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Traversing Boundaries between the Public and the Private: The Case of Female Mukhtars in Turkey — Senem Yıldırım

Senem Yıldırım

When: Monday, February 12, 2018
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM CT

Where: Kresge Hall, 1-515 (The Forum), 1880 Campus Drive , Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Danny Postel  

Group: Middle East and North African Studies

Co-Sponsor: Keyman Modern Turkish Studies (Northwestern Buffett)

Category: Lectures & Meetings


Local politics is recognized as an indispensable element of modern representative democracy. Since democracy has a universal claim of equal participation and representation, studying the experiences of disadvantaged groups within the society becomes important. Following these claims, Senem Yıldırım examines the experiences of women in local politics in Turkey. The analysis of the data from interviews with randomly selected female mukhtars (local heads of villages or neighborhoods) provides insight into how women’s participation and representation in local politics at the mukhtarship level affect their political empowerment and how boundaries between the public and private spheres are traversed in the Turkish political context.

Senem Yıldırım is a Fulbright visiting researcher at the Keyman Modern Turkish Studies Program, Buffett Institute for Global Studies, Northwestern. She is an assistant professor of political science and public administration at Antalya AKEV University in Turkey. She received her doctorate in political science in 2011 from Bilkent University in Turkey. Her research focuses on the public-private divide in contemporary political theory, the gendered nature of this dichotomy, and the concepts of the social, the political, and civil society. Her publications have appeared in the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies (2017), Theory in Action (2016), The European Legacy: Toward New Paradigms (2014), and Southeast European and Black Sea Studies (2011).


co-sponsored by the Keyman Modern Turkish Studies Program, Buffett Institute for Global Studies

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