Ishak Pasha Palace, Doğubeyazıt, Turkey (2017)

I am currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Middle East Initiative at Harvard University’s Kennedy School and defended my dissertation in August 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, distributive politics, social welfare, ethnic politics, 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 dissertation project examines how the distribution of service provision and its electoral outcomes is contingent on local social structures and institutions. I am on the academic job market starting in Fall 2020. 


My work has been awarded Mancur Olson Best Dissertation Prize (Honorable Mention) from APSA Political Economy Section, Best Comparative Policy Paper Award from APSA Public Policy Section, and Best Paper Awards from APSA MENA Politics Section. My research has been supported by the Program on Governance and Local Development and the 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.