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Dr Bahar Baser

Associate Professor in Middle East Politics


AffiliationRoom numberTelephone
Associate Professor in Middle East Politics in the School of Government and International AffairsEH109 Elvet Hill House+44 (0) 191 33 40641


Dr. Bahar Baser joined Durham University's School of Government and International Affairs in 2021. Previously, she was Associate Professor at the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University where she led the "Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation Research Group". Prior to that, she was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Warwick at the Department of Politics and International Studies between 2012 and 2014.

Dr. Baser completed a PhD in Social and Political Sciences at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. During her PhD, she had the opportunity to work as a Visiting Research Fellow at Humboldt University (Berlin Graduate School of Social Sciences) in Germany, REMESO (Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society) in Norrkoping, Sweden and the Instituto de Ciencias Sociais (ICS) in Lisbon, Portugal. 

She is an expert in the area of diaspora studies, peacebuilding and conflict transformation, with a regional focus on the Middle East. She has conducted extensive research on diaspora engagement in peace processes, post-conflict reconstruction and state-building in the Global South. She has published extensively on stateless diaspora activism and mobilisation in Europe with a specific focus on host states’ counterterrorism policies, radicalization of diaspora members and transnationalization of homeland conflicts. 

She is the editor of Kurdish Studies Series published by Lexington Books and the co-editor of Diasporas and Transnationalism Series published by Edinburgh University Press. She is also a senior associate research fellow at the Security Institute for Governance and Leadership in Africa (SIGLA), Stellenbosch University, South Africa and visiting professor at Tampere Peace Research Institute, Tampere University, Finland.


Turkish, English, Italian, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Azerbaijani, Swedish (Beginner), Kurdish (Beginner)

Research Groups

Institute for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies

Research Projects
2021: PI, British Academy Writing Workshops, “Building Research and Publication Capacity of Emerging Scholars in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq”.
2020: Researcher, Academy of Finland, Research Grant, Diasporas and Transportation of Homeland Conflicts: Inter-group Dynamics and Host Country Responses (Sweden, Finland and UK case studies).
2019: PI, Allan and Nesta Ferguson Trust, Research Grant, Youth, Violence and Conflict Transformation: Exploring mobilisation into violence and the role of youth in peacebuilding (Afghanistan, Iraq, Colombia, Bosnia and Algeria)
2019: Supervisor, Horizon 2020 Marie Curie Fellowship, Dr. Cihan Dizdaroglu, YOUPEACEBUILDER.
2018: PI, Council for the British Research in the Levant (CBRL), Pilot Study Grant, “Diasporic Identity Formation of Kurdish Jews in Israel”.
2018: Co-I, Thomson Reuters Foundation (in collaboration with the Stanley Foundation and Gerda Henkel Stiftung) Uncovering Security Grant.
2018: Co-I, British Academy Newton Mobility Grant, in collaboration with Dr. Henio Hoyo from University of Monterrey, Mexico.
2016: PI, British Academy Newton Fund / National Research Foundation (South Africa) Fellowship, “South African Peace Process: Lessons Learnt for Peace and Reconciliation in Turkey”, Stellenbosch University, South Africa.
2016: PI, Coventry University Pump Prime Funding, “Dynamics of Return Migration to Iraqi Kurdistan: Diaspora Contributions to State-building and post conflict reconstruction”, Coventry, United Kingdom.
2015: PI, Swedish Institute Postdoctoral Research Grant, “The Kurdish Diaspora in Sweden and the Peace Process in Turkey”, Stockholm University, Sweden.
2013: European Union, UK and Turkey Country Representative, INTERACT Project, European University Institute, Migration Policy Center, Italy.
2012: European Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow, “Diasporas and Contested Sovereignty”, University of Warwick, United Kingdom.
2009: European Union, “EU Profiler” Project Assistant, Member of the “Turkey Team”, European University Institute. (
2007: wedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Swedish Institute, Project Assistant, “Diasporas and Their Involvement in Peace Processes”, Uppsala University, Sweden.
2005: Open Society Institute, Project Assistant, “Conservatism in Turkey: Family, State, Religion and the West”, Bogazici University, Turkey.
2005: European Union, Project Assistant, “Building a Deliberative Dialogue between Turkish and French Youth”. Bogazici University, Turkey.

Research interests

  • Comparative Politics of the Middle East
  • Diasporas and Transnationalism
  • International Migration
  • Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation
  • Terrorism and Political Violence
  • Ethnic Conflicts
  • Transitional Justice and Memory

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Conflict and resolution:
  • Middle East:
  • Citizenship, state and governance:
  • Identity, ethnicity and culture:
  • Policy and politics:
  • Security, territory and boundaries:
  • Government:
  • International politics:
  • Middle eastern and Islamic studies:
  • Terrorism:


Authored book

  • Baser, B (2015). Diasporas and Homeland Conflicts:A Comparative Perspective. Routledge.
  • Baser, B (2013). Diasporada Türk-Kürt Sorunu: Almanya ve İsveç’te İkinci Kuşak Göçmenler. Iletisim Yayinlari.
  • Baser, B (2008). Third Party Mediation in Nagorno Karabakh. VDM Verlag Dr. Mueller E.K.

