O Hearn Firat, Bilge

Visiting Research Fellow
United States
05/01/2022 to 29/02/2024
Biographical Statement 

Bilge O’Hearn Firat was a Visiting Research Fellow at UNU-CRIS and Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Texas at El Paso, where she is also a Faculty Fellow at the Center for Inter-American and Border Studies. Previously, Bilge worked at Texas A&M University (2016-2018) and Binghamton University (2013-2015) in the USA, Istanbul Technical University (2002-2016) in Turkey, and Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium (2008-2009).

Trained as a political anthropologist, ethnographer and qualitative researcher, Bilge (PhD’11, SUNY-Binghamton) is interested in questions of access and accountability through the corridors of power from high politics to energy and infrastructure. She is the author of Diplomacy and Lobbying during Turkey’s Europeanisation: the Private Life of Politics (Manchester University Press, 2019), an ethnographic monograph chronicling backstage negotiations of the cultures of governance and statecraft during Turkey’s EU membership talks (2005-2013) as seen in situ and from the perspectives of state and non-state actors in Brussels. Bilge is also the editor of “Culture, Power, and Policymaking in the New Europe” special issue of Anthropological Journal of European Cultures. Her writings have appeared in Political and Legal Anthropology ReviewEconomic AnthropologyDialectical Anthropology, and European Journal of Turkish Studies. (For a complete list of publications and research updates, see https://unu.academia.edu/BilgeFirat ) 

While at UNU-CRIS, Bilge worked on a field-based ethnographic and archival research project that looks at the makings of the Southern Gas Corridor as a geopolitical infrastructure and its role in regional integration between Europe’s centers and peripheries as part of the Climate Change and Natural Resources cluster.