Professor of Political Science & International Relations
Murat Somer is a Professor of Political Science and International Relations at Koç University, Istanbul.
His research on democratization and autocratization, polarization, democratic resilience and opposition strategies, ethnic conflicts and nationalism, religious and secular politics, political Islamism and political secularism, the Kurdish question, Turkey, the Middle East and Eastern Europe have been published in more than fifty 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 transitioning from nation-state to state-nation and the “Turkish and Kurdish Question” was awarded the Sedat Simavi Prize in Social Sciences in 2015, and he co-edited two special volumes on polarization, democracy and democratic erosion, in American Behavioral Scientist (2018) and the Annals of the AAPSS (2019).
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, a visiting scholar at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University in 2016-2017, and a visiting scholar and lecturer in the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies at Stanford University in 2019. He is a member of the international Democratic Erosion cross-university research and teaching collaboration, and the editorial board of the Secular Studies journal.
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, interviews and comments appeared among other venues in Foreign Policy, Washington Post, 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.
Contact: Koç University Rumelifeneri Yolu Sarıyer 34450 Istanbul, Turkey
Koç University Office: Case 116A