Berk Esen

Assistant Profesor of International Relations, Bilkent University web page


Research Interests

Political Parties and Social Movements in the Global South, Authoritarian Regimes, Civil-military Relations, Latin American Politics, State-building


2011-2015, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA

Ph.D. in Government

Fields of Study: Comparative Politics and International Relations

Committee: Kenneth Roberts, Sidney Tarrow, Nic van de Walle

2007-2011 Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA

M.A. in Government

2005-2009 Jacobs University Bremen, Bremen, Germany

M.A. in Integrated Social Sciences

2004-2006 Sabancı University, Istanbul, Turkey

M.A. in Political Science

2000-2004 Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA

B.S. Political Science, Economics, Western Civilization (triple major)

Research Papers

2017 “Building a Competitive Authoritarian Regime: State–Business Relations in the AKP’s Turkey” (with Sebnem Gumuscu) Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies 

2017 “A Small Yes for Presidentialism: The Turkish Constitutional Referendum of April

2017” (with Sebnem Gumuscu) South European Society and Politics, 22 (3): 303-326

2017 “Turkey: How the Coup Failed” (with Sebnem Gumuscu) Journal of Democracy, 28 (1): 59-73

2016 “Rising Competitive Authoritarianism in Turkey” (with Sebnem Gumuscu) in Third World Quarterly 37 (9): 1581-1606

2014 “Nation-Building, Party-Strength, and Regime Consolidation: Kemalism in Comparative Perspective.” Turkish Studies 15 (4): 600-620

2014 “Turkey’s Republican People’s Party: Politics of Opposition under a Dominant Party System.” Turkish Studies (with Sinan Ciddi). 15 (3): 419-441

2011 "Turkey's 2011 Elections: An Emerging Dominant Party System?" Middle East Review of International Affairs, Vol. 15, No. 3 (with Sinan Ciddi).

Related Work Experience

Assistant Professor Bilkent University, Department of International Relations, Ankara, Turkey, September 2015 – Present

Post-doctoral Fellow Sabancı University, Istanbul Turkey, January - August 2015

Teaching Assistant Cornell University, September 2008–May 2014

Teaching Assistant Sabancı University, September 2004–May 2005

Achievements and Scholarships

2017 Starting R&D Projects Funding Program (3001), TUBITAK, Turkey

2012-3 Sage Fellowship, Cornell University

2012 Tinker Foundation Grant for Field Research

2011 Graduate School Field Research Travel Grant, Cornell University

2010 Michele Sicca Research Grant, for Preliminary Field Research

2009 Mario Einaudi Center International Research Travel Grant

2008-14 Graduate Student Fellowship, Cornell University

2007-8 Sage Fellowship, Cornell University

2004-5 Teaching Assistant Fellowship, Sabancı University

2001 Third Place in Inter-College Debate Tournament, Vanderbilt University

2000-4 Merit-based Scholarship, Vanderbilt University

1993 Ranked 1st in nationwide middle school examination in Turkey among 1.5 million students

Skills and Qualifications

Turkish, Native speaker

English, Near-native proficiency in speaking, writing, and reading

Spanish, Advanced level of proficiency in reading; Intermediate skills in speaking, writing

German, Elementary level of proficiency