BA and a PhD in philosophy at Cambridge. He has taught at the University of Ghana, Cambridge, Yale, Cornell, Duke, Harvard and Princeton, and is currently Professor of Philosophy and Law at NYU. Among his books are Cosmopolitanism (2006), The Ethics of Identity (2008), The Honor Code (2010), Lines of Descent (2014), As If: Idealization and Ideals (2017), The Lies That Bind: Rethinking Identity (2018), and three mystery novels.

Karen Barkey is Professor of Sociology and Haas Distinguished Chair of Religious Diversity at Berkeley, University of California. She has been engaged in the comparative and historical study of the state, with special focus on its transformation over time. She has written on the early centuries of Ottoman state toleration and is now exploring different ways of understanding how religious coexistence, toleration and sharing occurred in different historical sites under Ottoman rule. She published, with Elazar Barkan, an edited book Choreography of Sacred Spaces: State, Religion and Conflict Resolution (2014) that explores the history of shared religious spaces in the Balkans, Anatolia and Palestine/Israel, all three regions once under Ottoman rule.

Seyla Benhabib is Eugene Meyer Professor of Political Science and Philosophy at Yale University and Director of its Program in Ethics, Politics and Economics and serves as the current President of Reset DOC’s Scientific Committee. She has been awarded the Ernst Bloch Prize and the Meister Eckhart Price. Her research ranges from discussions of communicative ethics, to democracy and difference, to identities, allegiances and affinities, and gender, citizenship and immigration. Her most recent publication is Exile, Statelessness, and Migration: Playing Chess with History from Hannah Arendt to Isaiah Berlin (2018).

Sheri Berman is a professor of political science at Barnard College, Columbia University. Her research interests include the development of democracy and dictatorship, European politics, populism and fascism, and the history of the left. She is author of books on European social democracy and the fate of democracy during the interwar years, social democracy and fascism in 19th and 20th century Europe and her latest book is Democracy and Dictatorship in Europe: From the Ancien Régime to the Present Day (2019) In addition to scholarly work on these and other subjects, she has published in a wide variety of non-scholarly publications including the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, VOX, The Guardian and Dissent.

Giancarlo Bosetti is the Director and one of the founders of Reset-Dialogues on Civilizations. He is the editor-in-chief of the online journal and of Reset, a cultural magazine he founded in 1993. He was vice-editor-in-chief of the Italian daily L’Unità. He is currently a columnist for the Italian daily La Repubblica and has taught at University La Sapienza and University Roma Tre. Among his books La lezione di questo secolo (a book-interview with Karl Popper, 2001), Cattiva maestra televisione (with essays by Karl Popper, John Condry and Pope John Paul II, 2002), Il Fallimento dei laici furiosi (2009). He edited the volume Omnia mutantur. La scoperta filosofica del pluralismo culturale (2013).

José Casanova is a professor in the Departments of Sociology and Theology at Georgetown University and senior fellow at the Berkley Center, where his work focuses on globalization, religions, and secularization. He is also member of the advisory board of Reset DOC. He has published works on a broad range of subjects, including religion and globalization, migration and religious pluralism, transnational religions, and sociological theory. His best-known work, Public Religions in the Modern World (1994), has become a modern classic in the field and has been translated into several languages, including Japanese, Arabic, and Turkish. In 2012, Casanova was awarded the Theology Prize from the Salzburger Hochschulwochen in recognition of his life-long achievement in the field of theology.

David Freedberg is Pierre Matisse Professor of the History of Art at Columbia University, and Director of the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America, also at Columbia. He was Director of the Warburg Institute in London from 2015-2017. In addition to his work in the histories of art and sciences, he is best known for his work of social and psychological responses to images, particularly iconoclasm and censorship. His books include The Power of Images: Studies in the History and Theory of Response (1989), The Eye of the Lynx: Galileo, His Friends, and the Beginnings of Modern Natural History (2003); and Iconoclasia: Historia e Psicologia della violencia contra las imagenes (2016).

