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Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)



Professor Ayse Zarakol

Fellow at Emmanuel College


Ayşe Zarakol is a Professor of International Relations in POLIS and a Fellow at Emmanuel College. Professor Zarakol's primary research interests are in international theory and security (with an emphasis on approaches rooted in social theory and historical sociology). More specifically, she works on the evolution of East and West relations in the international order, the history of international orders and sovereignty, and the politics of non-Western powers. 

She is the author of After Defeat: How the East Learned to Live with the West (Cambridge Studies in International Relations, no.118, Cambridge University Press, 2011; published with a new introduction in Turkish as Yenilgiden Sonra: Doğu Batıile Yaşamayı Nasıl Öğrendi (Koç Üniversitesi Yayınları, 2012; second edition in 2019).

Her articles have appeared in journals such as International Organization, International Theory, International Studies Quarterly, European Journal of International Relations, Review of International Studies, among many others. Her edited book Hierarchies in World Politics (Cambridge Studies in International Relations, no.144, Cambridge University Press, 2017), was a runner-up for the 2019 ISA Theory section prize.

Her research has been supported by a number of academic and government institutions in the UK, North America and Europe, and she has held visiting fellowships with the Council on Foreign Relations, the Oslo Nobel Institute and CRASSH, to name a few. Her next book, which studies sovereignty and international orders from an (Eur)asian perspective, will be published by Cambridge University Press.

Professor Zarakol serves on the following editorial boards: International Organization, International Theory, Review of International Studies, International Relations, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Global Constitutionalism, New Area Studies, Relacianes Internacionales.  She is also a member of the international PONARS Eurasia network which advances new approaches to research and security in Eurasia. 



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Key Publications




Before the West: Rise and Fall of Eastern World Orders. ​Cambridge University Press, [2022]. FORTHCOMING




Hierarchies in World Politics. Cambridge University Press, 2017. 
Ayşe Zarakol (editor & contributor); David Lake; Andrew Phillips; Michael Barnett; Laura Sjoberg; Vincent Pouliot; J.C. Sharman; Alex Cooley; Sarah Stroup and Wendy Wong; Rebecca Adler-Nissen; Shogo Suzuki; Jack Donnelly. 





After Defeat: How the East Learned to Live with the West. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011.






Yenilgiden Sonra: Doğu Batı ile Yaşamayı Nasıl Öğrendi. trans. Barış Cezar. Istanbul, Turkey: Koç University Press, 2012. (with a new Introduction)





2021. (with Rebecca Adler-Nissen). 'Struggles for Recognition: The Liberal International Order and the Merger of its Discontents', International Organization (75th Anniversary Special Issue edited by David Lake, Lisa Martin and Thomas Risse). 75.2: 611-34.

2021.  'Anatomies of Revolution and Global Historical Sociology', Debating Anatomies of Revolution Forum hosted by Progress in Political Economy blog. April.

2021. 'Linking up the Ottoman Empire with IR's timeline', Routledge Handbook of Historical International Relations. Routledge. pp. 464-76. 

2021. 'Literary Hierarchies and Their Academic Parallels'. Symposium on Orhan Pamuk and the Good of World Literature. Syndicate Network. 

2021. 'Book Review: The Rebirth of Area Studies: Challenges for History, Politics and International Relations in the 21st Century', The Slavonic and East European Review 99.2: 393-94. 

2020. Did the COVID19 Pandemic End the 'Long Twentieth Century'? Symposium on Global Governance in the Age of COVID, Northwestern University. 

2020. 'Europe: A Family, A Marriage, A Social Club or Something Else Altogether?' in Giulio Squillacciotti, ed., What Has Left Since We Left: Europe through six metaphors​. Eindhoven, NL: ​Onomatopee.

2020. 'Use of Historical Analogies in IR Theory', ISSF Roundtable XII-2 on 'Steve Chan. Thucydides’s Trap?  Historical Interpretation, Logic of Inquiry, and the Future of Sino-American Relations.' H-Diplo. November 9.  

2020.  'On Global Historical Sociology: the inaugural Fletcher Prize Forum', Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 33:6, 888-890.

2020. (with Jelena Subotic). 'Historical Narratives, Memory and Emotions in International Relations', in Simon Koschut, ed., The Power of Emotions in World Politics​. London: Routledge.

