Begüm Adalet

Assistant Professor


Begüm Adalet is Assistant Professor in the Department of Government. She is a political theorist with research and teaching interests in anticolonial thought, empire, transnationalism, the Cold War, development, the built environment, US and the Middle East. Before coming to Cornell, she was Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow at the Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies at New York University and Instructor in the Politics Department at Ithaca College. She holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and a BA from Swarthmore College.



  • Hotels and Highways: The Construction of Modernization Theory in Cold War Turkey, Stanford University Press, 2018

Selected Articles, Chapters, and Public Writing

  • "Infrastructures of Decolonization: Frantz Fanon and Scales of Worldmaking” Political Theory, 2022
  • “Agricultural Infrastructures: Race, Land, and Statecraft in Turkey,” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 2022
  • “Transnational Constructions of Social Scientific Personae during the Cold War,” Cold War Social Science: International and Transnational Entanglements, eds. Mark Solovey and Christian Day (Palgrave), 2021
  • “Mediating the Kennedy Presidency: James Baldwin’s Decade in Turkey,” Globalizing the U.S. Presidency: Postcolonial Views of John F. Kennedy, ed. Cyrus Schayegh, Bloomsbury Series “New Approaches to International History,” 2020
  • “James Baldwin, Here and Elsewhere” (Review of Eddie Glaude’s Begin Again) Public Books, 2020
  • “Tensions, terrors, tenderness: James Baldwin’s Politics of Comparison,” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 38 (3), December, 2018
  • “It’s not yours if you can’t get there”: Mobility and State-making in Turkey. The Funambulist Magazine: Politics of Space and Bodies, 17, May-June issue on Weaponized Infrastructure, 2018
  • “Questions of Modernization: Coding Speech, Regulating Attitude in Survey Research” Comparative Studies in Society and History 57 (4), October, 2015


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