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News & Announcements

Dr. Meral Uğur-Çınar’s new book has been published by Edinburgh University Press.

Memory, Patriarchy and Economy in Turkey brings a dynamic approach to Turkish politics by showing how political struggles operate via narratives and how ideas, institutions and narratives interact. By analysing narratives of collective memory, patriarchy and economic development, it shows how narratives shape politics in both intended and unintended ways. The book examines how narratives are utilised for the continuation of institutional structures as well as at critical junctures of institutional change and at the gradual erosion of institutions. The book helps make sense of current political discussions in Turkey and elsewhere, particularly on issues such as democratic backsliding, institutional erosion, populism, polarisation and social movements.

Our Chair, H. Tolga Bölükbaşı, gives a presentation as Bilkent pays homage to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk 

November 10, 2023, marked the 85th anniversary of the death of Turkey’s beloved Atatürk. As part of the events organized to commemorate the founder of modern Türkiye, Dr. Bölükbaşı gave a presentation titled “From the Year of Atatürk to the 100th Anniversary of the Republic of Atatürk”. During his presentation, Dr. Bölükbaşı illustrated how the founder of Modern Türkiye set an example for leaders fighting against colonialism and imperialism even decades after his passing.

Please click here to read more.

Our Chair, H. Tolga Bölükbaşı, receives funding for ‘BBRLab4WP: Bilkent-Bremen Research Lab for Welfare Policies’

The project is jointly funded by TÜBİTAK and DAAD (Call No: 2531).

BBRLab4WP brings together researchers from Bilkent University and Bremen University to help further integrate the German Research Area (GRA) and Turkish Research Area (TRA).

BBRLab4WP establishes a policy lab to explore the multidimensional nature of Türkiye’s welfare state using a mixed-methods research design.

BBRLab4WP aims to advance the state-of-the-art in comparative welfare state research, co-train graduate students, and co-disseminate findings.

The 2nd National Political Science Conference will take place on 7-8 October 2023 at Bilkent University.

Bilkent POLS is to host the Turkish Political Science Association’s 2nd National Conference. The conference program can be reached here.

Dr. Susann Pham’s new book has been published by Palgrave Macmillan.

Our faculty member, Dr. Susann Pham’s new book, Vietnam’s Dissidents: Political Dissonance in the Age of Global Capitalism and Coloniality, explores distinct political practices and political ideas of Vietnam’s dissidents and observes anti-capitalist and anti-authoritarian practices of democracy, peasant, and religious activities.

Assoc. Prof. Zeki Sarıgil’s new book has been published by the University of Michigan Press.

Our faculty member, Assoc. Prof. Zeki Sarıgil’s new book, How Informal Institutions Matter: Evidence from Turkish Social and Political Spheres, examines the role of informal institutions in sociopolitical life. The book looks at several empirical cases of informal institutions as derived from various issue areas in the Turkish sociopolitical context, such as civil law, conflict resolution, minority rights, and local governance, and from multiple levels (i.e., national and local).

Graduate School of Economics and Social Sciences Open House will be held on Saturday, April 8, 2023.

The online event registration page is currently active until April 7, 23.59.

Departmental sessions are organized as two successive breakout sessions starting at 11.05 till 13.50.

Dr. Anıl Kahvecioğlu, a recent Ph.D. graduate, has received a scholarship from TÜBİTAK’s 2219-International Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program for Turkish Citizens.

The scholarship will allow Dr. Kahvecioğlu to conduct his postdoctoral research in the Authoritarian Politics and Protest Lab (APPLab) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Kahvecioğlu’s research focusing on contentious pro-government protests in democracies and hybrid regimes under populist leaders will be supervised by Prof. Graeme B. Robertson.

