Turkey scholar ends postdoc year with media flurry

By Jonathan Miller, Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies

Outgoing Einaudi Center Postdoctoral Fellow Lisel Hintz wound up her one-year term at Cornell just as events in Turkey were grabbing headlines around the world.

Hintz, who will be a Visiting Assistant Professor at Barnard College this fall, suddenly found herself much in demand, making several media appearances and writing analyses for major newspapers about July's attempted coup and the crackdown that has followed.

Lisel Hintz
Lisel Hintz will be a visiting assistant professor at Barnard College for the 2016-17 academic year.

Among her contributions were a live interview for BBC TV, a live radio interview on Knowledge@Wharton (UPenn), and articles for the Boston Globe, Washington Post, and International Peace Institute.

A political scientist who has done extensive research on Turkish politics and society, Hintz studies how contestation over identity spills over from domestic politics to shape, and be shaped by, foreign policy.

"Studying Turkey and the regional dynamics in which it plays such a pivotal role is both a passion and a career for me, a motivation that drives me in my research, teaching, and outreach," Hintz said.

Under the faculty mentorship of Peter Katzenstein, Hintz used her time at the Einaudi Center to revise and submit a book manuscript on identity contestation in the foreign policy arena, which is now forthcoming with Oxford University Press.

She also taught two courses: Turkey and the Middle East, and Ottoman History and Imperial Legacies.

"My thinking on issues of identity and foreign policy is profoundly influenced by the classes I've taught at Cornell,” Hintz said. “Getting students to go from not being able to place Turkey on a map to writing outstanding papers analyzing its historical trajectories or its shifting alliance patterns recharges my analytical as well as my pedagogical batteries."

In addition to teaching and conducting research, Hintz spoke and wrote on issues such as the EU-Turkey refugee deal, the implosion of Turkey's role as regional mediator, the breakdown of the Kurdish ceasefire, and the recent coup attempt.

She also addressed Turkey's domestic and foreign policy challenges at numerous student- and faculty-organized events, giving talks at Cornell-based organizations such as the Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, the South Asian Council, and the Cornell Turkish Student Association.