Halil Yenigun

Halil Yenigun

Halil Yenigun is from Istanbul, Turkey. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia's political theory program with a dissertation titled, “The Political Ontology of Islamic Democracy: An Ontological Narrative of Contemporary Muslim Political Thought.” While living in Turkey after his Ph.D., he was dismissed from his assistant professor position at Istanbul Commerce University during the mass academic purges that started in January 2016 in response to the Peace Petition by the Academics for Peace. Thereafter, he worked as a post-doctoral scholar at Transregional Studies Forum, Berlin, and Stanford University's Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies. Since then, he has taught at Stanford, UC Berkeley, and San Jose State Universities as a lecturer.

Yenigun has published and given university lectures in Turkey, the US, and Germany as well as occasional interviews to media sources on Muslim political thought, Islamism, peace activism, American and Middle East politics, and Turkish democracy. He currently lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.


Visiting Scholar, University of Virginia, Department of Politics

Research Interests: 

Political Theory (Political Ontology, Ethics, Comparative Political Theory, Contemporary Muslim Political Thought, Political Theology, Democratic Theory)

Comparative Politics (Middle East Politics, Turkish and Arab Islamist Movements, Democratization, Turkish Politics and Democracy, Islam & Democracy)

Selected Publications:

“Turkey as ‘Model’ of Muslim Authoritarianism?” In Routledge Handbook of Illiberalism, edited by Sajo Andraas, Renata Uitz, and Stephen Holmes, 840-857. New York: Routledge, 2021.

“The Rise and Demise of Civilizational Thinking in Contemporary Muslim Political Thought.” In Debates on Civilization in the Muslim World: Critical Perspectives on Islam and Modernity, edited by Lütfi Sunar, 195-225. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2017.

“The New Antinomies of the Islamic Movement in Post-Gezi Turkey: Islamism vs. Muslimism.” Turkish Studies 18, no. 2 (2017): 229-250. 

“The Political and Theological Boundaries of Islamist Moderation after the Arab Spring.” Third World Quarterly 37, no. 12 (2016): 2304-2321.