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Dr Ece Kocabicak

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Professional biography

I obtained my PhD in Sociology from Lancaster University in 2017, where I had the privilege of being mentored by influential scholars in economic sociology, political economy, and feminist theory. Following the completion of my doctoral studies, I served as a Post-doctoral Fellow of Gender, Development, and Globalisation, concurrently teaching at the postgraduate level at the London School of Economics and Political Science (2017- 2020). Since September 2020, I have held the position of Lecturer in Sociology within the School of Social Sciences and Global Challenges at the Open University.

Research interests

My expertise is in the areas of international development and intersecting systems of gender, class, race-based oppression and exploitation in the Middle East and North Africa (Turkey, Egypt, and Morocco) and South Asia (India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh). My research represents a paradigm shift in the field of gender and development; it disrupts the established classical, Marxist and feminist theories by investigating the ways in which uneven gender relations effectively shape the macro level political economy. Going beyond the limitations of capitalism-based reductionism and cultural essentialism, it proposes that not only class, but also gender, race, ethnicity and caste-based dispossession and labour exploitation are significant in diversifying the trajectories of socio-economic transformation.

My research focuses on the following questions:
- What are the diverse variations of gender regimes and manifestations of racism in the Global South?
- In which ways do the gender and race/ethnicity-based regimes shape the macro level political economy?
- What are the patriarchal, capitalist, and racist political actors in the Global South and how do they sustain their influence in shaping state-formation?
- To what extent do essentialist interpretations of sex/gender contribute to the perpetuation of racist state agenda?
- In the context of the Global South, to what degree and in what ways does violence emerge as an effective strategy against systems of exploitation and regimes of oppression?

Teaching interests

Lead of Interdisiplinary Social Science Qualifications 
2022-present Responsible for the following qualifications: R23 BA (Hons) Social Sciences; R46 BA (Hons) Criminology and Sociology; R57 BA (Hons) Sociology; W68 Diploma HE Social Sciences; W80 Diploma of HE Criminology and Sociology; and T06 Cert HE Social Sciences 

D328  Sociology Dissertation Module (60 credits)
2022-present Deputy chair of the production module team 

DD318  Social Theory: Changing Social Worlds (60 credits)
2021-24 Co-lead of Block 1, titled ‘Work’ and Production module team member. 

DD215 Doing Social Research: Crime, Justice & Society (60 credits)
2021-22 Presentation module team member. 
2020-21 Production module team member. 

Impact and engagement

I have authored articles in an internationally recognised sociology, political economy and international development journals. Two of my journal articles have been translated and published in Persian and Chinese (Mandarin). Furthermore, my articles are shortlisted by EconPapers (RePEC), administered by the Örebro University Business School. In addition, my research monograph, The Political Economy of Patriarchy in the Global South, published by Routledge Gender and Economics Series has been nominated for the prestigious 2023 British Sociological Association's Philip Adams Memorial Prize. My book is also selected as an Essential reading in Choice Reviewed Titles selection, a publishing unit at the Association of College & Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association. 

Critics' Review of my book

"This pathbreaking book is a powerful contribution to the expanding field of stratification economics, theoretically and empirically exploring the role of hierarchical economic, political and social institutions in maintaining the power of dominant groups. It is unique in its focus on the interacting effects of stratification by class, race, and gender using Turkey as a case study. Development economists especially will find rich theoretical terrain in this book to expand our understanding of global inequalities." — Stephanie Seguino, Professor, Department of Economics, and Fellow, Gund Institute for the Environment, University of Vermont, USA

"Kocabıçak makes an essential contribution to scholarship on patriarchal social structures in capitalist societies and the abilities of dominant groups to hold power, resist demands for change from feminist movements, and maintain a stratified order based on race, class, and gender. She provides insight into how the patriarchal order affects the place of women and their organizations in the socioeconomic system based on class and ethnic attributes and concludes with a compelling discussion of the drivers and dampers of social change in capitalist and racist systems. She describes an exit strategy for women by diversifying their labor, breaking away from the hegemony of domestic patriarchies, confronting and working to change antidemocratic racist regimes, and forming a strategic alliance between feminist movements. This is a breathtaking study that will stand the test of time." —  Birol A. Yesilada, Professor of Political Science and International Studies, Portland State University, USA

