Does the Muslim World Exist? A Foray into Global History and Global International Relations

Hosted by the Department of International Relations

Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building


Professor Cemil Aydin

Professor Cemil Aydin

Professor Menderes Çınar

Professor Menderes Çınar

Professor Ayşe Zarakol


Dr Katerina Dalacoura

Dr Katerina Dalacoura

Muslim-majority societies – similarly to all others - have had a contested relationship with history and continue to grapple with the ideas of ‘Islam’, ‘the Muslim world’ and ‘Islamic civilisation’. It has been argued that the latter are products of global intellectual trends and power relations in the nineteenth century and that their continuing potency derive from their being used by political actors (such as the AKP in Turkey) as ideological tools. The panel will investigate these claims by exploring the historical conditions and inter-connected global power structures which brought the idea of Islam into being.

It will also explore the politics surrounding its continuing survival at the current juncture of a global IR which stokes the fires of essentialist collective myths.

Meet our speakers and chair

Cemil Aydin (@cemilaydin86) is Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Cemil’s interests focus on both Modern Middle Eastern History and Modern Asian history, with an emphasis on the international and intellectual histories of the Ottoman and Japanese Empires. He is particularly interested in historical processes that shape transnational racial and civilizational identities, such as Muslim, Asian, African. 

Menderes Çınar (@MenderesCinar) is Professor of Political Science at the Department of Political Science and International Relations, Başkent University, Ankara. He is a former Giorgio La Pira research fellow at the European University Institute, Florence, and a visiting scholar at Boston and Harvard Universities. His main research interests include comparative Islamism and Turkish politics. His research has been published in the Turkish Studies, Muslim World, South Atlantic Quarterly, Orient, New Perspectives on Turkey, Political Science Quarterly, among other outlets. His most recent publications include contributions to The Routledge Handbook of Turkish Politics and The Oxford Handbook of Turkish Politics.

Ayşe Zarakol (@AyseZarakol) is a Professor of International Relations at the University of Cambridge, where she also has an appointment as a Politics Fellow at Emmanuel College. Professor Zarakol grew up in Istanbul, Turkey. Her research is at the intersection of historical sociology and IR, focusing on East-West relations in the international system, history and future of world order(s).

Katerina Dalacoura is Associate Professor in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Dr Dalacoura’s work has centered on the intersection of Islamism and international human rights norms. She has worked on human rights, democracy and democracy promotion, in the Middle East, particularly in the context of Western policies in the region.More about this event

The Department of International Relations (@LSEIRDept) at LSE is now in its 95th year, and is one of the oldest as well as largest IR departments in the world, with a truly international reputation. The Department is ranked 2nd in the UK and 4th in the world in the QS World University Ranking by Subject 2022 tables for Politics and International Studies.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEMuslimWorld

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