Nükhet Kardam

Professor

I am passionate about women’s human rights, how global human rights norms apply in specific cultures; about working, living and exploring multiple cultures and multiple identities; and about the nature of self and of identity.

What excites me about being a professor at MIIS is working with a socially committed, multicultural group of students and teaching within an environment of innovation and openness.

Watercolor Identities: Explore the Nature of Identity

My Teaching Philosophy:

Expertise

Women's Human Rights, Gender and International Development, Development Assistance, Implementation of Global Human Rights Norms in Local Contexts, Political and Cultural Context of Development Practice, Identity Politics.

Recent Accomplishments

  • INTERSECTION, Episode 46. Aslan Media."Turkish Politics and Women's Human Rights" 2 Sept. 2014. Radio. Listen online here.
  • Kardam, Nükhet, and Meltrem, Agduk. "Mobilizing Religious Leaders to Combat Violence against Women in Turkey." The Women's International Perspective. 14 Aug. 2014. View online here. 
  • Kardam, Nükhet (April 2013), TEDxMonterey "Watercolor Identities."
  • Kardam, Nükhet and Fredric Kropp (2013), "Global Trends: Women as Social Entrepreneurs: a Case Study." In Women in the Global Economy: Leading Social Change. Global Education Research Reports 8, edited by Trish Tierney. San Francisco, Institute of International Education
  • Ongoing Research Project in “Intercultural Modes of Thinking and Reasoning” at the Monterey Institute with Fusun Akarsu, Philip Murphy and Katherine Punteney - in countries like Macedonia, Israel, USA, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey.
  • Turkey’s Response to the Global Gender Regime”, GEMC (Gender Equality and Multicultural Conviviality Journal), Tohoku University, no. 4, 2011
  • Leslie Eliason Teaching Excellence Award, 2010
  • Contributing author, UNIFEM, “Aid and Security.” In Progress of the World’s Women Report, 2008-2009.

Previous Work

I have been interested in change in international organizations and researched how gender was mainstreamed in several international development organizations. I engage in consulting with development organizations, including evaluation of women’s human rights programs and projects and women’s political participation, gender and governance. More recently I have turned to exploring how global women’s rights norms are interpreted and implemented in local cultural contexts.

Education

PhD, Political Science, Michigan State University; MA, International Relations, University of British Columbia; BA, Philosophy, Istanbul University; IB, Arts, Robert College

Course List

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

ICCO 9518 - Women's Human Rights:Xcultural      

This course will focus on the global women’s human rights norms as embodied in legal instruments such as CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women) and the Beijing Platform for Action and their acceptance, reinterpretation, redefinition or rejection in national and local contexts. How do religious, cultural and traditional norms complement and/or contradict global norms on women’s rights? What types of advocacy efforts at local, national and international levels are under way to establish a dialogue among different constituencies with different worldviews on women’s rights? We will explore different rights, such as the right to be free from violence of all forms, the right to freedom of movement, the right to political participation, to education, work and reproductive rights. We will examine some theoretical works, as well as case studies of different countries’ experiences, with a special focus on countries with Muslim majority countries.

Fall 2013 - MIIS, Fall 2014 - MIIS

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ICCO 9643 - SemPwr&Idntity/MultiCultrlWrld      

In order to gain Multicultural Competence, we first need to know ourselves, and reflect on our own identities. Our ethnic, gender, religious, national identities define who we are and shape our interaction with others. In this seminar, we will first examine our own identities and the cultures we identify with in a reflective and critical way. We will then focus on conditions and activities that are designed to foster shifts of perspective, expanded awareness and emotional states that allow empathetic understanding to develop. We will embrace a holistic approach to intercultural training, focusing on individuals’ emotional, physical and intellectual experience of cultural difference. Activities will focus on the development and conscious application of key intercultural competencies, including mindfulness, frame shifting, and stretching beyond our comfort zones. The more we are able to be mindful, the more we understand our own stories and learn to extend themselves beyond their comfort zones, the more empathetic we can be when we make cultural transitions.

The second half of the seminar will focus on the political and sociological factors that shape national, ethnic, religious and gender identities through case studies of particular interest to seminar participants. What are the structural factors that constrain and what choices do we have as we construct our identities? We will examine the nation building projects in developing countries that constructed new ‘national myths’ and new identities in tension with existing ethnic, racial, religious and other identities. How has nation building empowered particular ethnic, religious, racial groups in this process at the expense of others? Whose cultures have been privileged, others suppressed? Where is the balance between maintaining cultural diversity and group rights, at the same time creating a state which erases group privileges in order to promote individual rights and ‘citizens’ whose primary loyalty is to the ‘nation’? Has globalization brought with it even greater identification with local cultures? This seminar will attempt to explore these issues in order to provide a deeper understanding of Power and Identity in a Multicultural World as students prepare to make cultural transitions.

