Dr Cemal Burak Tansel

Department of Politics and International Relations

Lecturer in International Politics

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+44 114 222 0660
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Dr Cemal Burak Tansel
Department of Politics and International Relations
Elmfield Building
Northumberland Road
S10 2TU

Dr Cemal Burak Tansel is a Lecturer in International Politics in the Department of Politics & International Relations.

His research focuses on the historical sociology of state formation and capitalist development in the Middle East and the political economy of development. He is the editor of States of Discipline: Authoritarian Neoliberalism and the Contested Reproduction of Capitalist Order, and the special issues Decoding the Repertoires of Authoritarian Neoliberalism in Turkey and Authoritarian Neoliberalism: Philosophies, Practices, Contestations (with Ian Bruff).

His research has been published in the European Journal of International RelationsNew Political EconomyReview of International StudiesSouth European Society and PoliticsGlobalizationsThe South Atlantic Quarterly and Journal of International Relations and Development. He teaches courses on the political economy of global capitalism, historical materialism and the historical sociology of the Middle East.

He is a Governing Board member of the European International Studies Association and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He is currently co-chairing the EISA Pan-European Conference on International Relations Standing Section Political Economy Beyond Boundaries (2020–2022) with Lisa Tilley.

Research interests

My current research programme comprises two projects on the question of the state and economic development.

Authoritarian Neoliberalism and the State

This project explores the centrality of the state’s administrative, coercive and legal branches in promoting and reproducing neoliberal governance in the Middle East and beyond. The project aims to contribute to the recent literature that focuses on the ways in which neoliberalism is maintained politically through a matrix of ‘non-market’ apparatuses—such as the state’s coercive and administrative apparatuses—and the deepening of ‘market’ relations.

State Formation and Social Change in the Middle East

Building on my doctoral thesis, this strand of my research programme investigates the socio-economic, political and ideological dimensions of the capitalist state formation in the Middle East. Formulated within a historical materialist framework, the project seeks to unravel the extent/limits of the structural factors that forged the post-Ottoman trajectory of the region as well as to underscore the ways in which social struggles shaped the processes of state formation.


Edited books

  • Bruff I & Tansel C (Ed.) (2019) Authoritarian Neoliberalism: Philosophies, Practices, Contestations. Routledge. RIS download Bibtex download
Research group

I currently supervise two PhD students:

I would be delighted to receive proposals from prospective doctoral researchers planning to work in the areas of:

  • The political economy of development
  • Historical sociology of the Middle East
  • Contemporary Egyptian and Turkish politics
  • Authoritarian neoliberalism
  • Historical materialist and postcolonial/decolonial approaches in IR Theory
  • Marxist historiography

If you are you interested in pursuing a PhD degree under my supervision, please read my suggestions and guidelines for prospective PhD students.

Teaching activities

I currently convene the following modules:

POL217 The Political Economy of Global Capitalism (Level 2).
POL3030 Marx and Contemporary Marxism (Level 3).
POL3031 The Making of the Modern Middle East (Level 3).