Berk Esen

Berk Esen is Assistant Professor and Vice Chair in the department of International Relations at Bilkent University. Before joining the department, he received his PhD in Government from Cornell University in 2015 and was also a visiting researcher at New York University, Columbia University, Sabancı University and Torcuato di Tella University. Dr. Esen’s doctoral thesis investigates why the common challenge of late development has generated starkly different policy responses and political outcomes in the global south. Drawing on 18 months of fieldwork, it analyzes how national leaders in Turkey, Mexico, Argentina, and Egypt reacted to trade imbalances, military threats, and political turmoil during the first half of the 20th century with a combined agenda of economic nationalism and state-led industrialization, establishing what he terms National Developmentalist states. In 2018, Berk received the “Sakıp Sabancı International Research Award” for his work on democratic backsliding in Turkey and Hungary. His research and teaching interests include the political economy of development, party politics, state-building, and authoritarian regimes with a focus on Latin America and the Middle East. His research has appeared in Journal of Democracy, Third World Quarterly, PS: Political Science & Politics, South East European Society and Politics, Journal of Near East and Balkan Studies, Mediterranean Politics, Turkish Studies, Review of
Middle East Studies, and Middle East Review of International Affairs.