Fall 2013 - MIIS, Fall 2014 - MIIS

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IPOL 8540 - Social Sector Needs Assessment      

This course introduces participants to a variety of tools and methodologies for participatory needs assessment in the context of poverty. The goal of this course is to develop and apply the fundamental needs and assets assessment skills necessary for a career in international development. The following topics will be covered:

1) An overview of Poverty, Social Change, Participation, and Asset-Based Development (including the importance of an Asset-Based approach in sustainable development; types of assets, including social capital);

2) An overview of participatory methods, tools, techniques and strategies applied in Asset Based Development activities.

3) Managing, leading, and encouraging participatory identification of needs and assets: how external facilitators interact with local participants and other stakeholder groups;

5) Country and sector specific discussions of needs and assets identification: education, health, democratization and governance, environment, gender equality, human rights are some sectors to be examined.

Lectures, discussions, description and application of tools and techniques for community level capacity assessment, as well as country case studies are part of the seminar design. This course is structured to help students gain an understanding in using a broad range of resources and tools that promote effective social sector assessment practices.

Spring 2012 - MIIS

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IPOL 8618 - Sem:Grassroots Ldrshp Devlpmnt      

The purpose of this seminar is to prepare students to support, lead, analyze, manage, or govern grassroots social change organizations. Through readings, case studies, field projects and contact with established grassroots leaders, students will learn about the ecology of grassroots organizations, factors that contribute to effective grassroots leadership, strategies for leader development and strategies to build grassroots organizational capacity. All students will participate in a field-based practicum where they can apply tools, frameworks, and theories. Grassroots organizations from varied fields including the environment, microfinance, education, health, and political action will be used for field work, case studies, and interviews. Enrollment is open to all, but preference will be given to MPA students.

Spring 2012 - MIIS

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IPOL 8620 - Sem:Gender & Development      

This seminar prepares students to work in this field by examining both the theory and practice of Gender and Development. It starts with an overview of gender and development theories. The second section turns to the rise of global gender equality norms since the early 1970s, the international legal instruments and practices of development assistance organizations to implement these norms in partnership with governments and women’s organizations. We are particularly interested in the implementation of the global gender equality norms (as stipulated by the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women) in specific countries. How do UN agencies ‘mainstream’ gender? How do developing country governments respond to global norms of gender equality? How do universal norms get filtered through particular historical, social and political contexts to make sense at the national and local levels? What kinds of initiatives are taken at the local levels to interpret and implement these norms? The third section focuses on specific issue areas such as women’s human rights, gender based violence, and democratic governance and women’s political participation. The purpose of this seminar is to provide the students with a fundamental understanding of the field of Gender and Development, including theories and practices at both the global and local levels. It will further assist students to investigate one particular area in this field (such as gender and political participation, gender and human rights, or gender and education) in greater depth.

Fall 2011 - MIIS

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IPSG 8529 / IPOL 8529 - Dev Theory & Practice      

This course introduces students to the field of International Development and its subfields (including the theories, major debates, practices, and professional opportunities). The first section covers economic, sociological and political theories of development with sensitivity to the historical context. The second section discusses specific development issues such as the theory and practice of development assistance, democratization, human rights, and governance, community development, gender, environment, poverty, human security and education. Students hear guest lectures from MIIS faculty who teach in the development subfields. In the third section, students work in teams and focus on a particular developing country and research different aspects of its development and present their findings in class. The purpose of this course is to provide students with a basic understanding of the field, and give them a chance to begin narrowing down their own interests.

Fall 2011 - MIIS, Fall 2012 - MIIS, Fall 2013 - MIIS, Fall 2014 - MIIS

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MPAG 8518 / IPOL 8518 - Women's Human Rights:Xcultural      

This course will focus on the global women’s human rights norms as embodied in legal instruments such as CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women) and the Beijing Platform for Action and their acceptance, reinterpretation, redefinition or rejection in national and local contexts. How do religious, cultural and traditional norms complement and/or contradict global norms on women’s rights? What types of advocacy efforts at local, national and international levels are under way to establish a dialogue among different constituencies with different worldviews on women’s rights? We will explore different rights, such as the right to be free from violence of all forms, the right to freedom of movement, the right to political participation, to education, work and reproductive rights. We will examine some theoretical works, as well as case studies of different countries’ experiences, with a special focus on countries with Muslim majority countries.

