Murat Somer



 polıtıcal scıence &

 International Relations

 Koç University



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Murat Somer is a Professor of Political Science and International Relations at Koç University specializing in Comparative Politics and Political Economy. His research addresses questions of democratization and autocratization, social and political polarization, ethnic conflicts and nationalism, and religious and secular politics, with emphasis on political Islam and secularity, the Turkish and Kurdish question, and the politics of Turkey, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. His writings appeared in books, book volumes and journals such as Comparative Political Studies, Democratization, and the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.


His research on religious and secular elite values and democracy won a Sabancı-Brookings International Research Award in 2009, his book on the “Turkish and Kurdish Question” was awarded the Sedat Simavi Prize in Social Sciences in 2015, and he co-edited two journal volumes examining polarization, democracy and democratic erosion across the world from theoretical and comparative perspectives, which came out in 2018 and 2019 in American Behavioral Scientist and the Annals of the AAPSS respectively. Among other visiting appointments, he was a Democracy and Development fellow at Princeton University in 2010-2011, a Senior Visiting Scholar at Stockholm University Institute for Turkish Studies in 2013, and a visiting scholar at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University in 2016-2017.


Somer teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Comparative Politics, Political Economy, Religion and Secularism in the World, and Authoritarianism and Democracy in the 21st Century. Prof. Somer has been a frequent contributor to domestic and international media such as CNN Turk, Euronews and Medyacope on Turkish and regional affairs, and his op-eds and comments appeared among other venues in Foreign Policy, New York Times, Freeman Spogli Institute, and T24. A former Mellon post-doctoral fellow on modern ethnic conflicts at the University of Washington in Seattle, Somer holds a BA in Economics from Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, and an MA in Economics and a PhD in Political Economy and Public Policy from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.  



Koç University

Rumelifeneri Yolu Sarıyer 34450

Istanbul, Turkey

Koç University Office: Case 147
Ph. +90-212-338-1646



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