Ayça Alemdaroğlu is the Associate Director of the Program on Turkey and Research Scholar at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford University. She is a political sociologist, focusing on social and political inequality and change in Turkey and the Middle East.
Ayça’s recent work examines youth politics, and authoritarianism. In “Governing youth in times of dissent: Essay competitions, politics of history and affective pedagogies” (forthcoming in Turkish Studies), she examines the politics of history and emotional tactics the Justice and Development Party (AKP) uses in its effort to control, administer and recruit youth. In this work, she argues that the resilience of the AKP regime lies not only in the benefits the party has provided to previously disadvantaged groups and its coercive methods towards dissent, but also lies in the party’s articulation of political differences and its mobilization of emotions through intermediary channels between the party and the people. In “The AKP’s Problem with Youth”, Ayça examines the significance of youth for the AKP and the politics of its tremendous expansion of religious education in Turkey. In “Dialectics of Reform and Repression: Unpacking Turkey’s Authoritarian ‘Turn’”, she analyzes the dynamics and dialectics of reform and repression in the last two decades. Instead of reading contemporary Turkey as a case of relapse from reform into repression, as many commentators do, the article shows that reform and repression have been concomitant and complementary modes of the AKP governments. Her previous publications examined nationalism and eugenics in Turkey in the 1930s and 1940s; generational change and young women's negotiations with patriarchy; changing forms of urban segregation and low-wage workers’ experiences of social and urban mobility; and the impact of neoliberalism on Turkish higher education.
She is an editor of Thinking about Kurds in Dark Times: New Perspectives on race/ethnicity, violence and resistance (forthcoming, University of Syracuse Press); Confronting the New Turkey, Middle East Report Iss. 288; Kurdistan: One and Many, Middle East Report Iss. 295.
Before coming to the FSI, Ayça was the Associate Director of the Keyman Modern Turkish Studies Program and a Research Professor in sociology at Northwestern University, and a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University. In both institutions, she has taught courses on gender and sexuality, cities and inequality, and politics and protest with a focus on Iran, Egypt and Turkey.
She received her BSc. degree in political science and sociology from the Middle East Technical University, her MA in political science from Bilkent University, and her PhD in sociology from University of Cambridge.
Currently, she serves in the editorial boards of Sociological Theory and MERIP.