In The Political Economy of Patriarchy in the Global South, Ece Kocabıçak challenges us to look at the relationships between capitalisms and patriarchies in new ways. Using Turkey as an example, she highlights the importance of women’s unpaid work within household productive enterprises, both in small businesses and in agriculture. She analyzes how patriarchy embedded in male household heads is reinforced through the control of women’s labor for production in household enterprises. Providing a strong feminist approach from the global South, her theorizing provides insights into how to create feminist strategies for transformational change." — Cheryl Doss, Professor of International Development and Senior Departmental Lecturer in Development Economics, Oxford Department of International Development, Oxford University

"In this ground-breaking book Kocabıçak tackles the long-standing puzzle of why patriarchal social structures persist in the face of feminist movements and resistance. Drawing creatively and widely on critical feminist and materialist traditions, through a focus on Turkey, she discusses how the imbrication of patriarchy, capitalist and racialized systems of oppression together explain the degree to which patriarchy is reinforced and immune to change. In doing so Kocabıçak not only gives serious substance to the concept of intersectionality, but she also develops a theoretical rubric for analysing variation in societies across space and time. This is one of those books that will not only endure the test of time but will influence scholarship widely and deeply." — Professor Manali Desai, Head of Department, Professor of Comparative and Historical Sociology, and Fellow and Director of Studies, Newnham College, University of Cambridge.

"Ece Kocabıçak provides a compelling new feminist materialist approach to male dominance in the global South based on the□economic conditions which allow or hinder the□formation of men and women’s□collective agencies depending on their class and racial-ethnic positioning. Her historical framing of types of patriarchal economies and state formations allow for exciting comparisons and contrasts to gendered development in other countries in the global South." — Ann Ferguson, Professor emerita of Philosophy and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA

External collaborations

Executive Secretary, the International Sociological Association (ISA)

2023- present: Executive Secretary of Economy and Society Research Committe (RC02)

Network Lead, Gender Gaps in Non-agricultural Paid Employment in the Global South

2022-present: This network of collaboration (led by me) has recently been established to investigate the connections between gender-based dispossession of agrarian land and women’s non-agricultural paid employment. Thus far, this network has submitted an ERC grant application (October 2022), organised face-to-face (June 2022) and virtual workshops (April 2022).

Member, Varieties of Gender Regimes Network, The University of Duisburg-Essen

2018-present: I am currently working as a member of Varieties of Gender Regimes Network, funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. My role in this network is to analyse the dynamics that diversify varieties of gender regimes in the Global South.

Member, the ESRC funded Global Challenges Network (ref: ES/P006604/1), SOAS

2017- 19: I worked as a member of the ESRC funded Global Challenges Network on the dynamics of gender inequality in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. My role in this network was to investigate the significance of uneven gender relations in agriculture for female labour force participation. I wrote two reports and presented those at network meetings in London and Rabat.



The causes and the consequences of the patriarchal state: Evidence from Turkey (2023-05-11)
Kocabıçak, Ece
Women's Studies International Forum, 98, Article 102744(May-June)

Why Property Matters? New Varieties of Domestic Patriarchy in Turkey (2022-09)
Kocabicak, Ece
Social Politics, 29(3) (pp. 812-830)

Gendered property and labour relations in agriculture: implications for social change in Turkey (2022)
Kocabicak, Ece
Oxford Development Studies, 50(2) (pp. 91-113)

What excludes women from landownership in Turkey? Implications for feminist strategies (2018-06)
Kocabicak, Ece
Women's Studies International Forum, 69(July–Aug) (pp. 115-125)

The Political Economy of Patriarchy in the Global South (2023)
Kocabıçak, Ece
ISBN : 9781003054511 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London

Feministinnen im Gezi-Park-Widerstand (2016-04-01)
Kocabicak, Ece
In: Atac, Ilker and Fanizadeh, Michael eds. Turkey: Continuities, Changes, Taboos. VIDC – Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation (pp. 108-121)
ISBN : 978-3854766513 | Publisher : Mandelbaum Verlag | Published : Vienna