Seda Gürkan


Seda Gürkan is lecturer at Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Department of Political Science and European Studies Institute and visiting scholar at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU). She is a graduate of London School of Economics (LSE), ULB and Diplomatic School of Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Madrid, Spain).  She was previously research fellow at Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington DC. She is the country expert (Turkey) for Bertelsmann Transformation Index (BTI). Her research interests include EU-Turkey relations, Turkish politics, parliamentary diplomacy, Europeanisation and European integration theories.

Prior to joining ULB, she served as NATO officer (International civil servant) at NATO Headquarters in Brussels at the cabinet of Assistant Secretary General between 2006 and 2012. There she worked on political-military affairs, security and defence issues, including missile defence, cyber defence and counter-terrorism. Mrs. Gürkan had previously also worked at the Club of Madrid in Spain and at the Representation Office of the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TUSIAD) in Brussels as a political advisor on the external relations of the EU and EU-Turkey relations.

She is a scholar of German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) and Atlantik Brücke Young Leaders Program Alumni. She was awarded Jean Monnet scholarship offered by the European Commission. Mrs. Gürkan was a Robert Schuman Scholar at the European Parliament, Directorate General for Committees and Delegations, Enlargement section (Brussels) in 2003. She offered senior courses on international relations and international security at NATO Defence College (Rome, Italy) and NATO School in Oberammergau (Germany). She received NATO research award with her research project on NATO-Turkey relations.  She is a former American Field Service (AFS) scholar and she holds an Art Diploma from Rome, Italy. She speaks Turkish (native), English, French, Italian and Spanish (all fluent).



2014:Ph.D. in Political Science, Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB)

  • Dissertation: ‘The Impact of the EU on Turkish Foreign Policy during the Pre-Accession Process to the EU: À la Carte Europeanization’
  • Supervisor: Prof. Mario Telò
  • Research award by TUSIAD for doctoral studies

2006:Diplomatic School, Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs

2002:Master of Science (MSc) in European Studies, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

  • Thesis: ‘The Implications of the CESDP for non-EU, European NATO Members’
  • Supervisor: Prof. William Wallace
  • Jean Monnet Scholarship granted by the European Commission (in the selection exam ranked first among all participants)

2001:BA in Political Science and International Relations, Marmara University

Work Experience

Since 2020:Visiting fellow at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU), Political Science Department

Since 2015:Lecturer in Political Science and European Studies, Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences, Political Science Department, Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB)

Since 2015:Research fellow, Institute for European Studies (IEE), and member of CEVIPOL (Le Centre d’Etude de la Vie Politique), Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB)

2012-2014:Research Fellow (May-June 2012) and non-resident fellow (June 2012-2014), Johns Hopkins University, The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Center for Transatlantic Relations, Washington DC

2006-2012:Advisor to the Assistant Secretary General, member of NATO International Staff, responsible for NATO-EU relations, counter-terrorism and defence aspects of military operations (passed the international recruitment examination and ranked among top six over 4.000 candidates)

2004-2005:Research fellow on international security and democratization in Central Eastern European Countries and Caucasian States, Club de Madrid, Madrid

2003-2004:Advisor on external relations of the EU and Turkey-EU relations, Turkish Industry and Business Association (TUSIAD), EU Representation Office, Brussels

2003:Researcher (Robert Schuman scholar), European Parliament, Directorate General for Committees and Delegations, Enlargement section, Brussels

July 2000:Researcher on European security, Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Center for Strategic Research, Ankara

1999-2000:Research Assistant in Political Science, Marmara University, Department of Political Science and International Relations, Istanbul

Courses taught (ULB)

  • Introduction to EU institutions, (BA and MA level)
  • External Action of the EU, (MA level)
  • Decision-making in the European Union, (MA level)
  • European Negotiations: Simulating Ordinary Legislative Procedure, (MA level)
  • Methodology in European Studies (MA level)
  • Doctoral Seminar on Theory, Methodology and Research in Political Science (PhD level)
  • Seminar series on Contemporary Turkish Studies


  • English (advanced)
  • French (advanced)
  • Turkish (advanced)
  • Spanish (advanced)
  • Italian (good)
Domaines d'intérêt
  • Europeanization
  • European integration theories
  • EU policy-making
  • EU conditionality
  • EU enlargement
  • Turkish politics and EU-Turkey relations
  • Parliamentary diplomacy (European Parliament)
  • Emotions in IR
Informations secrétariat
  • Office hours: Friday 12:15-14:15 by appointment, Institute of Sociology, S building, 11th floor, Room S.11.117
  • Permanences: sur rendez-vous les vendredis de 12h15-14h15 à l’Institut de Sociologie, étage 11, local S.11.117
Présentation des enseignements
  • EU institutions
  • EU policy-making
  • Theory and Methodology in Political Science
  • External Action of the EU
  • Ordinary legislative procedure
  • EU-Turkey relations
  • Contemporary Turkey
  • Process-Tracing
  • Academic writing
Présentation des recherches

My research and teaching has evolved at the crossroads of EU studies, comparative politics (area studies) and IR. In a nutshell, my research interests include European integration (EU policy-making, Europeanization, EU’s transformative power), IR theory (domestic-international linkages, international institutions, norm diffusion), area studies (contemporary Turkish politics) and qualitative methods (process-tracing, elite interviewing, bridging positivist-interpretive techniques).

Travaux sélectionnés

Latest publications:

For previous publications see DI-fusion list:,Seda&sort=pubdate+desc&type=person

Recent Media Appearances (selected):