PHD Course Contents

Please visit the following website for the details of the course contents of the Political Science and International Relations Department PhD Program:


SBU6000  Ph.D. Thesis

The PhD Thesis course is offered every semester. Students are required to register to the course, after their thesis proposals are accepted, until they successfully defend their theses or are expelled from the program according to the resolutions of the related regulations. Students are considered successful in this course when their theses are accepted.

SBU6001 Seminar

SBU6100 Russia: History, Politics and Society

This course focuses on the history of Russia, from the early period Russia to the collapse of the Soviet Union. The topics covered include the Early Period Russian History and the Problem of Waregs, the Period of Kiev Dukedom, the Mongolian Invasion and the Period of the Golden Orda Khanate, Ivan IV and the Rise of Moscow Dukedom, Ivan the Terrible and the Russian Tsardom, the Period of Peter the Great/Mad, the Period of Ekaterina II, Russian Politics in the 19th Century, Alexander II and the Period of Reforms, the Revolutions of 1905 and 1917, Soviets under Lenin, Soviets under Stalin, the Cold War and the USSR, and the Collapse of the USSR.             

SBU6101 Theories of Power and State

The course examines different theoretical studies on modern political power and state. Among these theoretical approaches, the three schools with greatest influence will be emphasized:  Marxist approaches that analyse the state in terms of its relations with capitalism and the classes; Weberian studies that focus primarily on the institutional structure of the state and the Foucauldian approaches that shift from the concept of state to the concept of governmentality. The objective of the course is to discuss both the variations within each theoretical school, and the continuities and discontinuities among them.           

SBU6102 Restructuring the Middle East

The course will focus on analyzing the economic and political reconstruction of the Middle East in the end of the 20th Century, on various levels. In this respect, the course will cover the following topics within a comprehensive framework: common policies based on neoliberalism; different experiences; democratization as a political project and opposition movements; the models of governance and good governance presented in terms of the reconstruction of the state; the redefinition of urban spaces; migration movements and gender policies will be evaluated in a holist frame. 

SBU6103 Power and Law

This course will question the relationship between the political order and the legal order, based on the question “what is the source of law?”. The main objective of the course is to present the building stones of a “theory of the democratic state governed by the rule of law”. Within this framework, the course will first focus on the way law is constructed in political units organized under a state structure, that is to say the modern societies. After that, the law will be defined within the framework of a concept of power that would apply to all types of social organization. Finally, returning back to the construction of the modern state, the course will discuss how the concept of “human rights” can be placed within the idea of law in a theoretically consistent way.            

SBU6104 Theories of Nationalism

The course covers the wide spectrum of theories of nationalism, from the patrimonial approaches claiming that nationalism is ahistorical to the modern approaches claiming that nationalism is a product/necessity of the capitalist world order and modernity. Throughout the course, the historical development of nationalism phenomenon will be examined with regard to nationalisms in different geographies and with various characteristics, in order to test the compatibility of these examples with the theories in the literature.  

SBU6105 Human Being in the Globalizing World

The aim of this course is to discuss the effects of different phases of globalization on the human character and behaviour. Students are expected to go through a detailed reading of the relevant literature, determine a sub-issue and present that issue in the classroom. The course also aims to encourage the doctoral students to develop their presentations into an academic article.              

SBU6106 Crisis Management and Coercive Diplomacy in Turkish Foreign Policy

The course will cover case studies of crises in the history of Turkish foreign policy, with reference to conceptual debates on the concept and methods of crisis management. Within this framework, the processes of foreign policy decision-making and organizational cooperation will be analysed, and the crises that were solved by resorting to the threat of the use of force will be explained through the strategy of coercive diplomacy.

SBU6107 Turkish Foreign Policy Analyses

The course covers the following topics: traditional tendencies in Turkish Foreign Policy; priorities of Turkish Foreign Policy in the Interwar Era; Turkey and the Second World War; Cold War and change in Turkish Foreign Policy; Impacts of Détente on Turkish Foreign Policy; search for multi-dimensionalism in Turkish Foreign Policy; new priorities of Turkish Foreign Policy in the Post-Cold War era; and the quest for new approaches in Turkey’s national security policies.    

SBU6108 State Formation in a Comparative Perspective

The course examines the formation of the modern state from the perspectives of historical sociology and political sociology. Various aspects of the institutional structure of the modern state, such as security, social security, economic institutions, and ideological apparatuses, are analysed with regard to their interaction with the social relations of power, and their configurations in different historical and social contexts. In this respect, the first part of the course will focus on the basic explanatory studies about the formation and development of the modern state, especially in Europe, while the second part will address the formation and reformation of the different faces of the modern state in the Ottoman and Turkish Republican history.                 

SBU6109 Middle East in the Post-Cold War Era

The focus of this course will be the question of how changes at the global level modify and transform the countries in the Middle East at the regional level. In this respect, the topics to be examined include:

1)      Developments in the Middle East reflecting the interests of the global actors (the USA, China, India) and the limits of regionalism.

2)      Middle East Policies of the US and the Emergence of a Power Vacuum:

a) The Iraq Operation and the changing balances in the Middle East (a discussion on the basis of identity, security and system)

3)      Changing balances of power in the region in a general perspective:

a) The increasing influence of Iran and its efforts to become a nuclear power b) the increasing security concerns of the Gulf countries and Iran c) the identity crisis shaped by the Shia-Sunni conflict in the region, and the rapprochement between Israel and the Sunni regimes.

4)      Reshaped policies of Turkey in the Middle East:

a) Power vacuum in Iraq and Turkey’s struggle with the PKK b) Turkey’s Rapprochement with Iran and Syria c) taking Turkey’s rapprochement with the Gulf countries as a case study to understand Turkey’s multi-dimensional foreign policy d) the prospects of Turkey’s good neighbourhood relationships formed on an anti-Israel basis e) discussing the limits of Turkey’s potential to be a mediating, facilitating and stabilizing country.             

SBU6110 Seminar on Turkish Politics

Foundations of the Turkish politics will be examined in this course from an institutional and historical perspective. The topics covered will include the historical evolution of institutions, their current positions and changes in time in the roles of societal powers that affect the direction of political transformation.

SBU6111 Democracy, Nationalism and Minorities

The course covers the following topics: the emergence of nationalism; the emergence of minorities (the definition of minority, types of minorities, the origins of minorities; diaspora); minorities as an internal security problem in the late nation-states; the international protection of minorities (developments in the post-WW I era - the League of Nations period - developments in the post-WW II period - the UN and the European Council etc.- globalization - OSCE, the EU, etc.); Turkey and the minorities, the Ottoman period (the Millet system, minorities in the Ottoman Treaties); the Republican period (the Treaty of Lausanne, non-Muslim minorities, Muslim minorities).  

SBU6112 Historiography in Turkey

The course will revolve around a series of topics, including the dominant approaches in historiography, the history of historiography in Turkey, and the problematique of why history is written in the way it is, and how it ought to be written.

SBU6113 Modern Balkan History

This course will focus on the political history of the Balkans starting with the end of the 18th Century. The issues that will be examined during the course are: the Serbian Uprising, the Greek Uprising, the Principalities of Wallacia (Eflak) and Moldovia (Boğdan), Tanzimat and the Non-Muslims, the Foundation of the Bulgarian Exarchate, the War of 93 and the Foundation of Independent Balkan States, the Macedonia Question, the Albania Question, Balkans in the World War I, Balkans in the Interwar Era, Balkans in the World War II, the Cold War Period, and the Balkans since the Collapse of Socialism.