Chapter in book

  • Fazil, Shivan & Baser, Bahar (2021). Kurdish Youth as Agents of Change: Political Participation, Looming Challenges, and Future Predictions. In Youth Identity, Politics and Change in Contemporary Kurdistan. Fazil, Shivan & Baser, Bahar London: Transnational Press London. 1.
  • Baser,B (2019). Governing Turkey's diaspora(s) and the limits of diaspora diplomacy. In The Routledge Handbook of Turkish Politics. Ozerdem, A & Whiting, M Routledge.
  • Baser, B & Ozerdem, A (2019). Turkey. In Comparing Peace Processes. Ozerdem, A & Mac Ginty, R Routledge.
  • Baser, B & Toivanen, M (2018). Reflections from the experience of Middle Eastern diasporas. In Routledge Handbook of Diaspora Studies. Cohen, R & Fischer, C Routledge.
  • Baser, Bahar (2017). Turkey’s Ever-Evolving Attitude-Shift Towards Engagement with Its Diaspora. In Emigration and Diaspora Policies in the Age of Mobility. 9: 221.
  • Baser, B, Ahmedi, I & Toivanen, M (2017). The transnational activism of the Kurdish Diaspora and the Swedish approach to the Kurdish Question. In Migration from Turkey to Sweden Integration, Belonging and Transnational Community. Baser, B & Levin, P Bloomsbury Publisher.
  • Levin, Paul T & Başer, Bahar (2017). The 50th Anniversary of the Beginning of Migration from Turkey to Sweden: Lessons Concerning Integration, Cohesion, and Inclusion. In Migration from Turkey to Sweden.
  • Başer, Bahar & Öztürk, Ahmet Erdi (2017). In Lieu of an Introduction: Is it Curtains for Turkish Democracy? In Authoritarian Politics in Turkey.
  • Baser, B (2015). KOMKAR: The Unheard Voice in the Kurdish Diaspora. In Dismantling Diasporas. Christou, A & Mavroudi, E Routledge.
  • Baser, Bahar (2015). 14. Gezi Spirit in the Diaspora. Diffusion of Turkish Politics to Europe. In Everywhere Taksim. 251.

Edited book

  • Shivan, F & Baser, B (2021). Youth Identity, Politics and Change in Contemporary Kurdistan. Transnational Press London.
  • Baser, B, Toivanen, M, Zorlu, B & Duman, Y (2018). Methodological Approaches in Kurdish Studies: Theoretical and Practical Insights from the Field. Lexington Books.
  • Baser, B & Levin, P (2017). Migration from Turkey to Sweden: Integration, Belonging and Transnational Community. Bloomsbury Publisher.
  • Baser, B & Ozturk, A.E. (2017). Authoritarian Politics in Turkey: Elections, Resistance and the AKP. Bloomsbury Publisher.

