2020/ 2021

Imren Borsuk

Social Cohesion and Conflict in Turkey: From Democratization to Democratic Backsliding

Previous Fellowships: 2019/ 2020

Imren Borsuk holds a PhD in Political Science and International Relations from Koc University, Istanbul. From 2020 to 2021, she is a EUME Fellow at the Forum Transregionale Studien. Her work focuses on communal violence, ethnic conflicts, interethnic relations, political geography, and urban poverty with extensive research on Turkey and Turkey’s Kurdish conflict. She is the co-editor of Social Coexistence and Violence during Turkey’s Authoritarian Transition (2021, Southeast European and Black Sea Studies). She is a recipient of the Swedish Institute postdoc scholarship, Bourse d'Excellence by the French Government, and TÜBİTAK (Turkish Academy of Sciences) research fellowships. Imren Borsuk’s work has appeared in Environment and Planning, European Urban and Regional Studies, Southeast European and Black Sea Studies, Journal of International Relations, and Transparency International, among others.


Social Cohesion and Conflict in Turkey: From Democratization to Democratic Backsliding 

For a long time, peace and conflict have been studied separately as if these two phenomena are disparate and disconnected from each other. This has led scholars to conceive the countries 'at war' in a sort of chaos in which institutions have collapsed and violence wreak havoc on everyday life. However, the new conflict studies point out the spatial and heterogeneous dynamics of conflict as multiple forms of violence may occur in countries with limited rates of spatial overlap. Moreover, there are also ongoing networks of cooperation and collaboration in society even for the countries ‘at war’. This failure to consider the dynamics of social coexistence had led to an underspecification of the causal mechanisms that drive peaceful forms of cohabitation, and an overstatement of political violence and societal conflict in the dominant literature. Borsuk’s work analyzes the dynamics of cohabitation and varieties of violence that change under the pressure of authoritarian resurgence through the prism of Turkey.

2019/ 2020

From Ethnic Mobilization into Communal Conflict: Turkey's Kurdish Problem

Scholars have recently devoted large amounts of attention to how and why ethnic conflicts start and spread over the contested terrains and among the population. However, less attention has been given to precisely how the dynamics of ethnic violence change in time and space. In this project, Imren Borsuk Eroglu investigates how the forms of ethnic violence change over time and space from ethnic insurgency into intercommunal violence and discuss the mechanisms that trigger the rise of communal conflict in a context of democratic transition in Turkey.