Fall 2011 - MIIS, Fall 2012 - MIIS, Fall 2013 - MIIS, Fall 2014 - MIIS

More Information »

MPAG 8540 - Social Sector Needs Assessment      

This course introduces participants to a variety of tools and methodologies for participatory needs assessment in the context of poverty. The goal of this course is to develop and apply the fundamental needs and assets assessment skills necessary for a career in international development. The following topics will be covered:

1) An overview of Poverty, Social Change, Participation, and Asset-Based Development (including the importance of an Asset-Based approach in sustainable development; types of assets, including social capital); 2) An overview of participatory methods, tools, techniques and strategies applied in Asset Based Development activities. 3) Managing, leading, and encouraging participatory identification of needs and assets: how external facilitators interact with local participants and other stakeholder groups; the political context and power relationships. 4) Country and sector specific discussions of needs and assets identification: education, health, democratization and governance, environment, gender equality, human rights are some sectors to be examined.

Students successfully completing this course will be able to:

a) Understand the different definitions of Poverty, the context of Poverty, and Participatory Development in conditions of poverty and Asset Based Community Development.

b) Learn, present and apply Needs Assessment tools.

c) Analyze needs assessment case studies and understand their social and political context.

d) Be able to conduct Needs Assessment in professional settings.

Spring 2014 - MIIS, Spring 2015 - MIIS

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MPAG 8542 - Communicatng for Social Change      

This two credit course explores effective modes of communication in interpersonal and intercultural dialogue. Thoughtful exchange requires an environment where one is both trusting and trustworthy. Emphasizing embodied discussion, sessions include movement and writing integrated with close readings of theoretical materials. Specific exercises foster self-knowledge and hone attentiveness to each other’s stories, in the belief that such reflective skills foster healthy communities and mutually respectful relationships [between groups and within nations]. Skills are directly applicable to daily life and multilingual/international work environments. Examples are drawn from Action Research whose major premise includes a commitment to non-violent social change in community development, in partnership with all stakeholders.

Spring 2014 - MIIS, Spring 2015 - MIIS

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MPAG 8545 - Grassroots Leadershp Devlopmnt      

Spring 2013 - MIIS

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MPAG 8618 - Sem:Grassroots Ldrshp Devlpmnt      

Through readings, case studies, field projects and contact with grassroots leaders, students will learn about the ecology of grassroots organizations; factors that contribute to effective grassroots leadership; strategies for leader development; and strategies to build grassroots organizational capacity. The purpose of this seminar is to prepare students to support, lead, analyze, manage, or govern grassroots social change organizations. The specific objectives are as follows:

a) Develop an understanding of existing theories and models of leadership and topics of relevance to grassroots leadership.

b) To analyze a grassroots organization in terms of patterns of relationships between the leaders and their environment by collecting and analyzing empirical data including recommendations for change.

c) To prepare a report on the case study, including the theory, data collection, data analysis, findings and recommendations sections.

d) To organize a public symposium and present their findings in partnership with the grassroots organizations.

Spring 2014 - MIIS, Spring 2015 - MIIS

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MPAG 8637 - Sem:Socl Sector Needs Assesmnt      

This seminar introduces participants to a variety of tools and methodologies for participatory needs assessment in the context of poverty. The goal of this course is to develop and apply the fundamental needs and assets assessment skills necessary for a career in international development. The following topics will be covered: (1) An overview of Poverty, Social Change, Participation, and Asset-Based Development (including the importance of an Asset-Based approach in sustainable development; types of assets, including social capital); (2) An overview of participatory methods, tools, techniques and strategies applied in Asset Based Development activities. (3) Managing, leading, and encouraging participatory identification of needs and assets: how external facilitators interact with local participants and other stakeholder groups; 5) Country and sector specific discussions of needs and assets identification: education, health, democratization and governance, environment, gender equality, human rights are some sectors to be examined.

Spring 2013 - MIIS

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MPAG 8643 / IPOL 8643 - SemPwr&Idntity/MultiCultrlWrld      

In this seminar, we first examine our own identities in a reflective and critical way. Why are some identities complementary to each other, while others are contradictory? Why are some identities repressed or redefined? How and why do we express or suppress some of our identities and not others? How and why do we bring forth a particular set of identities in certain contexts and times and not others?

In the second section of the course, we investigate the social construction of identities. How do we construct the ‘other’? Under what circumstances does the ‘other’ become the enemy? We discuss nation building in this context as one group’s power over others in defining the national identity, its myths, history, language and other defining characteristics. How does nation building empower particular ethnic, religious, racial groups in this process at the expense of others? Whose cultures are privileged and others suppressed? Where is the balance between maintaining cultural diversity and group rights, at the same time creating a state which erases group privileges in order to promote individual rights and ‘citizens’ whose primary loyalty is to the ‘nation’? Where is the nation-state going in the future? Has globalization brought with it even greater identification with local cultures? The third and final section of the course focuses on the problems related to the recognition of multiculturalism. How are differences of language, religion, culture, ethnicity tolerated in today’s world? What are the conditions that promote a more effective management of multiculturalism? We attempt to explore these questions through reflective readings, discussions and investigation of multiple case studies from different parts of the world.

Fall 2012 - MIIS, Fall 2013 - MIIS, Fall 2014 - MIIS

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