I am an Assistant Professor of Political Science and Director of the International Studies Program at Luther College, Iowa. I received my Political Science Ph.D. from Florida International University (FIU). My research broadly focuses on populism, polarization, and opposition from a cross-regional perspective. I have been teaching Comparative Politics, International Relations, and first-year-writing courses for the past seven years.

I am currently working on publishing my first book Polarizing Populism: Inclusion, Exclusion, and Opposition. The manuscript examines the presence and degree of affective leader polarization over Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Hugo Chávez, and Rafael Correa. The book unpacks the dynamics of populist inclusion and exclusion in the three countries. Going beyond the incumbent populist leader, it also analyzes the role of the opposition actors in reinforcing and mitigating polarization. Methodologically, the book utilizes qualitative content analysis, quantitative surveys, and secondary sources in Turkish, Spanish, and English.

Out of my current research on populism, polarization, and opposition, I have published three peer-reviewed journal articles: “Strong Presidents and Weak Institutions: Populism in Turkey, Venezuela, and Ecuador”, “The Rise of the Democracy-Authoritarianism Cleavage and Opposition Coordination in Turkey (2014-2019)” and “The Erdoğanization of Turkish Politics and the Role of the Opposition” in Democratization and Southeast European & Black Sea Studies. Besides those articles, I have published several book chapters and book reviews.

At Luther College, I have taught Global Politics, Developing Democracies, Latin American Politics, Comparative Politics, Global Populism, Research Methods, Global Politics and Movies, International Studies Seminar, Migration and Border Issues, and Model United Nations. I am also the faculty adviser of Luther’s Model United Nations team.

During my time at FIU, I had taught Introduction to Comparative Politics, Politics of Latin America, Politics of South America, and first-year-writing courses at the undergraduate level. I also worked as teaching assistants for courses on the Politics of Latin America, the Middle East, the United States, and Russia. Based on faculty nominations, I won the Best Political Science Teaching Assistant Award in 2017.

On this website, you can find my latest CV, publications, and pictures from research trips.

You can reach me by sending an email to oselc001@fiu.edu or a direct message on Twitter @orcunselcuk.