Murat Somer

Murat is a Professor of Political Science and International Relations at Özyeğin University in Istanbul. He teaches courses in Comparative Politics, Religion, Secularism and Democracy in the World, and Democracy and Authoritarianism in the 21st Century. His research focuses on the causes and regime-related consequences of polarization as a political and relational process, policies of depolarization, opposition strategies against extreme polarization and democratic erosion, ethnic conflicts, religious and secular politics, political Islam, and the Kurdish question. His recent publications include Polarizing Polities: A Global Threat to Democracy (co-edited with Jennifer McCoy) and Return to Point Zero: The Turkish-Kurdish Question and How Politics and Ideas (Re)Make Empires, Nations and States. Previously, he served as assistant, associate and full professor at Koç University Istanbul, and held visiting appointments such as Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow in Modern Ethnic Conflicts at the University of Washington, Seattle, Democracy and Development Fellow at Princeton University, visiting scholar in the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University and visiting scholar and lecturer in the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies at Stanford University. He holds a BA in Economics from Boğaziçi University in Istanbul and an MA in Economics and a PhD in Political Economy and Public Policy from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He is a frequent contributor to Turkish and international media.