Headshot of Middle East fellow A.Kadir Yildirim

A.Kadir Yildirim

Fellow for the Middle East

Biography

A.Kadir Yildirim, Ph.D., is a fellow for the Middle East at the Baker Institute. His main research interests include politics and religion, political Islam, the politics of the Middle East, and Turkish politics.

Yildirim is the author of two books. "Muslim Democratic Parties in the Middle East: Economy and Politics of Islamist Moderation" (2015) analyzes Islamist parties' moderation trajectories and the impact of economic liberalization processes on moderation in Egypt, Morocco and Turkey. His forthcoming book, "The Politics of Religious Party Change: Islamist and Catholic Parties in Comparative Perspective," addresses the comparative effect of religious institutions on religious party evolution in the Middle East and Western Europe. He is the recipient of the Smith Richardson Foundation’s prestigious Strategy & Policy Fellows grant in support of his second book.

Yildirim currently serves as the principal investigator of a study funded by the Henry Luce Foundation on the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on religiosity in the Muslim world. Previously, Yildirim led two major research projects at the Baker Institute: In a project funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Yildirim and his colleagues examined pluralism and inclusion in the Middle East since the beginning of the Arab Spring protests. In a second project funded by The Henry R. Luce Foundation, he analyzed the relationship between religious authority and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, using an experimental survey design.

Yildirim's work has been published in publications such as British Journal of Political Science (forthcoming), Party Politics, Political Science Quarterly, Politics & Religion, Representation, Comparative European Politics, Democratization, Middle Eastern Studies, Sociology of Islam and Soccer & Society. His opinion pieces have appeared in The Washington Post, Carnegie’s Sada, the Huffington Post and Al Jazeera.

Previously, Yildirim was a faculty member at Furman University and a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University’s Niehaus Center. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from the Ohio State University, where he also earned an M.A. degree. Yildirim received his B.A. from Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey.

Contact him at ay18@rice.edu or (713) 348-5939.