I am a political scientist by training and my research focuses on the relation and interaction between three concepts; nationalism, religion and democracy. In my dissertation, I focused on the function of religion in the nation-building of Turkey and Pakistan. I contextualized this relation in the process of transition from an empire to a nation-state. Applying a comparative historical approach, I examined the processes of state formation and its effects on national identity construction. Currently I am expanding on several themes addressed in my dissertation in articles, and also working to translate the dissertation into a book to be submitted for publication.
Presently I am working on two manuscripts which are parts of larger research agendas. The first manuscript is an analysis of the concepts of “democracy” and “state” in the writings of the Islamist authors in Turkey. Once published, a follow-up article will investigate the linkages between Turkey’s current failure in democratization under the pro-Islamic JDP and the discourse provided by the Islamic scholars. The manuscript and subsequent articles are located in the recent academic debates on post-Islamism and democratization. My second manuscript is on the Kurdish issue in Turkey and the efforts of finding a democratic solution to the ongoing ethnic tension. I am particularly concerned on the issues of federalism and Alfred Stepan and Juan Linz’s recent conceptualization of “state-nation”. In connection to this theme I have already published an article in Turkish on the relation between the federal system in Pakistan and its failure to provide a democratic solution to Pakistan’s ethnic problems. The manuscript I am currently working on also takes the concept of state-nation as a possible solution to Turkey’s Kurdish problem. These articles fit into my larger research agenda that focuses on the alternative sets of policies needed to combine democracy-building and nation-building.
Research and teaching interests
Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict, Religion and Politics, Political Islam, Politics of Secularism, Religion and Nationalism, Democratization, Populism, State Formation, Modernization Theories, Turkish Politics, Middle Eastern Politics, South Asian Politics