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Dr Ece Kocabicak

Former Research Student

Research Interests

My research is engaged with international political economy and social change in Muslim majority countries. I am particularly concerned with carrying out policy relevant research that makes cutting-edge contributions to scholarly debate on international politics, development economics and gender inequality. 

Thesis Title

Theorising the relationship between patriarchies and capitalisms: The case of Turkey

Supervised By

Sylvia Walby

Current Teaching

SOCL101. Sociology 101. Seminar Tutor

Current Research

My research is engaged with on going debates in international political economy, sociology, politics and history. As a researcher of political economy and sociology, I am always seeking to situate my research at the forefront of contemporary scholarship and debate. My research emerges out of an interest in the centrality of international politics and global inequalities and a particular commitment to gender inequality in Muslim majority countries.

In March 2017 I completed my doctoral project in the Sociology department at Lancaster University. This project, on female paid employment in Turkey, was successfully granted TÜBİTAK funding. My PhD was examined by Professor Valentine Moghadam and Professor Imogen Tyler, awarded, with the examiners stating that 'this was the best viva that they had the privilege to take part in’. The work was described as ‘original and ground-breaking’ and as making a ‘clear contribution to existing research and knowledge in international political economy’.

My doctoral research investigates the relationship between the developmental state, gender transformation, economic development, women's movement and rural class struggle within the historical context of Turkey. This interdisciplinary research identifies the main processes and factors that shape gender transformation and economic development by engaging with political, social and economic approaches. It further provides a detailed analysis of changes in the legal framework, Muslim women's struggle for property and landownership rights, and peasant revolts in the Ottoman and the Republican periods. In this research, I also demonstrate the diversified implications of the modern-secular legal framework for women's access to wage and landownership. My analysis also assesses the significance of the global market, transnational feminist networks and international laws and regulations that Turkey is signatory to for the contemporary conditions of gender equality (from the 2000s onwards).

The research uses two methods: comparative and historical analyses. I compare the key features of gender transformation and economic development in Turkey with the selected list of countries by developing socio-economic indicators. In doing so, I assess whether male dominance in landownership has the consequence of limiting women’s mobility, access to education and paid employment thereby excluding women from free wage labour. I analyse quantitative evidence from the databases of various institutions such as the World Bank, the United Nations, the International Labour Organisation, and the Turkish Statistical Institute.

The historical-sociology based case study method is also used to examine how male peasants constitute a patriarchal collective subject and exclude women from landownership. The time period considered is from the sixteenth century Ottoman Empire until the Republican period (1923- 2013). Here I draw on archival materials such as the Imperial code and decree, the sharia court records, land and endowment registers, tax registers, and the Republican regime’s laws and regulations. Both methods are required and complement each other in terms of identifying the implications of gendered landownership and free wage labour for varieties of patriarchy and capitalism.

My research contributes to theory concerning varieties of capitalism and gender regimes, the disciplines of international political economy, sociology and history and the literature regarding social transformation in Turkey. It also has implications for gender and class politics. 

Research Grants

2015  Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung

2015  Lancaster University, Department of Sociology

2013  Vienna Institute for International Dialog and Cooperation (VIDC)

2012  Lancaster University, Department of Sociology

2010  Lancaster University, Department of Sociology

2010  The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (Tubitak)

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