About Us

Ahmet Evin

Prof. Evin was the founding dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Sabanci University. At Columbia University, he was named William Mitchell Fellow where he received his PhD in Middle East Studies and Cultural History. He is director of education of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, and coordinated the Aga Khan Program at Harvard University and MIT. He initiated, with European Commission support, a policy dialogue on EU’s eastward expansion, its Mediterranean policy, and the customs union agreement with Turkey. He established, with the EUI Schuman Center, the EU-Turkish Observatory, also programs and policy research with academic institutions and NGOs, e.g., the Kokkalis Program at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He is the founding member of Turkish Economy and Social Studies Foundation and the Middle East Studies Association of North America.

The Danubian Europe as Borderlands: Geopolitical Realities and Cultural Cleavages of the European Continent

The focus of this research project is the history of the Danubian Europe as borderlands and the lessons that can be drawn from that history in respect of Europe’s future. Today the EU believes it is confronted with the danger of reversals to its objective of exporting its values to its neighborhood and thus broadening its sphere of influence in concentric circles. The fact that its neighborhood appears to have become less attracted to the EU in addition and the fact that it is faced with internal differences regarding how to address the new challenges to the Union have given rise to a heightened anxiety about the appeal and effectiveness of the present European architecture. What can we learn from Europe’s history with respect to facing these current challenges? What lessons can we draw from the fact that a Europe of geopolitical cleavages, yet at the same time one of porous borderlands, maintained a cultural coherence despite centuries of conflict not only with external adversaries but mainly within the continent? What would be a realistic way for the EU to relate to its changing neighborhoods, while taking into consideration its internal cultural cleavages, which has been a historical characteristic of the continent?