Orçun Selçuk is a Political Science Ph.D. candidate at Florida International University. He also has a BA and MA from Boğaziçi University in Istanbul.
Currently, Selçuk is working on his dissertation, which broadly examines the dynamics of public opinion polarization in Turkey, Venezuela, and Ecuador. His dissertation analyzes the explanatory powers of two alternative approaches: traditional left-right polarization versus affection towards populist leaders. Using a multiple methods approach, he makes the case that the essence of public opinion polarization in these three countries is captured by how people are divided over the perception of populist leaders, Hugo Chávez, Rafael Correa, and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, rather than adoption of extreme ideological positions.
Besides his dissertation, Selçuk has published a peer-reviewed journal article examining populism in Turkey, Venezuela, and Ecuador in the context of strong presidents and weak democratic institutions. He has also published newspaper articles in the Washington Post and the Miami Herald on Turkish politics. Before coming to FIU, he published an article and a book chapter on Turkish Airlines and soft power.
At FIU, Selçuk teaches the CPO 2002 (Introduction to Comparative Politics) and the CPO 4303 (Politics of South America) courses at the undergraduate level. Previously, he worked as teaching assistants for courses on politics of Latin America, the Middle East, the United States, and Russia.