2020. 'The Ottomans and Diversity', in Andrew Phillips and Chris Reus-Smit, eds., Culture and Order in World Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

2019.  (with Zeynep Gülşah Çapan).'Turkey's Ambivalent Self: Ontological Insecurity in "Kemalism" vs. "Erdoğanism"', Cambridge Review of International Affairs 32.3: 263-282.

2019. 'Rise of the Rest: As Hype and Reality', International Relations  33.2 [Special Issue: Reflections on a Century of International Politics]: ​213–228.

2019. 'Turkish Foreign Policy', in Takashi Inoguchi, ed. The SAGE Handbook of Asian Foreign Policy​. Sage. 

2018. 'A Non-Eurocentric Approach to Sovereignty', International Studies Review​ 3.20, Forum: In the Beginning There was No Word (for it): Terms, Concepts and Early Sovereignty: 489-520 (page numbers for entire forum). 

2018. 'Sovereign Equality as Misrecognition', Review of International Studies​. 44.5: 848-62.

2018  (with Zeynep Gülşah Çapan). 'Between "East" and "West": Travelling Theories, Travelling Imaginations', in Andreas Gofas, Inanna Hamati-Ataya and Nicholas Onuf, eds., The SAGE Handbook of the History, Philosophy and Sociology of International Relations. ​Sage.

2017. 'Introduction: Theorising Hierarchies', in Ayşe Zarakol, ed., Hierarchies in World Politics. Cambridge Studies in International Relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

2017. 'Why Hierarchy?', in Ayşe Zarakol, ed., Hierarchies in World Politics. Cambridge Studies in International Relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

2017. 'Are Eurocentrism and Babel the only options?' Contribution to a post-publication ISQ Symposium on 'Comparing International Systems in World History: Anarchy, Hierarchy, and Culture', pp. 6-7.

2017  (with Zeynep Gülşah Çapan). 'Postcolonial colonialism? The case of Turkey', in Charlotte Epstein, ed. Against International Relations Norms. Routledge. 

2017. ‘Türkiye ve Rusya: Tarihsel Benzerlikler’, in Gencer Özcan, Evren Balta, Burç Beşgül (eds.) Kuşku ile Komşuluk: Türkiye ve Rusya İlişkilerinde Değişen Dinamikler. İstanbul İletişim Yayınları.

2017. 'States and Ontological Security: A Historical Rethinking',  Cooperation & Conflict​. 52.1: 48-68.

2017. 'TRIPping Constructivism'. PS: Political Science & Politics 50.1: 75-78.

2016. 'Thoughts on How the West Came to Rule', Spectrum: Journal of Global Studies 8.1: 21-30.

2016 (with Janice Bially Mattern). 'Hierarchies in World Politics', International Organization vol. 70, no. 3: 623-54. 

2016. Contribution to 'ISSF Roundtable 8-10 on The Global Transformation: History, Modernity and the Making of International Relations by Barry Buzan and George Lawson', H-Diplo/ISSF Roundtable Reviews vol. VIII, no. 10:  12-13.

2016. ‘Is Judicialization Good for Democracy: A Comparative Discussion,’ in Giorgi Areshidze, Paul Carrese and Suzanna Sherry, eds., Constitutionalism, Executive Power, and the Spirit of Moderation: Essays in Honor of Murray P. Dry. SUNY Press.

2015. 'Afterword: Creating a Community of Area Studies in a Changing World,' in Edith Clowes and Shelly Jarrett Bromberg, eds., Area Studies in the Global Age: Community, Place, Identity​. Northern Illinois University Press.

2015. 'Recalling the caliphate: decolonization and world order by S.Sayyid', Cambridge Review of International Affairs vol. 28, no. 3: 508-9. [Book review]

2015. Contribution to ‘Roundtable: International History and Reconceptualizing Empire’, International History and Politics Section Newsletter of the American Political Science
Association (APSA), vol. 1, issue 1.

2015. 'The Interplay between Regional International Societies: A Response to Thomas Linsenmaier', Global Discourse vol.5, no.3: 467-9.  

2015. 'Opting out of the European Union: diplomacy, sovereignty and European integration by Rebecca Adler-Nissen', Global Affairs vol.1, no.2: 216-8. [Book review]

2014. 'What made the modern world hang together: socialisation or stigmatisation?' International Theory vol.6, no.2: 311-332.

2014. 'Emerging Powers', Journal of Asian Studies vol.73, no.3: 778-80. [Book review]