Murat Akan

Invited Researcher of DEA Programme
Stay in France: from September 2th to September 30th, 2019

Murat Akan is Associate Professor of Comparative Politics, Political Theory, and Turkish Politics. in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Boğaziçi University. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University. He was a researcher in-residence at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity (2012-2013), a visiting scholar at the Institute for Middle East Studies in George Washington University,  and at Groupe Sociétés, Religions, Laïcités, CNRS-EPHE-PSL.  He is a resident fellow at the Nantes Institute for Advanced Study for the academic year starting in October 2019.

The projet 

Title: Challenges to Secularism and Democracy in Turkey and India: speech, education, violence, and regime

Keywords: Secularism, Democracy and De-democratization, Constitutions, Turkey, France, India, Comparative Studies

Selected publications


The Politics of Secularism: Religion, Diversity, and Institutional Change in France and Turkey (New York: Columbia University Press, 2017).

Peer-reviewed Articles:

  • “Looking Beyond ‘Imaginary’ Analytics and Hermeneutics in Comparative Politics,” Philosophy & Social Criticism 43: 4 - 5 (2017). (SSCI)     
  • Diversité: Challenging or Constituting Laïcité?,” French Cultural Studies 28:1 (2017). (SSCI)
  • “Turkey’s Attempt at a New Constitution in Political Context,” Anayasa Hukuku Dergisi (Journal of Constitutional Law) 3:6 (2014).
  • "A Politics of Comparative Conceptualizations and Institutions: Two non-European Images on European Secularity in the Writing of the 1961 Turkish Constitution," Max Planck Institute Working Paper 13-02 (2013).
  • "The Infrastructural Politics of Laiklik in the Writing of the 1961 Turkish Constitution," Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies 13:2 (2011). (SSCI)
  • "Laïcité and Multiculturalism: The Stasi Report in Context," British Journal of Sociology 60: 2 (2009).    (SSCI)                         
  • “Contextualizing Multiculturalism,” Studies in Comparative International Development 38: 2 (2003).     (SSCI)

Chapters in Edited Volumes:

  • “Secularism,” in Oxford Handbook of Turkish Politics edited by Güneş Murat Tezcur (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021), In Preparation.
  • “Contested Comparisons: A Key to a Political Field Across Contexts,” in What Does Asia Tell Us About the Secular? edited by Pascal Bourdeaux, Eddy Dufourmont, M.-D. Even, André Laliberté, Rémy Madinier. In Preparation.
  • “Twin Tolerations or Siamese Twins: Kemalist Laicism and Political Islam in Turkey,” in Institutions and Democracy: Essays in Honor of Alfred Stepan edited by Douglas Chalmers and Scott Mainwaring (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2012).

Book Reviews:

  • “Book Review: Nilüfer Göle. Islam and Secularity: The Future of Europe’s Public Sphere. Durham: Duke University Press, 2015 and Nilüfer Göle, Musulmans au quotidien: Une enquête européenne sur les controverses autour de l’islam. Paris: La Découverte, 2015,” European Journal of Sociology 57:3 (2016).
  • "Book Review: Umut Azak. Islam and Secularism in Turkey: Kemalism, Religion and the Nation State. London: I.B. Tauris, 2010," New Perspectives on Turkey 46:1 (2012).

Newspaper Articles and Editorial Essays:

  • “A New Constitution for Turkey without Democracy,” editorial essay in E-International Relations (, 14 January 2012. [OA]
  • “La Turquía de Atatürk: las raices, ramas y mitos del laicismo kemalista,”  Vanguardia Dossier n. 32 (July/September 2009)
  • “Laiklik Üzerine” Birgün 05 June 2007. [OA]