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Defne Över

Defne Over
Assistant Professor
  • Academic 420
Professional Links
Personal Website
Degree From
Cornell University

Research Interests

  • State-Society Relations
  • Legal and Political Institutions
  • Political Communication
  • Social Movements
  • Identity

Courses Taught at Texas A&M

  • SOCI 412: Political Sociology
  • SOCI 413: Social Movements


I am a political sociologist interested in the study of human rights, political institutions, and national, religious and ethnic identities. I earned my PhD in 2017 from the Department of Sociology of Cornell University, USA, my MA in 2009 from Humboldt University, Germany, and my BA in 2006 from Boğaziçi University, Turkey. My current work centers on a set of important questions raised by the return of repressive regimes and mass mobilization in the 21st century: How do contemporary modes of state control take hold in social relations? How religious and ethnic identities mediate population response to such state control? How do these state-society interactions contest existing political, legal, and cultural institutions? I seek to respond to these questions through a historically and culturally informed analysis of the lived experiences of individuals.

Representative Publications

  • Över, Defne. Forthcoming. “Freedom of Expression and the State of the Media in Turkey.” in Emrah Altindis, Gaye Özpinar & Esra Özyürek (eds.) Understanding Con- temporary Turkey: Conversations on Today’s Political Challenges. I.B. Tauris.
  • Över, Defne, Basak Taraktas. 2017. “When Does Repression Trigger Mass Protest? The Case of 2013 Gezi Protests.” in Julie Mazzei (ed.) Non-State Violent Actors and Social Movement Organizations (Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change, Volume 41), 205-239.
  • Över, Defne. 2016. “Cultural Tourism and Complex Histories: The Armenian Akhtamar Church, The Turkish State and National Identity” Qualitative Sociology 39: 2, 173-194.
  • Över, Defne. 2013.“Construction of Public and Private Spheres in the Soviet Communal Apartments: Erving Goffman’s Notion of Territories of Self” in Jacqueline Low & Gary Bowden (eds.) Chicago School Diaspora. McGill-Queens University Press.

Representative Awards

  • Sidney Tarrow Paper Award, Best paper written in the field of European Politics, Cornell University, Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies. 2015.
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, Cornell University, Department of Sociology. 2011.
  • Sakıp Sabancı International Research Award, Honorable Mention for the M.A. Thesis, “An Analysis of Collective Action Frames in Contemporary Turkey”. 2009.