I am a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Politics & Political Methodology at King's College London and a Fellow at Harvard University's Middle East Initiative. Previously I was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Middle East Initiative at Harvard University’s Kennedy School. I completed my PhD in 2020 in the Department of Political Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. My research interests lie in comparative political economy and political economy of development, with a substantive focus on local governance, bureaucracy, distributive politics, social welfare, and migration. I study my research questions in the Middle East context by triangulating quasi-experimental statistical designs, novel data sources, and hypotheses and research designs informed by fieldwork and archival research.
My work has received several prizes, including the American Political Science Association's (APSA) Mancur Olson Best Dissertation Prize (Honorable Mention) for Best Dissertation in Political Economy, McGillivray Award for Best Paper in Political Economy (Honorable Mention), Weber Best Conference Paper Award for Best Paper in Religion and Politics, Best Comparative Policy Paper Award, Best Paper Award in MENA Politics, and the Midwest Political Science Association’s Pi Sigma Alpha Award for Best Paper, Kenneth Meier Award for Best Paper in Public Administration or Public Policy, and Best Paper by an Emerging Scholar Award. My research has been supported by the Harvard Data Science Initiative, Program on Governance and Local Development, and MIT Center for International Studies. I am a Junior Fellow at the Association for Analytic Learning about Islam and Muslim Societies (AALIMS).
I completed my BA in Economics at Bogaziçi University and my MA at Central European University, with a fellowship from the Open Society Foundations. Prior to coming to MIT, I worked as a public official at the Turkish state, in the design and evaluation of various civil society and local government projects and programs.
You can find a recent discussion about my research in this podcast and this news article.