Professor of Political Science, San Diego State University

I am a professor of political science at San Diego State University. Previously, I was the assistant director of the Center for the Study of Democracy, Toleration, and Religion at Columbia University.

I am the author of "Secularism and State Policies toward Religion: The United States, France, and Turkey" (Cambridge University Press), which received the book award of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. I co-edited (with Alfred Stepan) "Democracy, Islam, and Secularism in Turkey" (Columbia University Press). My works have been translated into Arabic, Chinese, French, Indonesian, and Turkish.

My new book, "Islam, Authoritarianism, and Underdevelopment: A Global and Historical Comparison" (Cambridge University Press 2019) proposes a comparative understanding of Muslim and Western European countries. It analyzes the problems of violence, authoritarianism, and socioeconomic underdevelopment in the Muslim world from history to present, by criticizing both essentialist and post-colonial explanations.

I have given interviews and written op-eds in various media outlets, including Boston’s NPR, China Radio, Ahram, Ahval, The National Interest, Daily Beast, openDemocracy, Georgetown Berkley Forum, and Montreal Review, on Islam and politics, particularly in Turkey.


  • 2006–present
    Professor of Political Science, San Diego State University


  • 2006 
    University of Washington, Seattle, PhD, Political Science