On February 26,2018, the Middle East Center hosted a talk by Esra Bakkalbaşioğlu, a Ph.D. Candidate in the Interdisciplinary Program in Near and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Washington, Seattle, entitled: “Politics of Infrastructure: Minorities’ Access to Water and Electricity in Turkey and Israel.”
Along with providing public safety, there is nothing more central to what states do than providing essential infrastructure to their citizens—from water to electricity. In many countries, including Turkey and Israel, the state distributes such infrastructure in an unequal way that disciplines certain communities’ political actions and lifestyle. Yet these discriminatory distribution policies often backfire. Esra Bakkalbaşioğlu compares the determinants and outcomes of Kurdish and Bedouin minorities’ negotiations with their majority state– Turkey and Israel, respectively– over their access to denied water and electricity infrastructures.
Esra Bakkalbaşioğlu is a seventh-year Ph.D. student in the Interdisciplinary Program in Near and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Washington, Seattle. She completed her B.A. and M.A. in the Political Science and International Relations Department at the Bogazici University, Istanbul. Esra’s dissertation work focuses specifically on democratic governance and minorities’ access to infrastructure in the Middle East. Her main areas of research interest are politics of infrastructure, social movements, and state-society relations in the Middle East.
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