Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Middle Eastern Studies


Samira Haj

Subject Categories

Continental Philosophy | Near Eastern Languages and Societies | Political Theory | Social and Cultural Anthropology


Treason, Governmentality, Power, Subjectivity, Secularism, Islam, Tradition


“Because the secular is so much part of our modern life, it is not easy to grasp it directly,” writes Talal Asad, in the introduction to his Formations of the Secular. This thesis attempts to obliquely engage with secular power through a concept that has been at the center of much contention in our political present: treason. Taking the failed coup of July 16and the ensuing purge against the Gülen movement in Turkey as its points of departure, it seeks to broach some of the constitutive and operative logics of the modern nation-state. Inquiring into the State’s perennial presupposition of conspirators from within, in addition to its correlative techniques devised to preemptively identify and expose those subjects, it gestures to arrive at a better understanding of some of the productive qualities of secular power.



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