Mert Can Bayar

Mert Can Bayar is a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at Binghamton University. His research focuses on understanding conspiracy beliefs and their impacts on democratic citizenship. His dissertation project explores the role of partisan conspiracy beliefs in the recent wave of democratic erosion using quantitative and qualitative findings from Turkey and the U.S.A. as examples of the two most different systems. Through multiple survey experiments, in-depth interviews, and focus group sessions in Turkey and the U.S., his dissertation project analyzes how conspiracy beliefs shape people’s attitudes toward political institutions, democracy, and autocracy. It identifies when conspiracy theories become divisive and destructive to democratic politics and when they lead to democratic reactions and unification of democratic forces. Mert holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Relations and Bachelor of Arts in History at Boğaziçi University and a Master of Arts in Political Science at Binghamton University.