Mirrors of Modernization: The American Reflection in Turkey


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships


Political Science


This project examines the making and travels of modernization theory, which reigned in social science and policy circles during the Cold War. The dynamic encounters between American and Turkish scholars, architects, and engineers reveal that theories and projects of modernization were not merely diffused, but were subject to strategies of translation that reworked the inevitabilities their creators imagined. Political scientists have, for the most part, ignored the history and political effects of their theories and research agendas. A study of modernization theory and the concomitant reshaping of Turkey in material terms helps trace the history and concrete enactment of a political theory, one whose imprint continues to guide current debates on political and economic development.