Burak Tansel

Dr Cemal Burak Tansel

Anniversary Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

Contact Details:
Telephone: 0114 222 0660
Room: Elmfield Lodge
Email: c.b.tansel@sheffield.ac.uk
Feedback and consultation hours:
Thursday 09:00-11:00


Dr Cemal Burak Tansel is Anniversary Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Politics at the University of Sheffield. He completed his doctorate at the University of Nottingham in 2015 after successfully defending his thesis on state formation and capitalist development in modern Turkey. Prior to joining the department at Sheffield, Burak was a fellow of the Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice and taught modules in International Relations and International Political Economy at the University of Nottingham.

Burak’s 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 (Rowman & Littlefield International, 2017) and published peer-reviewed research articles in the European Journal of International Relations, Review of International Studies and Journal of International Relations and Development. His thematic review articles and book reviews have appeared in, among others, Development and Change, Review of Radical Political Economics, Capital & Class and Geographica Helvetica. He contributes to a number of online outlets, including openDemocracy, The Conversation, SPERI Comment, Jadaliyya and Progress in Political Economy.

Dr Tansel is currently acting as a programme co-chair for the European International Studies Association’s 11th Pan-European Conference on International Relations.


My teaching involves the application of methods that (I) address the explicit and hidden hierarchies within the classroom and encourage the students to articulate their own standpoints through active participation; (II) concretise how theoretical frameworks reflect and shape the way in which we interpret global politics; (III) stress the significance of alternative methodologies and forms of knowledge beyond the dominant paradigms in IR theory. I employ role-playing methods and audio-visual interactive teaching techniques to encourage the students to take an active role in shaping the discussion. These methods also challenge the students to utilise alternative frameworks that they might not have considered otherwise.

I remain committed to providing a rich learning experience to my students beyond the classroom. To this end, I provide my students with links to relevant blog posts, magazine articles, audio and video clips as well as contributing to the social media discussions of the modules I teach.

I am currently leading the postgraduate module POL612: The Political Economy of Globalisation.


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

I. 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.

II. 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.

Publications and Papers


View full list of publications

Key Publications

• Tansel, C.B. (ed.) (2017) States of Discipline: Authoritarian Neoliberalism and the Contested Reproduction of Capitalist Order. London: Rowman & Littlefield International.
• Tansel, C.B. (2016) Geopolitics, Social Forces and the International: Revisiting the ‘Eastern Question’. Review of International Studies, 42(3): 492–512.
• Tansel, C.B. (2015) Deafening Silence? Marxism, International Historical Sociology and the Spectre of Eurocentrism. European Journal of International Relations, 21(1): 76–100.
• Tansel, C.B. (2015) The Politics of Contemporary Capitalism in Turkey (and the Politics of its Interlocutors). Development and Change, 46(3): 570–584.

Professional Service

Chaired & Organised Events

• Conference programme co-chair with Dr Victoria Basham, European International Studies Association 11th Pan-European Conference on International Relations (13–16 September 2017, Barcelona).

Convened Conference Sections & Panels

• Section co-chair with Dr Ian Bruff, Authoritarian Neoliberalism: Philosophies, Practices, Processes. European International Studies Association 10th Pan-European Conference on International Relations (7–10 September 2016, Izmir).
• Panel convenor, Reassessing the State of Neoliberalism. Political Studies Association 66th Annual International Conference (21–23 March 2016, Brighton).
• Panel co-convenor with Prof Adam David Morton, Gramsci on Tahrir: Roundtable on Revolution and Counter-revolution in Egypt. Political Studies Association 66th Annual International Conference (21–23 March 2016, Brighton).
• Panel co-convenor with Dr Sébastien Rioux, Marxism and International Relations Theory: Quo Vadis? European International Studies Association 9th Pan-European Conference on International Relations (23–26 September 2015, Giardini Naxos).
• Panel convenor, Revolution and Identity in the Middle East: Perspectives from Historical Sociology. British International Studies Association 40th Anniversary Conference (16–19 June 2015, London).
• Panel co-convenor with Prof Adam David Morton, A Time and a Place for Gramsci. Political Studies Association 65th Annual International Conference (30 March–1 April 2015, Sheffield).

Invited Talks

• Invited speaker at the research seminar Social Movements, Political Parties and the State, organised by Movements@Manchester and Global Political Economy Research Cluster (27 April 2016, Manchester).
• Invited speaker at the roundtable Protests and Social Movements in Turkey, organised by the South East European Studies at Oxford (28 May 2014, Oxford).


Capital & Class (2014), Constellations (2015), European Journal of International Relations (2013, 2016), Global Society (2014), Historical Materialism (2016), Millennium: Journal of International Studies (2016), Review of International Political Economy (2016), Urban Geography (2015).

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