Ayşe Zarakol: Background
I am a Reader in International Relations at the University of Cambridge, where I also have an appointment as a Politics Fellow at Emmanuel College.
I grew up in Istanbul, Turkey and moved to the US to attend Middlebury College, Vermont (BA in Political Science and Classical Studies). My graduate degrees are from University of Wisconsin - Madison (MA and PhD in Political Science) where I was supervised by Michael Barnett (primary) and David Leheny. After graduation I worked as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in Politics at Washington & Lee University, Virginia, until I was appointed to my current position at Cambridge University in 2013.
My research is at the intersection of historical sociology and IR, focusing on East-West relations in the international system, history of world orders, conceptualisations of modernity and sovereignty, rising and declining powers, and Turkish politics in a comparative perspective. I am the author of After Defeat: How the East Learned to Live with the West (Cambridge University Press, 2011), which deals with international stigmatisation and the integration of defeated non-Western powers (Turkey after WWI, Japan after WWII and Russia after the Cold War) into the international system. This book was also published in Turkish as Yenilgiden Sonra: Doğu Batı ile Yaşamayı Nasıl Öğrendi from Koç University Press (2012), with a new introduction I wrote for Turkish readers. A second Turkish edition was published in 2019. Between 2013 and 2017, I oversaw an international collaboration aimed at theorising Hierarchies in World Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2017) [runner up for 2019 ISA Theory section prize]. My articles have appeared in journals such as International Organization, International Theory, International Studies Quarterly, European Journal of International Relations, Review of International Studies, International Relations, International Studies Review, Journal of Democracy, Cooperation and Conflict and others (for a full list see here). I also regularly author policy memos, edited book chapters, book reviews and occasionally pieces for a more general audience.
At the moment, I am working on two major projects: 1) a second solo book on decline tentatively titled Before Defeat: Rethinking the Decline of the East and the Future of the West (under contract with CUP); 2) a five-year research project led by Prof Rebecca Adler-Nissen on diplomacy and social-media (DIPLOFACE), which has substantial European Research Council funding. I am also a part of the CHOIR project led by Prof Halvard Leira (NUPI), funded by the Norwegian Research Council for 10 Million NOK and the EMPRISE project led by Dr Benjamin de Carvalho, also of NUPI.
During the 2012-3 Academic Year, I was a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow. I completed my fellowship at the Congressional Research Service (US Library of Congress) in Washington, DC, within the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Defense Section, where I conducted research on rising powers. My research contributions have been recognised by a number of other funding institutions and professional associations as well, e.g. earning me the designation of 'rising star' in 2015 from the IR section of Swedish Political Science Association (SWEPSA). I have held visiting fellowships at CRASSH (University of Cambridge), the Norwegian Nobel Institute and the University of Copenhagen. Next, I will be a visiting scholar at the University of Queensland, Australia, during August-September 2020.
Since 2010, I have been a member of the PONARS Eurasia international academic network which advances new policy approaches to research and security in Russia and Eurasia. In 2017-8, I was the co-program chair for the European International Studies Association's 12th Pan-European Conference, held in Prague in September 2018. Between 2016-2020, I was also an Associate Editor for Journal of Global Security Studies, an ISA journal. Currently, I am a Series Editor for the Palgrave Studies in International Relations, and the program chair for the Historical International Relations Section of the ISA. I also serve on a number of international advisory and editorial boards of book series, as well as journals such as, International Organization, Review of International Studies, International Theory and International Studies Review.
* Photo was taken in May 2019, at a panel hosted by the University of Copenhagen, on the future of the international order. Left to right: Anders Wivel, Ole Waever, me, Barry Buzan, T.V. Paul
Last updated March 2020.