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Mustafa Gurbuz Adjunct Professorial Lecturer Department of Sociology

Send email to Mustafa Gurbuz
Arab World Studies Program Mary Graydon 327 Office Hours: By Appointment
Additional Positions at AU
Policy Analyst at Arab Center Washington DC
Ph.D. University of Connecticut; M.A. University of Connecticut; M.A. Bilkent University; B.A. Bilkent University

Book Currently Reading
Wael Hallaq, Impossible State: Islam, Politics, and Modernity's Moral Predicament
Mustafa Gurbuz is a political sociologist whose research focuses on political violence and terrorism, conflict resolution, social movements, Muslims in the West, and ethnic/sectarian politics in the Middle East. His publications appeared in Sociological Inquiry, Sociological Forum, Middle East Critique, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, European Journal of Turkish Studies, and Research in Social Movements, Conflict, and Change. Dr. Gurbuz is the author of Rival Kurdish Movements in Turkey: Transforming Ethnic Conflict (Amsterdam University Press, 2016).
See Also
Personal webpage
For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Selected Publications


Rival Kurdish Movements in Turkey:

Transforming Ethnic Conflict  

Amsterdam University Press, 2016>)


2015“Ideology in Action: Symbolic Localization of Kurdistan Workers' Party in Turkey”   Sociological Inquiry 85: 1-27.

2014“Toward a Sociology of Global Islam: Revisiting Muslim Ethnicities in the West”  Sociological Forum 29: 756-63. 

2012‘Sold Out to the Enemy’: Emerging Symbolic Boundaries in Kurdish Politics and Strategic Uses of Labeling Treason.” European Journal of Turkish Studies vol. 14

2012 “‘Thou Shall Not Protest!’: Multi-Institutional Politics, Strategic Non-Confrontation and Islamic Mobilizations in Turkey” Research in Social Movements, Conflict, and Change 34: 63-91. 

2009 “Over the Bodies of the T-Girls: The Headscarf Ban as a Secular Effort to Monopolize Islam in Turkey.” Middle East Critique 18 (3): 231-49.

2009 “Between Sacred Codes and Secular Consumer Society: The Practice of Headscarf Adoption among American College Girls.” Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs 29 (3): 387-99.

2009   “Union Organizing Effort and Success in the U.S., 1948-2004.” Research in Social Stratification and Mobility 27 (1): 13-34.

Book Chapters & Contributions to Edited Volumes

2013 “Revitalization of Kurdish Islamic Sphere and Revival of Hizbullah in Turkey.” In Fevzi Bilgin and Ali Sarihan, eds., Understanding Turkey’s Kurdish Question. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

2009  (with<>Bandana Purkayastha) “From Gandhi to Gülen: The Habitus of Non-aggressive Action.” Pp. 166-78 in Islam in the Age of Global Challenges: Alternative Perspectives of the Gülen Movement, edited by H. Ali Yurtsever, Somerset, NJ: Tughra Books.

  • Reprinted in Turkish pp. 79-98 in Şiddetsiz Aksiyon Istanbul: Nil (2011).
  • Reprinted in The Muslim World and Politics in Transition: Creative Contributions of the Gülen Movement edited by Greg Barton, Ihsan Yilmaz and Paul Weller. London: Continuum (2013).

2008  “Identity Politics.” Encyclopedia of Social Problems, ed. Vincent N. Parrillo, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

2008  “Collective Consciousness.” Encyclopedia of Social Problems, ed. Vincent N. Parrillo, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

2007  “Performing Moral Opposition: Musings on the Strategy and Identity in the Gülen movement,<>” Pp. 104-17 in Muslim World in Transition: Contributions of the Gülen Movement<>, ed. İhsan Yılmaz, London: Leeds Metropolitan University Press.

Commentary & Book Reviews

2014               Modest Fashion: Styling Bodies, Mediating Faith by Reina Lewis, Ed., Journal of Contemporary Religion 29: 360-62.

2013                Muslim Reformers in Iran and Turkey: The Paradox of Moderation by Güneş Murat Tezcür, Contemporary Islam 7: 237-39.

2013              Taking a Step towards the Arab Street: Review of Tariq Ramadan's Islam and the Arab Awakening (Oxford Univ Press, 2012) Mobilizing Ideas May 2013

2010                Democracy in Modern Iran: Islam, Culture, and Political Change by Ali Mirsepassi, Mobilization 15(4): 538-39.

2009               Why the French Don’t Like Headscarves: Islam, the State, and Public Space (by John R. Bowen) and The Politics of the Veil (by Joan Wallach Scott), British Journal of Sociology 60 (4): 836-38.

2008                “Which‘Right’ Islam? A Commentary on Etzioni and Bergesen,” Sociological Forum 23 (4): 846.

2005                 The Road to Al-Qaeda: The Story of Bin Laden’s Right-Hand Man by Montasser Al-Zayyat, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs 25 (3): 465-67.

2002                Science and the Open Society: The Future of Karl Popper's Philosophy by Mark Amadeus Notturno, Millennium: Journal of International Studies 31 (1): 185-87.

2001                 Unipolarity and the Middle East by Birthe Hansen, Millennium: Journal of International Studies 30 (2): 430-31.  

Media Appearances


At Crosstalk with Peter Lavelle on Turkey's changing policy in Syria 

The "Glocal" Effect: Rethinking Religious Nationalism and Radicalization

Brookings Institution, June 7, 2016


What Turkey Really Wants in Syria?

Syria Deeply, February 26, 2016

Turkey-Russia Spat: What Does it Mean in the Long Term?

Rudaw, December 5, 2015



Turkey's Snap Elections: Explaining the AKP Victory

Rethink Analysis, November 2, 2015


What is at Stake for US in Kurdistan's Political Turmoil?  Rudaw, October 20, 2015 


Turkey's Syria Strategy: All About Domestic Politics? 

War on the Rocks, August 27, 2015


Turkey's Double War against IS and PKK

Vocal International, August 2, 2015


Turkey's Post Election Nightmare and Possible Syria Quagmire

Rudaw, July 27, 2015


Critical Period for Hizbullah in Turkey's Tense Southeast

Hurriyet Daily News, June 20, 2015

Will Turkey's Election End Hopes for Turkish-Kurdish Rapprochement?

Informed Comment, June 6, 2015

Turkey's Kurds Weigh an Election Choice

The Daily Star, Mar 3, 2015

Kurds' Electoral Gamble

Sada, Feb 24, 2015

Will the AKP-Gulen Rift Save Turkey's Secularists?

Today's Zaman, Jan 5, 2015

What Fuels Militant Islamism

Informed Comment, Dec 17, 2014

ISIS and the Question of Foreign Fighters

Rudaw, Nov 16, 2014

US-PYD Rapprochement: A Shift in Washington's Strategy?

Rudaw,  Oct 24, 2014

The Kobane Crisis: Where are Turkey, the PKK, and the Kurds Going?

Informed Comment, Oct 19, 2014

Ankara's ISIS Conundrum

Rudaw, September 26, 2014

How Effective will Erdogan be as Turkey's New President?

Informed Comment, August 20, 2014