At the Symposium on Populism, majoritarianism and crises of liberal democracy the causes, dynamics, effects and modes of "illiberal governance" was identified and discussed in a comparative perspective.

"It feels important to do this at at time when the spoken and written word in academia in Turkey is under threat. Many Turkish scholars don't feel entirely free to publish critical research. At this time CEST is providing an alternative space and support for independent and critical scholarship about Turkey," said Dr. Paul T. Levin, director at SUITS. 

20 academic papers was submitted to the the Consortium.

Several important questions was discussed at the conference. How   exactly   does   governance   in   illiberal   contexts,   in   the   range  between   democracies   and   full  dictatorships  proceed? What  do  governments,  which  neither  adhere  to  democratic  principles  nor  want  to   be   seen   as   brutal   dictatorships,   do   in   order   to   manufacture   consent   and   maintain   social   cohesion? And how meaningful  are  electoral  and  party  politics  in  political  systems,  where  most  decisions  are  taken  in  exclusive  centres   of   power?

The Consortium for European Symposia on Turkey (CEST) is   committed   to   the   critical   study   of   modern   Turkey.   It   brings   together   the   expertise   of  leading   European   research   institutions   with   the   aim   to   understand   the   society,   politics   and   cultures   of  Turkey   and   its   neighbourhoods:   University   of   Leiden,   University of   Graz,   London   School   of   Economics,  SciencesPo,  Stockholm  University,  Hamburg  University,  University  of  Cambridge,  and University  of  Oxford.