Dr. Güneş Murat Tezcür

Department of Political Science, Loyola University Chicago

Title and Précis:

Arguing Democracy on Religious Grounds: Lessons from the Catholic Experience

     This project will explore the manner in which religious arguments in favor of competitive and pluralistic politics affect the dynamics of democratization in predominantly Catholic and Muslim societies. When and why religious political actors become advocates of democratic governance and how they articulate and justify their new pro-democratic positions will constitute the guiding questions to be addressed. The Catholic participation in the ‘third wave’ of democratization will be analyzed in order to develop a more refined understanding of how Muslim political actors, clerics, and intellectuals engage with questions central to democratic theory in Turkey and Indonesia. How Catholic and Muslim actors have justified, adapted to, and contributed to democratization and societal and political pluralism is central to the public role of religion in contemporary world.


     Güneş Murat Tezcür, a native of Turkey, is currently an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Loyola University Chicago. Tezcür joined Loyola after earning his Doctoral degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 2005. His research interests include contemporary Iranian and Turkish politics, energy politics and international relations in the Middle East, democratization, ethnic conflict, and electoral systems. He has conducted extensive field research in the Middle East including frequent visits to Iran and Turkey in the last eight years. His writings have appeared in a wide range of scholarly and journalistic avenues.

News and Updates

  • Dr. Tezcür has published a number of articles over the past few years on questions of religion and politics
  • Recently, Dr. Tezcür delivered a lecture at Emanuel Congregation here in Chicago. The lecture was entitled, "Reconstructing the Triangle: Iran, Israel, and Turkey."
  • Dr. Tezcür publishes in popular media, such as his recent opinion piece for OpenDemocracy.net, and gives interviews in the media, such as the interview he gave in 2009 after the Iranian presidential election.