Kaya delivers keynote speech at the MiSoC event

8 June 2022,

The PRIME Youth Principal Investigator Professor Ayhan Kaya delivered a keynote speech at the 2022 Cross-institutional PhD Colloquium, organized by the ESRC Research Centre on Micro-Social Change (MiSoC) at the University of Essex.  

Professor Kaya introduced at the beginning of his speech what he calls the civilizational paradigm. Accordingly, the paradigm has been prevalent in Europe over the last three decades and clusters Muslims and natives in two distinct categories, setting them apart in two culturally, religiously, and civilisationally defined boxes. According to Kaya, the paradigm masks the socioeconomic challenges that are similarly felt by these groups.  Kaya described the groups as commonly alienated, swept away by the flows of globalization (e.g., deindustrialization, mobility, migration, tourism, social-economic, inequalities, international trade, and robotic production) and inclined to adopt some mainstream political discourses in accordance with their cultural repertoires: Islamophobism (for native populations) and Islamism (for Muslim-migrant-origin populations).  

Kaya referred to the concept of reactionary radicalization, coined by Calhoun, while explaining these groups’ struggle against the perils of modernization and globalization. Accordingly, they find refuge in religion, culture, ethnicity, authenticity, heritage and myths. In the process, they co-radicalize each other. More specifically, Kaya analyzed the Great Replacement Theory and the phenomenon of Ostalgia among native youths in Europe. Kaya concluded that Populism, fed by such phenomena, is the result and not the cause of the problems in Europe.  

In the Q&A session after the speech, the participants discussed the gender dimension in radicalization processes, and the PRIME Youth research participants’ conventional and non-conventional means of political participation in reaction to their grievances.  

The MiSoC event included a hybrid two-day program including academic workshops by international scholars and a PhD Colloquium.  The ESRC Research Centre on Micro-Social Change (MiSoC) is a multidisciplinary centre of quantitative social scientists engaging in cutting edge research and providing evidence with which to address key societal challenges. MiSoC has been based at ISER at the University of Essex since 1989, but it features strong collaborations with other universities in the UK as well as abroad.