Lisel Hintz, Ph.D.

Lhintz1@jhu.edu

Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)

Country: United States (District of Columbia)

About Me:

Dr. Lisel Hintz is Assistant Professor of International Relations and European Studies at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. After receiving her Ph.D. in Political Science from George Washington University she was a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University and a Visiting Assistant Professor at Barnard College, Columbia University. Her first book, Identity Politics Inside Out: National Identity Contestation and Foreign Policy in Turkey (Oxford University Press, 2018) investigates how contestation over various forms of identity (e.g. ethnic, religious, gender, regional) spills over from domestic politics to shape, and be shaped by, foreign policy. Her current book project examines state-society struggles over identity in Turkey through the lens of pop culture, including TV. Dr. Hintz’s work is published in Survival, European Journal of International Relations, International Journal of Turkish Studies, Project on Middle East Political Science Series, and Turkish Policy Quarterly. She has contributed to War on the Rocks, Foreign Policy, The Washington Post (Monkey Cage), The Boston Globe, and BBC World Service, as well as to government, think tank, and academic discussions on Turkey’s increasingly personalistic authoritarianism, opposition and protest dynamics, foreign policy shifts, and Kurdish, Alevi, and gender issues.

Research Interests

Middle East & North African Politics

Foreign Policy

Religion & Politics

Non-Democratic Regimes

Race, Ethnicity and Politics

Identity Politics

Nationalism, National Identity

Kurdish Politics

Protest Politics

Authoritarianism

Foreign Policy Analysis

Countries of Interest

Turkey

My Research:

Dr. Lisel Hintz is Assistant Professor of International Relations and European Studies at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. After receiving her Ph.D. in Political Science from George Washington University she was a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University and a Visiting Assistant Professor at Barnard College, Columbia University. Her first book, Identity Politics Inside Out: National Identity Contestation and Foreign Policy in Turkey (Oxford University Press, 2018) investigates how contestation over various forms of identity (e.g. ethnic, religious, gender, regional) spills over from domestic politics to shape, and be shaped by, foreign policy. Her current book project examines state-society struggles over identity in Turkey through the lens of pop culture, including TV. Dr. Hintz’s work is published in Survival, European Journal of International Relations, International Journal of Turkish Studies, Project on Middle East Political Science Series, and Turkish Policy Quarterly. She has contributed to War on the Rocks, Foreign Policy, The Washington Post (Monkey Cage), The Boston Globe, and BBC World Service, as well as to government, think tank, and academic discussions on Turkey’s increasingly personalistic authoritarianism, opposition and protest dynamics, foreign policy shifts, and Kurdish, Alevi, and gender issues.

Publications:

Journal Articles:

(2019) Rethinking Turkey's 'Rapprochements': Trouble with Germany and Beyond, Survival

Turkish diplomacy vis-à-vis Germany as well as Russia and Israel appears to reflect a transactional trend in Ankara’s foreign policy.

(2016) 'Take It Outside!' National Identity Contestation in the Foreign Policy Arena, European Journal of International Relations

Turkey’s Islamist-rooted Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi (Justice and Development Party) aggressively pursued European Union accession as a primary pillar of foreign policy, only to swing sharply away from the West in subsequent years. Actor- and party-based Islamist identity approaches cannot account for Turkey’s initial European Union-centric orientation, while domestic politics and economic arguments fail to explain the timing of the shift eastward and its domestic repercussions. Examining the advantages that foreign policy offers as an alternative arena in which elites can politicize identity debates helps to distill this complexity. This article argues that elites choose to take their national identity contests to the foreign policy arena when identity gambits at the domestic level are blocked. By taking its pursuit of hegemony for Ottoman Islamism “outside” through aggressive European Union accession measures, the Justice and Development Party could weaken domestic challengers supporting a competing, Republican Nationalist proposal for identity, and broaden support for Ottoman Islamism at home. The theory of identity hegemony developed here thus explains the counter-intuitive finding that Turkey’s European Union-oriented policy helped make possible the rise of Ottoman Islamism. Turkey offers an ideal empirical window onto these dynamics because of recent and dramatic shifts in the dynamics of its public identity debates, and because Turkey’s identity is implicated in multiple international roles, such as North Atlantic Treaty Organization ally, European Union candidate country, Organization of Islamic Cooperation member, and aspirant regional power broker. The framework developed fills a gap in existing scholarship by closing the identity–foreign policy circle, analytically linking the spillover of national identity debates into foreign policy with the changes in the contours of these debates produced by their contestation in this alternative arena.

Books Written:

(2018) Identity Politics Inside Out: National Identity Contestation and Foreign Policy in Turkey, Oxford University Press

The trajectory of Turkey's Justice and Development Party (AKP) rule offers an ideal empirical window into puzzling shifts in Turkey's domestic politics and foreign policy. The policy transformations under its leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan do not align with existing explanations based on security, economics, institutions, or identity. In Identity Politics Inside Out, Lisel Hintz teases out the complex link between identity politics and foreign policy using an in-depth study of Turkey. Rather than treating national identity as cause or consequence of a state's foreign policy, she repositions foreign policy as an arena in which contestation among competing proposals for national identity takes place. Drawing from a broad array of sources in popular culture, social media, interviews, surveys, and archives, she identifies competing visions of Turkish identity and theorizes when and how internal identity politics becomes externalized. Hintz examines the establishment of Republican Nationalism in the wake of imperial collapse and examines failed attempts made by those challenging its Western-oriented, anti-ethnic, secularist values with alternative understandings of Turkishness. She further demonstrates how the Ottoman Islamist AKP used the European Union accession process to weaken Republican Nationalist obstacles in Turkey, thereby opening up space for Islam in the domestic sphere and a foreign policy targeted at achieving leadership in the Middle East. By showing how the "inside out" spillover of national identity debates can reshape foreign policy, Identity Politics Inside Out fills a major gap in existing scholarship by closing the identity-foreign policy circle.