Ayça Alemdaroğlu is the Associate Director of the Program on Turkey and a Research Scholar at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law at Stanford University. She is a political sociologist and studies social and political inequality and change in Turkey and the Middle East.
Ayça’s recent work examines youth politics and authoritarianism, in particular, 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 “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 the co-editor of Thinking about Kurds in Dark Times: New Perspectives on violence and resistance (University of Syracuse Press 2022); 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 a Research Professor in sociology and the Associate Director of the Keyman Modern Turkish Studies Program at Northwestern University. Between 2011 and 2015, she was a post-doctoral fellow in Anthropology and a lecturer at Stanford University. 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 Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Cambridge, her MA in political science from Bilkent University, and her BSc. degrees in political science and sociology from the Middle East Technical University,
Currently, she serves on the editorial boards of Sociological Theory and MERIP.