Local and Global Implications
Co-sponsored by the MESA Global Academy and Arab Studies Institute
Dr. Bengi Gumrukcu, Rutgers University
Dr. Halil Yenigun, University of Virginia
Dr. Utku Balaban, Xavier University
Dr. Evren Altinkas, University of Guelph
Dr. Nazan Bedirhanoglu, Xavier University
Dr. Nihat Celik, San Diego State University
Dr. Asli Bali, Professor of Law at Yale Law School
On 25 May 2023, the MESA Global Academy and Arab Studies Institute hosted an online panel of experts to discuss the recent presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey.
Dr. Bengi Gumrukcu received her PhD degree in political science from the University of Zurich in 2014 with a dissertation titled “Reconstructing a Cycle of Protest: Protest and Politics in Turkey, 1971-1985”. She worked as a research assistant at the Department of International Relations and the EU (later Department of Political Science and International Relations), Izmir University of Economics from 2007 to 2014, and as a lecturer (2014-2015) and Assistant Professor (2015-2016) at Izmir University. She has acted as a visiting PhD student at Bielefeld Graduate School of History and Sociology, Bielefeld University and at Sciences Po, Paris and as a visiting fellow at the Department of Sociology, University of Paris 8 and the Department of Political and Social Sciences, European University Institute. She studies on various aspects of social movements, political parties, far right, violence and Europeanization and Euroscepticism, mainly focusing on the case of Turkey. Her publications appeared in international journals such as Turkish Studies, Southeast European and Black Sea Studies, Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies and in edited volumes. She is currently working on her first book, to be published with Routledge: Protest and Politics in Turkey in the 1970s: The Making of a Protest Wave.
Dr. Halil Yenigun has a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia's (UVA) political theory program with his dissertation titled, "The Political Ontology of Islamic Democracy: An Ontological Narrative of Contemporary Muslim Political Thought." He was a visiting post-doctoral scholar at Stanford University's Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies in 2017-2019 and a fellow of Europe in the Middle East—the Middle East in Europe (EUME) at the Forum Transregionale Studien, Berlin during 2016-2017 academic year. Previously, while living in Turkey, he was dismissed from his assistant professor position at Istanbul Commerce University during the mass academic purges that started in January 2016 after signing the Peace Petition by the Academics for Peace. At the time, he was also a part-time Research Fellow at Sabancı University Istanbul Policy Center's POMEAS Project (Project on the Middle East and Arab Spring). During his Ph.D. study, he spent 2007-2008 as a research fellow in the Middle Eastern Studies Center at the American University in Cairo (AUC).
Dr. Utku Balaban is an associate professor of sociology. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from SUNY Binghamton in 2011 and taught on various campuses in New York and Pennsylvania until 2012. He served as a faculty member at the Department of Labor Economics and Industrial Relations at Ankara University between 2012 and 2017. He was expelled from his position with a statutory decree in February 2017 under the state of emergency. His first book, A Conveyor Belt of Flesh (Friedrich Ebert Foundation, 2010) presents the findings of his dissertation fieldwork on the garment industry in Istanbul, Turkey. In his second book, Social Inclusion Policies in Turkey (Ankara University Press, 2015), Dr. Balaban surveys the current state of social policy in Turkey. As a grantee of the European Commission’s Marie Curie Career Reintegration Grant, he pursued fieldwork on the industrializing cities in Turkey between 2012 and 2016. As a non-resident research fellow of Forum Transregionale Studien and Humboldt University’s IGK Work and Human Life Cycle in Global History (Berlin, Germany), Dr. Balaban is currently working on his new book project on the relationship between Islamism and late industrial development in Turkey, embarking upon the aforementioned fieldwork on industrializing cities in Turkey.
Dr. Evren Altinkas graduated from the International Relations Department of Dokuz Eylül University. He received postgraduate degrees from King’s College London in 2000 and Dokuz Eylül University in 2003 where he studied on the issue of Cyprus. He obtained his doctoral degree from Dokuz Eylül University in 2011 based on his dissertation comparing the development of the concept of intellectuals in Europe and in Turkey. Dr. Artinkas comes to Guelph via the Scholar at Risk program.
Dr. Nazan Bedirhanoglu is a Freedom Project post-doctoral fellow in Political Science Department at Wellesley College. She received her PhD in Sociology from Binghamton University and her MA in International Relations from Ankara University. Her research interests include political economy, intellectual property, cultural expressions, foreign policy, international organizations, the Middle East, and the Kurdish question. She teaches courses on international political economy and development at Wellesley College. Bedirhanoglu is now expanding her dissertation on the global governance of intellectual property rights and the historical transformation of the global intellectual property regime into a book manuscript. She also conducts two interrelated research projects: The first one is about the comparison of the Kurdish diaspora in the United States to its counterpart in Europe. The second one is an investigation of the impact of the global intellectual property and cultural heritage regimes on the Kurdish traditional knowledge under the conditions of tangible and intangible destructions and appropriations.
Dr. Nihat Celik is assistant professor of public administration at the School of Public Affairs at San Diego State University. He holds a PhD in International Relations from Kadir Has University where he completed a dissertation titled “The Intentions and Capabilities of Turkey as a Regional Power: A Structural Realist Analysis.” He has been on the faculties of Kadir Has University, Meliksah University and Coventry University. His current research focuses on the foreign policy decision-making processes of the Ottoman Empire.
Dr. Asli Bali (Moderator) is a Professor of Law at Yale Law School. Bâli’s teaching and research interests include public international law — particularly human rights law and the law of the international security order — and comparative constitutional law, with a focus on the Middle East. She has written on the nuclear non-proliferation regime, humanitarian intervention, the roles of race and empire in the interpretation and enforcement of international law, the role of judicial independence in constitutional transitions, federalism and decentralization in the Middle East, and constitutional design in religiously divided societies.