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Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Institut d'études européennes (bureau R41.4.104)
Avenue Franklin Roosevelt, 39
1050 Bruxelles


Adresse postale
Université libre de Bruxelles
Avenue Franklin Roosevelt, 50 - CP 172/01
1050 Bruxelles

+ 32 (0) 2 650 33 87

Before joining the REPI, ULB, Şeref Kavak carried out his research activities at École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS, Paris) and worked as lecturer in international relations at Sciences Po Paris, where he taught the course "Non-State Actors, Transnationalism and Diaspora Politics" that he designed for undergraduate year 2 students.

He holds a PhD (2017) in Politics and International Relations from Keele University (UK), where he taught "The UN in World Politics » course during his doctoral studies. He holds a B.A in Political Science and International Relations from Marmara University and M.A in Modern Turkish History from Bogazici University in Istanbul. His doctoral thesis focused on transnational community politics of the Kurdish diaspora based on a field reseach in London. His master’s thesis examined the transformation of pro-Kurdish political parties in Turkey with regard to the tensions between ethnicity and national integrity. 

Şeref's areas of interest are non-state actors in world politics, diasporas, transnational social movements, cultural security, music and politics, Kurdish politics, the Middle East and Anthropology of International Relations.

Şeref speaks English, Turkish, French and Kurdish and had fieldwork experiences in Istanbul, London and Paris. He has sung in polyphonic choirs in Istanbul and Paris and founded the multilingual eastern Mediterranean folk band "jAnatolia Project" in London. Some of his poems have been published and translated  into English and French.

Domaines d'intérêt

Non-state actors in world politics

Migration, diasporas and identity politics

Transnational social movements

Cultural security, music and politics 

Kurdish politics & the Middle East 

Anthropology of International Relations 

Présentation des enseignements


Faculty Advisor (Enseignant Référent) for Undergraduate Capstone Project (Grand Écrit), Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris (SciencesPo), Campus de Reims, France

(in English and French)

Preparing and conducting lectures on field research methodology and dissertation-writing; supervising around 20 students each year Conducting one-to-one interviews (in English and French) with students on their personal civic learning projects and internships. Marking written assignments and validating Grands Écrits. 



Lecturer (sessional), SciencesPo Paris (Campuses de Paris et Reims), France                                                           

Course taught (in English)

Non-State Actors, Transnationalism and Diaspora Politics, Undergraduate Year 2, International Relations



Module Tutor, Keele University, School of Politics, International Relations and Philosophy, Staffordshire, UK

Course taught (in English)

(PIR-20070) The United Nations in World Politics, Undergraduate Year 2, Politics and International Relations







Présentation des recherches

Selected Conference/Workshop Presentations


- "Cultural Security and Publicness: Syrian Musicians on the Streets of Istanbul", International Conference: "Refugees in/from the Middle East: Policy Implications, Education, and Artistic Representations", University of Wisconsin- Madison, USA, 6-7 March 2020.  


- Intervention publique (en français) sur le film « De l’autre côté » de Fatih Akin après la projection du film dans le cadre de la série d'événement "Sciences Sociales et Cinéma" organisé par l'École des hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), MK2 Cinéma à la Bibliothèque nationale de France (BNF), Paris, France, 6 May 2019.    


- “Dis-placing Politics: I-dentities on the Move”, au colloque "Penser l’Exil, Représenter l’Exil, Vivre l’Exil", École des hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), P a r i s , F r a n c e , 30 May 2018. (Dans le cadre du program Printemps des Sciences Humaines et Sociales organisé par les Éditions de l'EHESS et les Éditions de la MSH, programme de discussions entre chercheurs, activistes et artistes)  


- “Refugees and Cultural Security: Syrian Musicians on the Streets of Istanbul”, presented at the conference: "Parallel Displacements: The Syrian Civil War & Kurdish Migration in Turkey, 2015-2018, University of London Institute in Paris (ULIP), France, 24 May 2018.  


- “I-dentities on the move, His-tories in cycle”, Séminaire International : Savoirs depuis la précarité et la mobilité, Panel Discussion, l'Ecole des hautes études en sciences de l'information et de la communication (CELSA)-Sorbonne Université, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, 16 March 2018.


- “Pro-Kurdish Politics in Turkey : a Brief Story of Gradualism and Rapprochement”, Appraising Turkey’s Local Elections-What now? Panel Discussion, Turkey Institute London, Portcullis House, Houses of Parliament, London, UK, 19 May 2014.