Journal Article

  • Baser, Bahar & Atlas, Duygu (2021). Once A Diaspora, Always A Diaspora? The Ethnic, Cultural and Political Mobilization of Kurdistani Jews in Israel. Politics, Religion & Ideology
  • Baser, Bahar & Féron, Élise (2021). Host state reactions to home state diaspora engagement policies: Rethinking state sovereignty and limits of diaspora governance. Global Networks
  • O’Driscoll, Dylan & Baser, Bahar (2020). Referendums as a political party gamble: A critical analysis of the Kurdish referendum for independence. International Political Science Review 41(5): 652.
  • Baser, B & Martin, N (2020). Collaboration Between Academics and Journalists: Methodological Considerations, Challenges and Ethics. Journal of Conflict Transformation and Security 8(1).
  • Baser, Bahar & Ozturk, Ahmet Erdi (2020). Positive and Negative Diaspora Governance in Context: From Public Diplomacy to Transnational Authoritarianism. Middle East Critique 29(3): 319.
  • Baser, Bahar & Hoyo, Henio (2020). Introduction to the Special Issue: Politics, Policies and Diplomacy of Diaspora Governance: New Directions in Theory and Research. Migration Letters 17(1): 1.
  • Toivanen, Mari & Baser, Bahar (2020). Diasporas’ Multiple Roles in Peace and Conflict: A Review of Current Debates. Migration Letters 17(1): 47.
  • Toivanen, Mari & Baser, Bahar (2019). Remembering the Past in Diasporic Spaces: Kurdish Reflections on Genocide Memorialization for Anfal. Genocide Studies International 13(1): 10.
  • Christofis, Nikos, Baser, Bahar & Öztürk, Ahmet Erdi (2019). The View from Next Door: Greek-Turkish Relations after the Coup Attempt in Turkey. The International Spectator 54(2): 67.
  • Başer, Bahar (2019). Engaging Diasporas in Development and State-Building: The Role of the Kurdish Diaspora and Returnees in Rebuilding the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Ethnopolitics 18(1): 76.
  • O’Driscoll, Dylan & Baser, Bahar (2019). Independence referendums and nationalist rhetoric: the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Third World Quarterly 40(11): 2016.
  • Baser, Bahar & Ozerdem, Alpaslan (2019). Conflict Transformation and Asymmetric Conflicts: A Critique of the Failed Turkish-Kurdish Peace Process. Terrorism and Political Violence 1.
  • Baser, Bahar & Toivanen, Mari (2019). Diasporic homecomings to the Kurdistan region of Iraq: Pre- and post-return experiences shaping motivations to re-return. Ethnicities 19(5): 901.
  • Baser, Bahar & Halperin, Amira (2019). Diasporas from the Middle East: Displacement, Transnational Identities and Homeland Politics. British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 46(2): 215.
  • Mencutek, Zeynep Sahin & Baser, Bahar (2018). Mobilizing Diasporas: Insights from Turkey’s Attempts to Reach Turkish Citizens Abroad. Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies 20(1): 86.
  • Tekdemir, Omer, Toivanen, Mari & Baser, Bahar (2018). Peace Profile: Academics for Peace in Turkey. Peace Review 30(1): 103.
  • O’Connor, Francis & Baser, Bahar (2018). Communal violence and ethnic polarization before and after the 2015 elections in Turkey: attacks against the HDP and the Kurdish population. Southeast European and Black Sea Studies 18(1): 53.
  • Baser, Bahar & Toivanen, Mari (2018). Politicized and depoliticized ethnicities, power relations and temporality: insights to outsider research from comparative and transnational fieldwork. Ethnic and Racial Studies 41(11): 2067.
  • Baser, Bahar (2018). Homeland Calling: Kurdish Diaspora and State-building in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq in the Post-Saddam Era. Middle East Critique 27(1): 77.
  • Baser, Bahar, Akgönül, Samim & Öztürk, Ahmet Erdi (2017). “Academics for Peace” in Turkey: a case of criminalising dissent and critical thought via counterterrorism policy. Critical Studies on Terrorism 10(2): 274.
  • Baser, Bahar (2017). Tailoring Strategies According to Ever-Changing Dynamics: The Evolving Image of the Kurdish Diaspora in Germany. Terrorism and Political Violence 29(4): 674.
  • Baser, Bahar (2017). Intricacies of Engaging Diasporas in Conflict Resolution and Transitional Justice: The Kurdish Diaspora and the Peace Process in Turkey. Civil Wars 19(4): 470.
  • Baser, Bahar & Toivanen, Mari (2017). The politics of genocide recognition: Kurdish nation-building and commemoration in the post-Saddam era. Journal of Genocide Research 19(3): 404.
  • Baser, B (2017). Turkey’s Domestic Politics Spill-over to Europe: Old Debates in New Frames. ORIENT:Deutsche Zeitschrift für Politik, Wirtschaft und Kultur des Orients German Journal for Politics, Economics and Culture of the Middle East
  • Baser, Bahar (2016). Transnationale Solidarität innerhalb deutscher Grenzen: Die Auswirkungen der Gezi-Proteste auf die Diaspora aus der Türkei. Forschungsjournal Soziale Bewegungen 29(2): 70.
  • Toivanen, Mari & Baser, Bahar (2016). Gender in the Representations of an Armed Conflict. Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication 9(3): 294.
  • Baser, Bahar, Emanuelsson, Ann-Catrin & Toivanen, Mari (2015). (In)visible spaces and tactics of transnational engagement: A multi-dimensional approach to the Kurdish diaspora. Kurdish Studies 3(2): 128.
  • Baser, Bahar (2014). La diaspora kurde d’Irak au Royaume-Uni. Hommes & migrations (1307): 140.
  • Baser, Bahar (2014). The Awakening of a Latent Diaspora: The Political Mobilization of First and Second Generation Turkish Migrants in Sweden. Ethnopolitics 13(4): 355.
  • Baser, B & Swain, A (2009). Diaspora Design Versus Homeland Realities: Case Study of Armenian Diaspora. 3(1): 45-62.
  • Baser, B & Swain, A (2009). Diaspora Design Versus Homeland Realities: Case Study of Armenian Diaspora. Caucasian Review of International Affairs 3(1): 45-62.
  • Cochrane, Feargal, Baser, Bahar & Swain, Ashok (2009). Home Thoughts from Abroad: Diasporas and Peace-Building in Northern Ireland and Sri Lanka. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 32(8): 681.
  • Baser, B & Ashok, S (2008). DIASPORAS AS PEACEMAKERS: THIRD PARTY MEDIATION IN HOMELAND CONFLICTS. International Journal on World Peace 25(3): 7-28.
  • Baser, B (2008). Third Party Mediation in Nagorno-Karabakh. Journal of Central Asian and Caucasian Studies 3(5): 86-114.