Berk Esen

Assistant Professor

Berk Esen


Department of International Relations
Bilkent University
06800 Bilkent, Ankara




+90 (312) 2901312


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Berk Esen is Assistant Professor of International Relations at Bilkent University. He received his Ph.D. in Government from Cornell University in 2015. His research and teaching interests include political economy of development, party politics, state-building, democratization, and authoritarian regimes with a focus on Latin America and the Middle East. Prior to joining Bilkent University, he worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Sabanci University and in 2014-2015 was a visiting researcher at Columbia University's Institute of Latin American Studies and European Institute. His articles have appeared in the Third World Quarterly, Turkish Studies, and the Middle East Review of International Affairs.

Dr. Esen's doctoral thesis investigates why the common challenge of late development has generated starkly different policy responses and political outcomes in the global south. Drawing on 18 months of fieldwork, it analyzes how national leaders in Turkey, Mexico, Argentina, and Egypt reacted to trade imbalances, military threats, and political turmoil during the first half of the 20th century with a combined agenda of economic nationalism and state-led industrialization, establishing what he terms National Developmentalist states.


  • BA. Political Science and Economics - Vanderbilt University
  • MA. Political Science - Sabanci University
  • MA. Integrated Social Sciences - Jacobs University Bremen
  • MA. Government - Cornell University
  • Ph.D. Government - Cornell University