Eighth Sakıp Sabancı International Research Awards Given
Sakıp Sabancı International Research Awards for “Checks and Balances in Democracy: the Turkish Case from a Comparative Perspective”
Sabancı University Board of Trustees Chair Güler Sabancı:
2013 Sakıp Sabancı International Research Awards aim at a comparative approach to the transformation in Turkey.
After the introductory remarks of Sabancı University Board of Trustees Chair Güler Sabancı, Jury Panel Chair Professor Ayşe Kadıoğlu from the Sabancı University Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences explained the reasoning for the Special Jury Award, followed by Professor Fuat Keyman, Director of the Sabancı University Istanbul Policy Center, explaining the reasoning for the awards presented to young researchers.
The theme for this year’s awards was “Checks and Balances in Democracy: the Turkish Case from a Comparative Perspective.” The Special Jury Award was presented to Professor Ergun Özbudun of the Istanbul Şehir University Law School for his publications on prestigious international platforms and his comparative studies on the Turkish case.
Winners of the awards were Meral Uğur Çınar (The New School Department of Political Science and Sociology) and Kürşat Çınar (Ohio State University, Doctorate in Politics) with “Building Democracy to Last: The Turkish Experience in Comparative Perspective”; Ioannis N. Grigoriadis (Bilkent University Political Science and Public Administration Department) with “Democratic Transition and the Rising Tide of Majoritarianism: Comparing the Cases of Greece and Turkey” and Yunus Sözen (Özyeğin University International Relations Department) with “Paradoxes of Liberal Constitutional Democracy and Populist Challenge”.
“2013 Sakıp Sabancı International Research Awards aim at a comparative approach to the transformation in Turkey”
Speaking at the Sakıp Sabancı International Research Awards Ceremony, Sabancı University Board of Trustees Chair Güler Sabancı remarked that the themes of the Sakıp Sabancı International Research Awards in the past seven years covered a wide range of subjects. Güler Sabancı said that this year’s theme, “Checks and Balances in Democracy: the Turkish Case from a Comparative Perspective” addressed a critical part of Turkish studies that carried enormous weight for the future of the nation.
Emphasizing that the 2013 Sakıp Sabancı International Research Awards aimed at a comparative approach to the transformation in Turkey, Güler Sabancı thanked all guests for attending the ceremony for the awards given to honor one of the late Sakıp Sabancı’s greatest desires.“Democracy is a regime of checks and balances”
Professor Ergun Özbudun, winner of the Special Jury Award, began by saying that the award was one of the proudest achievements of his long career. Ergun Özbudun said, “Checks and balances is a very wise choice as the theme this year considering the current situation in Turkey. Democracy is a regime of checks and balances. The motive behind the constitutional movement is to limit the power of the government and protect the rights of the individual. Separation of powers is essential in achieving this, and the system of checks and balances has been devised and developed as a vital part of all democratic regimes. It is not possible to conceive a democracy without checks and balances.”
“The higher democratic standards are in a country, the better will be the quality and international recognition of work in this area.”
Ergun Özbudun said, “Looking back 50 years, I see that Turkey has gained great distance both in quality and quantity. In the early 1960s, the number of professors and researchers in either social science or political science could be counted on two hands. Today, there are hundreds of scholars in both disciplines, and the increase is not limited to numbers. The studies of Turkish researchers, political scientists and social scientists receive increasing recognition and coverage in international publications. It must be kept in mind that sciences in general, social sciences in particular, and specifically subjects like constitutional law and Turkish politics are closely tied to the level of freedom of thought and the quality of democracy in the country. The higher democratic standards are in a country, the better will be the quality and international recognition of work in this area.”
Winners received their prizes from Türkan Sabancı, wife of the late Sakıp Sabancı, Sabancı University Board of Trustees Chair Güler Sabancı, Sabancı University Board of Trustees Member Sevil Sabancı and Sabancı University President Professor Nihat Berker.
This year’s jury panel members were Ayşe Kadıoğlu (Sabancı University), Fuat Keyman (Sabancı University), Elaine Papouilias (Harvard University), Jenny White (Boston University) Aslı Bali (UCLA), Çağlar Keyder (New York University, Boğaziçi University), Deniz Kandiyoti (SOAS, London).