Stanley Greenberg is a New York Times best-selling author and polling adviser to presidents, prime ministers and CEOs globally and right now, is conducting deep research in multiple countries. He was the senior pollster for President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and President Nelson Mandela. Greenberg's corporate clients include Boeing, BP, Microsoft, and other global companies. Greenberg's research and writing on disruptive changes in the US, Britain, Europe, South Africa and Venezuela and in the parties of both left and right is driving the public debate. His book about how America addresses its deepest problems was applauded by Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs, for its "great sense of history as well as deep understanding of the hopes and fears of today's Americans." And his new book, RIP GOP, will be published by St. Martin’s Press in the Spring 2019.

Stephen E. Hanson (Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1991; BA, Harvard, 1985) is Vice Provost for International Affairs, Director of the Wendy and Emery Reves Center for International Studies, and Lettie Pate Evans Professor in the Department of Government at the College of William & Mary. At William & Mary, Hanson is responsible for strategic management of international teaching, research, and outreach initiatives across the university. Hanson is a noted specialist in Russian and post-communist politics and the author of numerous scholarly publications concerning Russian, East European and Eurasian affairs.


Joseph LaPalombara is the Arnold Wolfers Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Management, and a Senior Research Scholar in the Center for Comparative Research at Yale University. He is best known for his contributions to the fields of comparative politics, comparative public administration, political development, Italian politics and the organization and behavior of international firms. He served as chair of Yale's Institution for Social and Policy Studies for five years, and as Chair of its Department of Political Science for two three-year terms. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has held fellowships from the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Guggenheim, Rockefeller and Ford Foundations, the Twentieth Century Fund, the Social Science Research Council and the Fulbright Program.

Jonathan Laurence is Managing Director and Vice President of Reset Dialogues and Professor of Political Science at Boston College. He is author of Coping with Defeat: Sunni Islam, Roman Catholicism and the Modern State (forthcoming), The Emancipation of Europe’s Muslims (2012) and Integrating Islam: Political and Religious Challenges in Contemporary France (with Justin Vaïsse, 2006). His essays, articles and commentary on international affairs appear in US and European periodicals and news media. He is Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, member of the Council on Foreign Relations and an affiliate of the Center for European Studies at Harvard University, where he received his Ph.D. in 2006.

Soli Özel is a senior lecturer at kadir has university in İstanbul. Currently aTom and Andi Bernstein fellow at the schell center of Yale Law School, he was a visiting fellow at institut Montaigne in paris and before that at the Robert Bosch Academy in berlin. He taught at Johns Hopkins-sais, university of Washington, Northwestern, sciences-po. He is working on two boks. One tentatively entitled “the history of turkey’s future” and the other co-authored with Michael t. Rock, a comparison of indonesia, malaysia, egypt and turkey looking at their developmental and democratic successes and failures.

Ece Temelkuran, one of Turkey’s best-known novelists and political commentators, was a prominent columnist before her controversial explorations of Kurdish and Armenian issues and her criticism of the current regime led to her dismissal. The author of the nonfiction works Turkey: The Insane and the Melancholy and Deep Mountain: Across the Turkish - Armenian Divide and fiction works Book of The Edge, Women Who Blow On Knots and The Time of Mute Swans. She has been a visiting fellow at Oxford Saint Anthony’s College and delivered the Freedom Lecture as a guest of Amnesty International and the Prince Claus Fund. She has contributed op-eds and articles to the New York Times, the Guardian, Literary Hub, Bookforum and several prominent media outlets in Europe and in the US. Her novel Women Who Blow On Knots recently received the Edinburgh International Book Festival Book Prize. She received Ambassador of New Europe prize with her book Turkey: The Insane and The Melancholy. Her most recent work How To Lose A Country is published in Britain and waiting to be published in several European countries as well as the Us in May. She lives in Zagreb.

Michael Walzer is an emeritus professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He has written about a wide variety of topics in political theory and moral philosophy: political obligation, just war, and economic justice. His books, Just and Unjust Wars and Spheres of Justice, have played a part in the revival of practical ethics and in the development of a pluralist approach to political life. Walzer was for many years a co-editor of Dissent. He is currently working on volume four of The Jewish Political Tradition.