Murat Somer

Murat Somer is a Professor of Political Science and International Relations at Özyeğin University, Istanbul.

Murat is a scholar of comparative polarization and depolarization, democratic erosion, democratization, and opposition strategies during regime changes, religious and secular politics, ethnic conflicts 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 StatesHe also has been a volunteer and advisor for civil society and political parties, participating in efforts to overcome severe polarization, autocratization and human rights violations in Turkey and contributing to domestic and international media.

Previously, he served as assistant, associate and full professor at Koç University Istanbul, and held visiting positions such as Mellon post-doctoral fellow at the University of Washington, Democracy and Development Fellow at Princeton University, and Visiting Scholar and Lecturer at universities such as Stanford, Harvard and Stockholm. He is a research affiliate of the Democracy Institute at Central European University.

Born in Diyarbakır and raised in Istanbul, Murat holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Boğaziçi University Istanbul, and a master’s degree in economics and a PhD in political economy and public policy from the University of Southern California. He is the proud father of Nazım Erenay.

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