• Assistant Professor
Defne Over


I am a political sociologist interested in the study of political institutions, human rights, 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 in the 21st century and the consequential processes of democratic backsliding and mass mobilization: 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.


Courses Taught at Texas A&M

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

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. Cornell University

Research Interests

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

Awards & Honors

  • Montague-Center for Teaching Excellence Scholar, Texas A&M University, 2020–21.
  • 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.

Selected Publications