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.
My research is at the intersection of historical sociology and IR, focusing on East-West relations in the international system, 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. 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.
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. In 2016, I held visiting fellowships at CRASSH (University of Cambridge), the Norwegian Nobel Institute and the University of Copenhagen. The contributions of my research have been recognised by a number of funding institutions and professional associations, most recently earning me the designation of 'rising star' from the IR section of Swedish Political Science Association (SWEPSA). I was the co-program chair for the European International Studies Association's 12th Pan-European Conference, held in Prague in September 2018.
Currently, I am an Associate Editor at the Journal of Global Security Studies (an ISA publication), 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. I am also a member of the PONARS Eurasia international academic network which advances new policy approaches to research and security in Russia and Eurasia.
At the moment, I am working on two major projects: 1) a second solo book on decline (near completion); 2) a five-year research project led by Professor 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 Dr Halvard Leira (NUPI), recently funded by the Norwegian Research Council for 10 Million NOK and the EMPRISE project led by Dr Benjamin de Carvalho, also of NUPI.
* 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 July 2019.