Dr. Kahvecioğlu completed his Ph.D. in September 2022 with the dissertation titled “Protest by the People for the Government: Pro-Government Mobilization in AKP’s Turkey, 2013-2016.” The dissertation was supervised by Assoc. Prof. İlker Aytürk and Assoc. Prof. Tijen Demirel-Pegg. Dr. Kahvecioğlu has published two articles based on his dissertation:

  • A. Kahvecioğlu & S. Patan, “Embattled Ballots, Quiet Streets: Competitive Authoritarianism and Dampening Anti-Government Protests in Turkey,” South European Society and Politics 26(4), pp. 489-515 (2021).
  • A. Kahvecioğlu, T. Demirel-Pegg & İ. Aytürk, “Introducing the Turkey Protest, Repression, and Pro-Government Rally Dataset (TPRPGRD),” Southeast European and Black Sea Studies, pp. 1-24 (2022).

Our recent Ph.D. graduate, Dr. Gökhan Şensönmez, has been awarded a scholarship from The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Türkiye (TÜBİTAK) 2219-International Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program for Turkish Citizens.

Dr. Şensönmez will conduct his postdoctoral research on post-authoritarian memory with the supervision of Jeffrey Keith Olick, William R. Kennan, Jr. Professor of Sociology and History at the University of Virginia, Department of Sociology.

Dr. Şensönmez completed his Ph.D. in September 2022 with the dissertation entitled “Narrating the Prison: Master and Counternarratives of the 1980 Military Coup”, supervised by Assoc. Prof. İlker Aytürk. He has two publications from his dissertation:

  • G. Şensönmez, “Remembering the Enemy: Prisoner Narratives of the 1980 Military Coup,” Turkish Studies, 24(1), pp. 126-149 (2023).
  • M. Ugur-Cinar and G. Şensönmez, “Making Sense of Senseless Times: Religious Narratives and Identity in the Memoirs of Far-Right Militants in Turkey,” Politics, Religion & Ideology 23(3), pp. 327-348 (2022).

New Book by Daniel Just: Transformative Fictions: World Literature and Personal Change
Transformative Fictions: World Literature and Personal Change (Routledge, 2022) engages with current debates in world literature over the past twenty years, addressing the nature of literary influence in centers and peripheries, the formation of transnational literary and pedagogical canons, and the role of translation and regionalism in how we relate to texts from around the globe. Daniel Just argues for a supranational but subglobal perspective of regions that emphasizes practical reasons for reading and focuses on the potential of literary texts to stimulate personal transformation in readers.

New Book: Post-Post-Kemalizm: Türkiye Çalışmalarında Yeni Arayışlar (İletişim, 2022) co-edited by İlker Aytürk
Post-Post-Kemalizm investigates a hotly debated paradigm in Turkish Studies, post-Kemalism. A collection of articles, the book aims to analyze, criticize and at times confront this highly influential but controversial theoretical framework within Turkish Studies. Post-Post Kemalizm also thematically engages with liberal thought, culture politics, secularism, criticisms of the establishment, Islam, and political parties, hoping it will shed light on many other subfields and disciplines of political science. Aside from co-editing the book, Dr. Aytürk contributed to the book with an introduction and two articles. As of now, the book is available only in Turkish.

Onur Özgöde joins the Department of Political Science and Public Administration
Onur Özgöde’s work focuses on the fields of economic and historical sociology, science and technology, international political economy, public policy and American political development. In 2015, Onur Özgöde earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University, working on economic administration, central banking, capitalism, finance and climate change. He is currently one of the leading researchers on the NSF project which compares COVID-19 policies of different cases. Özgöde formerly held research positions in other prestigious institutions such as Duke, Harvard and Northwestern Universities.

New Book by Hasan Tolga Bölükbaşı: Euro-Austerity and Welfare States
Dr. Hasan Tolga Bölükbaşı’s new book, Euro-Austerity and Welfare States provides a thorough analysis on the political economy of welfare state reforms and demonstrates how the dire expectations among many scholars about the ill fate of welfare states did not come to pass. Instead, Based on in-depth comparative case studies of Belgium, Greece and Italy, three countries that seem far apart but actually share crucial characteristics, Dr. Bölükbaşı shows that in many cases, welfare reform capacities of governments in Europe were seriously constrained by entrenched interests, effectively safeguarding it against various attempts of  “rolling the state back.”