- “Turkey-fication : Reflections on and from Contemporary Pro- Kurdish Politics in Turkey”, From World War I to Contemporary Turkey : Armenian and Kurdish Perspectives, Panel Discussion, Catholic Military Diocese of the Republic of Austria, Vienna, Austria, 21 March December 2014.


- “Diaspora, Contesting Agencies and Upbeat Political Activism : The Case of Kurds in the UK”, Emerging Securities Seminar Series, Research Institute for Social Sciences, Keele University, UK,16 December 2013.


- “Transnational in the Vernacular : Kurdish Diaspora Politics in the UK”, presented at the “Centre on Migration Policy and Society (COMPAS) Turkish Migration Studies Group (8th TurkMiS Seminar ”Kellogg College, University of Oxford, UK, 26 April 2013. 


- “Multi-methodology and Ideological Tendencies of the Social Researcher”, presented at the LCSSPhD Conference : Methodological Choices and Challenges, King’s College London, UK, 19 April 2013. 


- “Ethno-politics in the Diaspora : The Case of Kurds from Turkey in the UK”, presented at the Turkish Migration in Europe : Projecting the Next 50 Years Conference, Regent’s College London, UK, 7-9 December 2012.


- “Kurdish Ethno-politics and Political Transformation in Turkey”, presented at the Annual Postgraduate Conference, Keele University, UK, 13 March 2012.


- “Azerbaijan-Armenia Nagorno Karabakh Conflict” at OSCE Minsk Summit Simulation, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Department of Political Science and International Relations, Marmara University, Istanbul, Turkey, June 2007.

Travaux sélectionnés

Selected Publications


- Kavak, S. (2020 forthcoming) " Three Poems, A Testimony: Burnistan, Sheltered, Summerfall" in (eds.) Joëlle Le Marec and Hester du Plessis, Savoirs de la Précarité et de la Mobilité. Paris: Éditions MKF.


- Kavak, S. (2018) "The Arab Spring and the Emergence of a New Kurdish Polity in Syria" in (eds.) Hüseyin Işıksal and Oğuzhan Göksel,Turkey’s Relations with the Middle East : Political Encounters after the Arab Spring New York and Heidelberg : Springer.

- Safi Sibel and Seref Kavak (2014) (foreword by Heaven Crawley) (eds.) Gender and Migration : Critical Issues and Policy Implications. London : London Centre for Social Studies Publications.

- Dogan Salih and Seref Kavak, (2014) "Uluslararası İlişkilerde Güç Kavramı"(Power in International Relations) in (eds.) Arif Behic Ozcan and Yusuf Cinar, Uluslararası İlişkilerin Temel Kavramları, (Key Concepts inInternational Relations) (book chapter written in Turkish). Istanbul : Hukumdar Publications.

- Kavak, S. (2014), “Kürt Sorununun Çözümüne Diaspora’dan Bakmak : İngiltere Kürtleri  Örneği”  (Solution  to  the  Kurdish  Question:  A  Diasporan  Perspective from the UK) in (eds.) Hakan Samur and Zelal Kızılkan-Kısacık,rkiye’nin Demokratikleşmesi: Etnik-Dini Kesimler Üzerinden Değişimin Analizi (Democratisation of Turkey: The Analysis of Change through Ethnic-Religious Groups) (book chapter written in Turkish) Konya: Cizgi Publications.

- Kavak, S.  (2012) Kurdish Ethno-political Transformation in Turkey:  Between Ethnic and Non-ethnic Political Agenda. Saarbrucken : LAP Lambert Academic Publishing.

- Garner S. and Seref Kavak, (2012) (eds.) Debating Multiculturalism-2. London : Dialogue Society Publications.

- Kavak, S. (2012) “Kürt Siyasetinin 2000'li Yılları : "Türkiyelileşme" ve Demokratik Toplum Partisi” (Kurdish Ethno-politics in the 2000s : Turkey-fication and the Democratic Society Party) in (eds.) Busra Ersanli, Gunay Goksu Ozdoğan, and Nesrin Ucarlar, Türkiye Siyasetinde Kürtler : Direniş, Hak Arayışı, Katılım. (Kurdsin Turkish Politics : Resistence, Struggle for Rights, Participation) (book chapter written inTurkish). Istanbul : Iletisim Publications.