Lisel Hintz

Lisel Hintz

154 Uris Hall, Cornell University


Major — International Relations

Minor — Comparative Politics

Lisel Hintz is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at Cornell University's Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies. She successfully defended her dissertation on the intersection of national identity debates and foreign policy, with an in-depth focus on Turkey, at GWU in May 2015. Bridging the subfields of International Relations and Comparative Politics, her overall research investigates the mechanisms by which particular identities (ethnic, religious/sectarian, gender, regional) shape, and are shaped by, foreign policy. Her dissertation, entitled Fighting for Us, Inside and Out: National Identity Contestation and Foreign Policy in Turkey, draws on 18 months of fieldwork across Turkey conducted while based as a Visiting Research Fellow at Bilkent University. Extracting competing understandings of Turkish identity from a wide array of entertainment and social media sources, interviews, and surveys, she demonstrates how elites sharing an anti-Western, "Ottoman Islamist" understanding of Turkish identity counterintuitively used an EU-oriented foreign policy strategy to challenge the institutional grip of pro-Western "Republican Nationalism" back home.

Lisel's work has been published in European Journal of International Relations, Turkish Policy Quarterly, The Washington Review of Turkish and Eurasian Affairs, Foreign Policy, and The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog. Her research has been funded in part by grants from the American Consortium on EU Studies; the Project on Middle East Political Science; the Institute of European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies; and the Institute of Turkish Studies. She was also awarded two US State Department Critical Language Scholarships to attain fluency in Turkish. Lisel is currently working on a book manuscript based on her dissertation that seeks to distill the complexities of the Turkish case while offering a conceptually rigorous, comprehensive approach to wider studies of identity and foreign policy. Future projects include a comparative study examining how domestic identity politics shapes the foreign policy trajectories of rising powers, and an analysis of pop culture’s role as a vernacular forum in which perspectives on foreign policy are reflected, informed, and contested.

Curriculum Vitae

Current Research

"Linkages between identity politics and foreign policy, strategic identity discourses, Turkish and Middle East politics, rising powers, identity debates in pop culture."



George Washington University

Ph.D. Department of Political Science (2015; 3.96 GPA)
Dissertation: Fighting for Us, Inside and Out: National Identity Contestation and Foreign Policy in Turkey
Committee: Professors Marc Lynch (Chair), Martha Finnemore, and Henry Hale

Examination Fields: International Relations (major) and Comparative Politics
Fieldwork: Based in Ankara, Turkey (Fall 2012-Summer 2013 and Summer 2014; also included Antalya, Bursa, Eskişehir, Giresun, Istanbul, and Trabzon)

University of Kent (Brussels School of International Studies)
           M.A. International Relations (with Distinction)
Northwestern University
           B.A.  German (Magna cum laude)



Academic Publications:

2015. Take It Outside! National Identity Contestation in the Foreign Policy Arena," European Journal of International Relations. Epub ahead of print 26 June.
Under review. “Brothers in Name Only? The (Mis)Use of Pan-Turkist Identity in Turkey’s Domestic Politics and Foreign Policy.”
2013.  “Us v. Them, Over and Over Again? National Identity Contestation in Turkey’s Stalled EU Bid,” Turkish Policy Quarterly, Vol. 12, No. 1.
2011. “Explaining Democratic Failure in the Post-Soviet Space,” in The Washington Review of Turkish and Eurasian Affairs, December.
2006. “Problematizing State Centricity: Not Seeing the Forest for the Trees," in BSIS Journal of International Studies, Vol. 3.

Non-Academic Publications:

2014. “‘No Opposition, No Democracy’ in Turkey’s Elections,” The Washington Post (The Monkey Cage), April.
2013. “The Might of the Pen(guin) in Turkey’s Protests,” Foreign Policy, June.
2012. “Reading Turkish Politics from a Soap Opera,” Foreign Policy, December.