Research Team

Dr Seçkin Sertdemir Özdemir

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Seçkin Sertdemir Özdemir is Research Officer and Visiting Fellow in European Institute at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She was previously visiting researcher in the Centre for Research on Modern European Philosophy, Kingston University from 2016 to 2017, and worked as a research fellow from 2003 to 2016 and then an assistant professor in the department of philosophy at Galatasaray University in 2016. After completing her joint PhD thesis on the meaning of political freedom of Alexis de Tocqueville and Hannah Arendt at Paris VII-Denis Diderot University and Galatasaray University, her primary research goal was directed towards understanding the meaning of democracy and its paradoxes and on the current problems of political philosophy such as civil disobedience, voluntary servitude, the meaning of action, and civic rights.

Her vision for the field of political philosophy is an interdisciplinary and international one that seeks to relate real-world problems and events to larger questions about political participation and ethical ways of living together in a swiftly shrinking world. Her recent publications include “Exile and plurality in neoliberal times: Turkey's academics for peace” (with Nil Mutluer and Esra Özyürek), Public Culture, vol. 31, no. 2, 2019; “Pity the exiled: Turkish academics in exile, the problem of compassion in politics and the promise of dis-exile”, Journal of Refugee Studies, February 2019 and “Civil and Civic death in the New Authoritarianisms: Punishment of Dissidents in Turkey” (with Esra Özyürek), British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, July 2019. She received for the paper titled ‘Citizenship deprivation, securitisation, and the neoliberal academy: academic purges in Turkey, 1933–2019’ the Best Conference Paper prize at the Past, Present and Future in the Middle East and Africa, Twelfth Annual Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa Conference (ASMEA) on 1st November 2019, Washington D.C., USA.


Dr Mehmet Kurt



Mehmet Kurt is a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Global Fellow at the London School of Economics (LSE) and Yale University. His research lies at the intersection of political science, sociology, and political ethnography with a specific focus on political Islam and civil society in Kurdish Turkey and among the Turkish diaspora in Europe and the USA. He examines the relationship between state policy and non-state actors to better understand Islamist mobilisation, its political, social, and economic grounds, and its influences on the masses in comparative perspective. He received his PhD from Selçuk University. He was a research assistant at Yale University, an assistant professor at Bingöl University (Turkey) and a British Academy Newton Advanced Fellow at Queen Mary University of London. He recently took part in the Dialogue about Radicalisation and Extremism (DARE) EU Horizon 2020 Project at the University of Manchester, before joining the LSE.

Kurt has published a monograph titled Kurdish Hizbullah in Turkey: Islamism, Violence, and the State (Pluto 2017). He has published widely in both English and Turkish on religion, civil society, human rights, and politics across Turkey and the Middle East.

In addition to his academic scholarship, Kurt has directed/co-directed an array of highly-received documentaries and ethnographic films, including The Seven Doors (forthcoming, 2019), I Miss my Country (2016), and Tandoor House (2015). He is also a regular contributor to media outlets across Europe and the Middle East, including the BBC, Open Democracy, Al Jazeera, and Jadaliyya.