Özlem Altiok

Credentials: Turkey

2008 SKJ Fellow

Özlem Altıok is a doctoral student in sociology and rural sociology. She holds a BA in international relations with a minor in mass media technologies from Istanbul Bilgi University, and a Master’s in Public Administration from Texas A&M. Since her work as a research assistant for the book Making Global Trade Work for People (UNDP 2003), she has been interested in economic globalization and its impacts across different countries and fields. This general interest in social change, economic development, and democracy has recently led Özlem to her particular dissertation project: the nature and extent of participation by civil society actors in contemporary constitutional debates in Turkey. The following questions guide Özlem’s research: Which topics dominate constitutional debates and which are excluded? Who is considered a legitimate member of civil society and why? In what ways do civil society actors participating in constitutional debates challenge or reproduce social inequalities? How do different interpretations of Islam mediate these debates? Özlem will use her SKJ award in Ankara and Istanbul to address some of these questions through a combination of ethnographic and archival research.