I am a sociologist with interests in violence, collective mobilization and political identity. In particular, my research explores how conflict processes transform identities and create divided groups. I discuss these ideas in the context of Middle East and modern Turkey.
My new book (co-authored with Aysegul Aydin) is on Kurdish armed contention in contemporary Turkey (Cornell University Press, 2015). Based on extensive archival work, Zones of Rebellion: Kurdish Insurgents and the Turkish State demonstrates that the conflict not only politicized an ethnic identity but also divided the Kurdish society from within. The book identifies long-term policies that inform this division and give violence its unique character.
Read a recent review of my book and a related interview that appeared in Hurriyet Daily News. Another article was published by the Washington Post (Monkey Cage) that discusses the resurgence of violence in Turkey against the backdrop of the book's main findings.
My previous work explores the historical origins of deep divides that characterize Middle Eastern societies today. Remapping the Ottoman Middle East (I.B. Tauris, 2012) shows that different routes to economic integration and state centralization during the nineteenth century are partly responsible for the outcome.
I am currently working on projects that connect conflict processes to electoral outcomes, political mobilization and ethnic identity. I explore these connections in recent contributions to Mobilizing Ideas and Washington Post (Monkey Cage).
In a recent interview, I discuss the political uses of history by the Turkish government. The interview appeared in Hürriyet, a nationally circulating newspaper in Turkey.