Dr. Firat Kurt
Areas of specialization:
Political Anthropology, Economic Anthropology, Anthropology of Religion, Studies of Science and Technology, Turkey
Areas of competence:
Anthropological Theory, Political Theory, Linguistic Anthropology, Philosophy of Language, Anthropology of the Middle East
Firat Kurt is a cultural anthropologist working on authoritarian populism in contemporary Turkey. His broader research and teaching interests lie in the global entanglements of economic technologies, religious pragmatics, political power, and ordinary ethics.
His current manuscript, based on his dissertation at Columbia University, Folds of Populism: Financial Capitalism, Mass Mobilization, and Islamism in Turkey, will be the first book-length anthropological study of populist mobilization. The book asks why the urban poor in Istanbul have been organizing around an Islamist populist movement, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), since the early 2000s, despite their increasing economic precarity. Focusing on political networks, economic infrastructures, and religious discussions, this project shows how the neoliberal policies that individualize risks, costs, and responsibilities are turning into frameworks within which collective action and identification emerge as imminent possibilities for the masses.