Fethullah Gulen named the world’s No. 1 public intellectual

Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen
Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen

Date posted: July 27, 2008

The Prospect: Over half a million people voted in our poll to find the world’s top public intellectual. Of the many voting campaigns that were mounted, only one had a decisive impact on the results.

Tom Nuttall on the campaign that delivered Gülen’s victory

Ehsan Masood on Gülen, modern face of Sufi Ottomanism

Prospect last ran its intellectuals poll in November 2005. The positions of people who appeared in the 2005 poll are given in brackets. New entries are marked with an asterisk.

1 Fethullah Gülen (*)

2 Muhammad Yunus (*)

3 Yusuf Al-Qaradawi (56)

4 Orhan Pamuk (54)

5 Aitzaz Ahsan (*)

6 Amr Khaled (*)

7 Abdolkarim Soroush (15)

8 Tariq Ramadan (58)

9 Mahmood Mamdani (*)

10 Shirin Ebadi (12)

11 Noam Chomsky (1)

12 Al Gore (*)

13 Bernard Lewis (34)

14 Umberto Eco (2)

15 Ayaan Hirsi Ali

16 Amartya Sen (8)

17 Fareed Zakaria (35)

18 Garry Kasparov (*)

19 Richard Dawkins (3)

20 Mario Vargas Llosa (29)

21 Lee Smolin (*)

22 Jürgen Habermas (7)

23 Salman Rushdie (10)

24 Sari Nusseibeh (65)

25 Slavoj Zizek (23)

26 Vaclav Havel (4)

27 Christopher Hitchens (5)

28 Samuel Huntington (28)

29 Peter Singer (33)

30 Paul Krugman (6)

31 Jared Diamond (9)

32 Pope Benedict XVI (17)

33 Fan Gang (82)

34 Michael Ignatieff (37)

35 Fernando Henrique Cardoso (43)

36 Lilia Shevtsova (*)

37 Charles Taylor (*)

38 Martin Wolf (*)

39 EO Wilson (31)

40 Thomas Friedman (16)

41 Bjørn Lomborg (14)

42 Daniel Dennett (24)

43 Francis Fukuyama (21)

44 Ramachandra Guha (*)

45 Tony Judt (*)

46 Steven Levitt (*)

47 Nouriel Roubini (*)

48 Jeffrey Sachs (27)

49 Wang Hui (*)

50 VS Ramachandran (*)

51 Drew Gilpin Faust (*)

52 Lawrence Lessig (40)

53 JM Coetzee (44)

54 Fernando Savater (*)

55 Wole Soyinka (66)

56 Yan Xuetong (*)

57 Steven Pinker (26)

58 Alma Guillermoprieto (*)

59 Sunita Narain (80)

60 Anies Baswedan (*)

61 Michael Walzer (68)

62 Niall Ferguson (45)

63 George Ayittey (*)

64 Ashis Nandy (*)

65 David Petraeus (*)

66 Olivier Roy (*)

67 Lawrence Summers (60)

68 Martha Nussbaum (53)

69 Robert Kagan (62)

70 James Lovelock (71)

71 J Craig Venter (74)

72 Amos Oz (59)

73 Samantha Power (*)

74 Lee Kuan Yew (*)

75 Hu Shuli (*)

76 Kwame Anthony Appiah (*)

77 Malcolm Gladwell (*)

78 Alexander De Waal (*)

79 Gianni Riotta (*)

80 Daniel Barenboim (*)

81 Thérèse Delpech (*)

82 William Easterly (*)

83 Minxin Pei (*)

84 Richard Posner (32)

85 Ivan Krastev (*)

86 Enrique Krauze (85)

87 Anne Applebaum (*)

88 Rem Koolhaas (51)

89 Jacques Attali (*)

90 Paul Collier (*)

91 Esther Duflo (*)

92 Michael Spence (*)

93 Robert Putnam (77)

94 Harold Varmus (94)

95 Howard Gardner (70)

96 Daniel Kahneman (64)

97 Yegor Gaidar (*)

98 Neil Gershenfeld (87)

99 Alain Finkielkraut (81)

100 Ian Buruma (*)

The only people to have the same placings in both 2005 and 2008 are Samuel Huntington (28th) and Harold Varmus (94th). Excluding new entrie, the g reatest advance between 2005 and 2008 was 53 places, by Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, from 56th to 3rd. The greatest fall was by Richard Posner, by 52 places, from 32nd to 84th. The highest-ranked intellectual from 2005 not to be included in the 2008 poll was Naomi Klein, who made 11th place in 2005.


Source: The Prospect , July 26, 2008

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