A constructive discussion and dialogue about Islam and gender has never been free of its controversies. The task has been how to explain the stubborn survival of traditions and practices hostile to women in Islamic societies without adding to the arsenal of racist imagery about Islam and Muslim women, targeting diasporic communities in the West. […]
Terrorist attacks on and since September 11th have stimulated public soul-searching, military and diplomatic responses, and efforts to reform public policy. Both the attacks and responses to them have raised a host of questions about social organization, basic social institutions, how people mobilize amid crises, and how differences of culture and politics shape conflict and cooperation.
This website features an extraordinary and still-expanding collection of essays by leading social scientists from around the country and the world. These are efforts by social scientists to bring theoretical and empirical knowledge to bear on the events of Sept. 11, their precursors, and what comes after.
We have asked the authors of these essays to write against two-week deadlines. Much to their credit they have obliged, even when it is difficult to come by sure knowledge in a time of quickly changing circumstances.
These essays are intended as resources for teachers—especially college and university instructors—who want to address the unfolding events in their courses from the perspectives of the social sciences. We hope they may also serve journalists and others who seek a guide to academic knowledge related to these events. Not least they are for all of us who seek deeper understanding in troubling times.
Ten years after these essays were published, contributors to After September 11 were asked to reflect on what they wrote and to explore what had changed and what remained the same since those harrowing times, resulting in the essay collection 10 Years after September 11.
The following is a series of three emails written by Professor Tilly in the week following September 11. These emails were originally posted to amsoc, a list-serve based at Columbia University. New York disasters September 12, 2001 After the terrible loss of life downtown a little less than a day ago, New York is picking […]
Each season of popular discussion has its special topics. “Certainty” is again in fashion. The way has been paved by more than a generation of contests about “relativism,” “social construction,” and “multiculturalism.” We are barely through with the Sokal Affair. Now, following the attacks of September 11, our screens, pages, and airwaves are again filled […]
NOTE: This article was originally written on September 17, 2001. It has been modified to incorporate the changing events of the past weeks. In December of 1971 the Pakistani army surrendered to the Indian Forces in East Pakistan/Bangladesh. As a result of its defeat and failed policies, the Pakistani military finally handed over power to […]
Nothing is more telling about the recent terrorist attacks in the United States than the nature of their targets. The Twin Towers in New York City represented the future, modernity, America’s optimistic outlook of the world, and, more recently, of globalization. The terrorist attacks constitute a direct hit against those values, which is the main […]
It has been said quite often since September 11 that Americans are standing at a juncture of history, that, on that date, the world changed forever into a ‘before’ and an ‘after.’ Such proclamations of radical breaks in historical consciousness have happened before, of course. Writing in 1924 about the experience of modernity, Virginia Woolf […]
Islamist discourse, like any other political discourse, is full of plastic concepts and ideas that are meant to serve politically utilitarian and instrumental purposes. But what is important for us to remember is that the instrumental use of such plastic concepts (including ‘democracy’, ‘human rights’, ‘justice’, etc.) invariably leads to their contestation as well, as […]
Professor Goldstone responded to the emails written by Charles Tilly immediately following the attacks of September 11. The following are his responses. FROM 9/15/01 Dear Chuck, Thanks for an interesting challenge. Two areas in which I differ from your views: (1) “But no single organization or single leader coordinated Tuesday’s action.” I heartily disagree with […]
At a conference held three weeks after the September 11th, 2001, I spoke on secular values in the context of a discussion on “Asian values and Japans’ options”. My view about Asian values is that there is nothing substantive in them. The political references to them represent merely new versions of an older dichotomy. Their […]
The first reaction to the disintegration of the USSR by the end of 1991 was fear of an outburst of ethnic and interstate conflicts in the post-Soviet territory. In Transcaucasia a war had broken out between Armenia and Azerbaijan; Moldova had split into two parts—Pridnestrovye and the territory loyal to Kishinyov; Ukraine faced the hazard […]