Invited Speakers


Professor Mehmet Asutay

Mehmet Asutay has a BA in Public Finance from the University of Istanbul (Turkey); continued for MSc in Public Finance at the University of Istanbul; has Postgraduate Diploma in Economic and Social Policy Analysis, University of York (UK); MA in Economics of Public Policy, Department of Economics of the University of Leicester (UK); Ph.D. in Political Economics, University of Leicester.

Mehmet Asutay teaches and supervises research on Islamic Political Economy; Islamic Moral Economy; Islamic Banking, Finance and Management; Political Economy of Development in the Middle East including Turkish Political Economy and Kurdish Political Economy.

He is the Director of Durham Centre for Islamic Economics and Finance; and is the Programme Director for MSc in Islamic Finance and MSc in Islamic Finance & Management; and also the Director of the Durham Islamic Finance Summer School.

Mehmet Asutay is the Managing Editor of the Review of Islamic Economics; and is an Associate Editor of the American Journal of Islamic Social Science; and in the Editorial Board of International Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Finance and Management and Borsa Istanbul Review.

He is the Honorary Treasurer of the BRISMES (British Society for Middle Eastern Studies); and of the IAIE (International Association for Islamic Economics).


Matthew Bryza

Ambassador Bryza just completed a twenty-three-year career as a US diplomat. His most recent assignment was as US ambassador to Azerbaijan from February 2011 to January 2012. From 2005 to 2009, Ambassador Bryza served as deputy assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasia, with responsibility for the South Caucasus, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, and Eurasian energy. Ambassador Bryza simultaneously served as the US Co-Chair of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s (OSCE) Minsk Group, mediating the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and as US Mediator of the Cyprus, South Ossetia, and Abkhazia conflicts.

During 2001 to 2005, Ambassador Bryza served in the White House as director for European and European Affairs on the National Security Council staff. His responsibilities included the South Caucasus, Central Asia, Eurasian energy, and political Islam in Eurasia.

Previous assignments include deputy to the Special Adviser to the President and Secretary of State on Caspian Energy, and political officer at the US Missions to Russia (1995-97) and Poland (1989-91).


Professor Tim Jacoby

Tim Jacoby is co-founder of the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute and Professor at the Global Development Institute at the University of Manchester. He is author of Social Power and the Turkish State (Routledge, 2004), Disaster Management and Civil Society: Earthquake Relief in Japan, Turkey and India (I.B. Tauris, 2005, with Alpaslan Özerdem), Understanding Conflict & Violence: Interdisciplinary and Theoretical Approaches (Routledge, 2007), and Peace in Turkey 2023: The Question of Human Security and Conflict Transformation (Lexington, 2012, also with Alpaslan Özerdem).


Professor Neil Macfarlane

Professor MacFarlane is a specialist on Russian foreign policy and the regional dynamics of the former Soviet Union, with particular reference to that regions southern tier. He is also interested in the impact of international organisations in the management and resolution of civil conflicts and also in the political and economic transitions of former communist states.

After a career in the United States and in Canada, he moved to Oxford in 1996 as the first Lester B. Pearson Professor of International Relations. From 2005 to 2010 he was Head of the Department of Politics and International Relations. From 2008 to 2010 he was Deputy Head of the Social Sciences Division at Oxford. He is currently a member of the Council of the University and serves on numerous University committees.

Beyond Oxford, he was a Faculty Associate of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy from 2004 to 2010. He held a visiting appointment at the College of Europe (Bruges) in 2007-2008, where he taught a course on the contemporary security agenda. In the summer of 2008, he was S. Rajaratnam Professor of Strategic Studies at the Nanyang Technological University (Singapore). He iwas a a visiting professor at the Centre for Social Sciences (Tbilisi State University, Georgia) from 2010 to 2013, and has a strong interest in higher education reform in the former Soviet Union.

He is an associate research fellow in the Russia-Eurasia Programme at Chatham House, and he chairs the board of the Center for Social Sciences, Tbilisi, Georgia.