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International Relations

Şener Aktürk


Şener Aktürk is Professor in the Department of International Relations at Koç University. He is a scholar of comparative politics, with a focus on comparative politics of ethnicity, religion, and nationalism. After completing his BA and MA at the University of Chicago and his PhD in political science at the University of California, Berkeley, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and a Visiting Lecturer at the Department of Government at Harvard University. His book, Regimes of Ethnicity and Nationhood in Germany, Russia, and Turkey (Cambridge University Press, 2012) received the 2013 Joseph Rothschild book prize from the Association for the Study of Nationalities. As a comparative political scientist broadly defined, the following countries were among the qualitative case studies in focus in his previous publications and publicly presented works in progress, mostly on ethnicity, religion, nationalism, political representation, and identity politics at large: Afghanistan, Algeria, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Iran, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. His articles were published in World Politics, Perspectives on Politics, Comparative Politics, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Post-Soviet Affairs, Mediterranean Politics, Social Science Quarterly, European Journal of Sociology, Nationalities Papers, Problems of Post-Communism, Turkish Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, Osteuropa, Theoria, Ab Imperio, All Azimuth, Insight Turkey, Turkish Policy Quarterly, Perceptions, Doğu Batı, Uluslararası İlişkiler, Central Eurasian Studies Review, and various edited books in English, Russian, and Turkish. He was elected an Associate Member of the Turkish Academy of Sciences (TÜBA) in December 2023.

Recent and Select Publications

Aktürk, Şener. 2022. “Nationalism and Religion in Comparative Perspective: A New Typology of National-Religious Configurations.” Nationalities Papers 50 (2): 205-218. DOI: (Open Access)

Aktürk, Şener and Yury Katliarou. 2021. “Institutionalization of Ethnocultural Diversity and the Representation of European Muslims.” Perspectives on Politics 19 (2): 388-405. DOI:

Aktürk, Şener. 2020. “Comparative Politics of Exclusion in Europe and the Americas: Religious, Sectarian, and Racial Boundary Making since the Reformation.” Comparative Politics 52 (4): 695-719. DOI: 10.5129/001041520X15786939438699

Aktürk, Şener. 2015. “Religion and Nationalism: Contradictions of Islamic Origins and Secular Nation-Building in Turkey, Algeria, and Pakistan.” Social Science Quarterly 96 (3): 778-806. DOI: 10.1111/ssqu.12191

Aktürk, Şener. 2011. “Regimes of Ethnicity: Comparative Analysis of Germany, the Soviet Union/Post-Soviet Russia, and Turkey.” World Politics 63 (1): 115-164. DOI: 10.1017/S0043887110000304 and

Research Interests

Comparative Politics
Nationalism and Religion
Geopolitical Identities
Russia and East-Central Europe
Grand Strategy

  • 2009


  • 2004


  • 2003


  • 2003

    Yüksek Lisans-Tezli, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO

  • 01.01.2006

    Peter H. Odegard Award 2006, UC Berkeley

  • 01.02.2006

    John L. Simpson Memorial Research Fellowship, 2006-2007, International and Comparative Studies, IIS

  • 01.01.2008

    Alan Sharlin Memorial Research Fellowship, 2008-09. UC Berkeley, Institute for International Studies

  • 01.01.2009

    Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor, UC Berkeley, 2009

  • 01.02.2009

    Teaching Effectiveness Award 2009, Graduate Council, UC Berkeley

  • 01.01.2010

    Sakıp Sabancı International Research Award 2010 (3rd Place, 5.000 USD)

  • 01.01.2011

    Baki Komsuoğlu Social Sciences Encouragement Award 2011

  • 01.01.2013

    Joseph Rothschild Prize, best book in ethnicity and nationalism, 2013

  • 01.01.2014

    European Commission, Marie Curie International Reintegration Grant, 2010-2014 (100,000 Euros)

  • 01.01.2015

    Kadir Has Prize, Promising Social Scientist, 2015 (10,000 USD)

  • 01.01.2016

    Turkish Academy of Sciences (TÜBA), Outstanding Young Scholar Award (GEBİP), 2016

  • 01.01.2017

    Science Academy (Bilim Akademisi), Young Scientist Award (BAGEP), 2017

  • 01.02.2017

    Koç University CASE Faculty Outstanding Teaching Award, Spring 2017

  • 01.01.2019

    Koç University CASE Outstanding Faculty (Research) Award, 2019-2020

  • 01.02.2019

    The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK), Incentive Award, 2019