Meet Orçun Selçuk, 2021 First Generation Scholar in the Profession

Orçun Selçuk is an assistant professor of political science at Luther College. Before coming to the United States, he received undergraduate and master’s degrees from Boğaziçi University in Istanbul. Selçuk completed his Ph.D. at Florida International University, becoming the first person in his family to study and teach at the university level outside of Turkey. During his doctoral studies, Selçuk developed a strong interest in polarizing populist leaders around the world, particularly in Turkey and Latin America, and wrote a dissertation on Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Turkey, Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, and Rafael Correa in Ecuador. Currently, he is working on turning his dissertation into a book manuscript, tentatively titled “Polarizing Populism in Turkey, Venezuela, and Ecuador: Inclusion, Exclusion, and Opposition.” While working on the dissertation and the book project, Selçuk also published multiple articles and chapters on populism, personalism, authoritarianism, democratic backsliding, and opposition parties. He has attended the annual APSA conferences since 2016 and benefited from constructive feedback as well as networking opportunities. He appreciates the selection committee’s broad definition of First Generation Scholar that includes scholars with an international background.

About the APSA First Generation Scholar in the Profession Accessibility Grant
In 2015, the APSA Executive Council approved a new standing Committee on First Generation Higher Education Scholars in the Profession, parallel to the existing APSA status committees. The goal is to bring focused attention to the ways in which class, economic inequality, and mobility can affect political scientists’ ability to thrive educationally and professionally throughout their careers. The travel and accessibility grant is intended to support First Generation Higher Education Scholars in the Profession who attend the APSA Annual Meeting. Learn more.