Begüm Adalet

Assistant Professor


Begüm Adalet is Assistant Professor in the Department of Government. She is a political theorist with research and teaching interests in infrastructures and ideologies of empire, racism, development, anti-colonialism, and transnationalism, with a focus on the Cold War period. She is currently working on a second book project, tentatively titled, Insurgent Mood: Black Radical Internationalism from the United States to the Middle East. Before coming to Cornell, she was Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow at the Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies at New York University and Instructor in the Politics Department at Ithaca College. She holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and a BA from Swarthmore College.



  • Hotels and Highways: The Construction of Modernization Theory in Cold War Turkey, Stanford University Press, 2018

Selected Articles, Chapters, Critical Exchanges, and Public Writing

  • “W. E. B. Du Bois and transnationalism: a conversation” International Politics. Roundtable Discussion on Inés Valdez’s Transnational Cosmopolitanism: Kant, Du Bois, and Justice as a Political Craft, (with Charisse Burden-Stelly, Adam Dahl, Katrin Flikschuh, Inés Valdez), 2023
  • “Erupting Out of the ‘Zone of Non-Being’: The Cunning of Solidarity.” Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy 30(1): 79-81. Symposium on Geo Maher’s Anticolonial Eruptions: Racial Hubris and the Cunning of Resistance (with responses from Henry Aoki, Kevin Bruyneel, Geo Maher, Althea Sircar, Anna Terwiel), 2022
  • "Infrastructures of Decolonization: Frantz Fanon and Scales of Worldmaking” Political Theory, 2022
  • “Agricultural Infrastructures: Race, Land, and Statecraft in Turkey,” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 2022
  • “Mediating the Kennedy Presidency: James Baldwin’s Decade in Turkey,” Globalizing the U.S. Presidency: Postcolonial Views of John F. Kennedy, ed. Cyrus Schayegh, Bloomsbury Series “New Approaches to International History,” 2020
  • “James Baldwin, Here and Elsewhere” (Review of Eddie Glaude’s Begin Again) Public Books, 2020
  • “Tensions, terrors, tenderness: James Baldwin’s Politics of Comparison,” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 38 (3), December, 2018
  • “It’s not yours if you can’t get there”: Mobility and State-making in Turkey. The Funambulist Magazine: Politics of Space and Bodies, 17, May-June issue on Weaponized Infrastructure, 2018


In the news

GOVT Courses - Fall 2023

GOVT Courses - Spring 2024