Transregional Center for Democratic Studies

Osman Kavala: 2021 Courage in Public Scholarship Award – VIDEO

On Friday, December 10th, International Human Rights Day, TCDS presented its 2021 Courage in Public Scholarship Award to Osman Kavala, an audacious doer, thinker, and visionary for a better world.

You can watch the ceremony here:

The Courage in Public Scholarship Award was envisioned in 2014 at the conclusion of the Transregional Center for Democratic Studies’ (TCDS) Democracy & Diversity Summer Institute in Wroclaw, Poland, by a group of New School for Social Research (NSSR) and TCDS alumni living and working in Europe. They discussed the meaning of The New School academic experience that had shaped their personal and professional lives: its openness to others, its critical approach, its intellectual engagement, and its culture of dare-to-know and dare-to-discuss. Guided by The New School’s commitment to scholarly excellence, civic engagement, and ethical commitment to the larger world, they formed the NSSR-Europe Collective. Drawing on the ethos of the University in Exile and the conviction that, especially in dark times, universities carry a special responsibility vis-Ă -vis society, they proposed to establish an annual tribute to exceptionally audacious thinkers, teachers, and doers through an annual Courage in Public Scholarship Award.

This year, the Award went to Osman Kavala, Turkish publisher and philanthropist, who, for his work on behalf of cultural dialogue, has been held in an Istanbul prison for over four years without a conviction. The Award Ceremony was held on International Human Rights Day, December 10th, 2021. 

This year’s Speakers:

Opening Address: Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, Director to the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute


Seyla Benhabib, Eugene Meyer Professor of Political Science and Professor of Philosophy Emerita, Yale University

Michael Ignatieff, Rector Emeritus and Professor of History, Central European University

Moderated by

Aryeh Neier, President Emeritus, Open Societies Foundations

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