Dr Bilge Yabancı is a postdoctoral research fellow at Stockholm University Institute for Turkish Studies (SUITS). She is also an Open Society Fellow. Yabancı’s current research project is focused on the fragmentation and polarisation of civil society in Turkey at a time when the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is cracking down on the freedoms of expression, association, and assembly. Her research interests also include populism, ruling populist parties, illiberal governance and authoritarianisation, contemporary Turkish politics and the EU-Turkey relations. She was a visiting fellow at the Centre for Southeast European Studies (CSEES) of the University of Graz in Austria and at Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) in Italy as a part of the Horizon 2020 Project ‘The future of EU-Turkey relations’.

Earlier, she received her PhD from the University of Bath in the UK. She holds an MSc in European Affairs from University of Lund and BSc in International Relations from METU, Turkey. Her doctoral research analysed local civil resistance to EU statebuilding, democratisation and ‘top-down’ Europeanisation processes in two cases of contested statehood: Kosovo and Northern Cyprus. Drawing upon the theories of legitimacy and international norm localisation, her thesis conceptualised the fragmented local agency as a key partaker in the EU-driven promotion of the rule of law, democracy, good governance, and civil and minority rights. During her PhD, she was also part-time teaching staff at the University of Bath and taught undergraduate and master-level seminars on European history since the Industrial Revolution, European integration, social science research methods and academic writing. During her master’s studies, she worked as project assistant at the European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI) in Germany for the project entitled 'Representation of Minorities in the Executive, 1990-2008’.

Selected Publications:

Yabanci, B. (co-author D. Taleski). forthcoming. ‘Co-opting ‘the Religion’: How Ruling Populists in Turkey and Macedonia Sacralise the Majority. Religion, State and Society.

Yabanci, B. ‘Populism and Anti-Establishment Politics in Kosovo: A Case Study of Lëvizja Vetëvendosje’, 2016. Contemporary Southeastern Europe 3 (2): 17–43.

Yabanci, B. ‘Populism as the problem child of democracy: the AKP’s enduring appeal and the use of meso-level actors’, 2016. Journal of Southeast European and Black Sea Studies, 16(4), 591-617.

Yabanci, B. ‘The future of EU-Turkey relations: between mutual distrust and interdependency’, 2016. FEUTURE Online Paper, No. 1, http://www.feuture.uni-koeln.de/publications/.

Yabanci, B. ‘The (Il)legitimacy of EU state building: local support and contention in Kosovo’, 2016. Journal of Southeast European and Black Sea Studies, 16 (3), 345-73.

Yabanci, B. The EU’s Democratization and State-building Agenda in Kosovo: An analysis through the fragmented local agency (2015) in An Agenda for the Western Balkans from Elite Politics to Social Sustainability, eds. Nikolaos Papakostas and Nikolaos Passamitros, ibidem-Verlag: Stuttgart, 23-52.

Yabanci, Bilge. 2014. ‘Another Crossroads in the Cyprus Conflict: New Negotiations, Hope for Change and Tough Challenges Ahead – Research Turkey’. Research Turkey 3(1): 25–46.