Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Elif Babül ─ Bureaucratic Intimacies: Translating Human Rights in Turkey

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

McKinney Conference Room

Human rights are politically fraught in Turkey. Nevertheless, Turkey's human rights record remains a key indicator of its governmental legitimacy. Bureaucratic Intimacies shows how government workers encounter human rights rhetoric through training programs and articulates the perils and promises of these encounters for the subjects and objects of Turkish governance. Elif Babül argues that the accession process does not always advance human rights. Training programs strip human rights of their radical valences, disassociating them from their political meanings within grassroots movements. Translation of human rights into a tool of good governance leads to competing understandings of what human rights should do.

Development and Governance Seminar

Elif Babül is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Mount Holyoke College. She earned her PhD from Stanford University in 2012. She studied International Relations at Ankara University Faculty of Political Science and received her MA in Sociology at Boğaziçi University. Along with her primary specialization in national and transnational mechanisms of governance and the politics of human rights in Turkey, her research interests include everyday forms of state power and political authority, citizenship and national belonging, and the politics of gender in Turkey and the Middle East.