Dr. Ihsan Yilmaz

Nonresident Senior Research Fellow

Ihsan Yilmaz is a chair in Islamic Studies and research professor of political science and international relations at Deakin University’s ADI (Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation). Previously, he worked at the Universities of Oxford and London, demonstrating a strong track record of successfully leading multi-site international research projects. At Deakin, his projects have received funding from the Australian Research Council (ARC), Department of Veteran Affairs, Victorian Government, and Gerda Henkel Foundation.

Presently, he leads two ARC Discovery projects: “Civilisationist Mobilisation, Digital Technologies, and Social Cohesion: The Case of Turkish & Indian Diasporas in Australia” (in collaboration with Prof Greg Barton) and “Religious Populism, Emotions, and Political Mobilisation: Civilisationism in Turkey, Indonesia, and Pakistan.” Additionally, he co-leads a Gerda Henkel Foundation (Germany) project titled: “Smart Digital Technologies and the Future of Democracy in the Muslim World.”

He stands as one of Australia’s foremost scholars on religion & law & politics, authoritarianism, digital politics, populism, transnationalism, soft power, and sharp power, with a particular focus on Turkey, Indonesia, and Pakistan. His prolific authorship is evident through publications in leading political science and international relations journals across the globe.

Furthermore, he holds the position of a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at Oxford University’s Regent College and is associated with the Brussels-based think tank, the European Center for Populism Studies (ECPS).

His advisory role extends to numerous government departments, policy makers, and bureaucrats in the UK, USA, EU, and Turkey. His contributions span renowned institutions such as the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the Brookings and Hudson Institutes, as well as esteemed media outlets including CNN, BBC, the New York Times, ABC, Sydney Morning Herald, and The Australian.

He is the author of Authoritarianism, Informal Law, and Legal Hybridity (published by Palgrave Macmillan) and Creating the Desired Citizen (published by Cambridge University Press).

He held the position of professor of political science at Istanbul Fatih University from 2008 to 2016. During his time at SOAS, University of London, from 2001 to 2008, he served as a lecturer in law, social sciences, and politics. Within this role, he taught courses such as “Islamic Law and Society,” “Legal Systems of Asia and Africa,” and “Turkish Politics” at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Before joining SOAS, he was a fellow at the Centre for Islamic Studies, University of Oxford, from 1999 to 2001. During this period, his work centred around Muslim political participation in the UK and the informal Muslim laws among young Muslims in Western countries.

Latest by Ihsan Yilmaz


Why does populist Netanyahu seek to reform Israel’s judiciary? July 2, 2023.

AKP’s populist framing of Erdogan as the tough, macho, militaristic savior of ‘the people’ against the Western imperialists May 10, 2023.

Civilizational populist Netanyahu’s election victory and rise of Religious Zionist Party in Israel November 3, 2022

The Silence of the Khans: The pragmatism of Islamist populist Imran Khan and his mentor Erdogan in persecuting Muslim minorities June 26, 2021.

The Islamist Populism, Anti-Westernism and Civilizationism of Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs May 19, 2021.

How Are Religious Emotions Instrumentalized in the Supply of and Demand for Populism? May 18, 2021.

Different ways in which religion and populism intersect within world’s great faiths May 8, 2021.

The Islamic Defenders Front: The Face of Indonesia’s Far-Right Islamism May 7, 2021.

Military and Populism: An Introduction April 26, 2021.

Transnational Islamist Populism between Pakistan and Turkey: The Case of Dirilis – Ertugrul April 15, 2021.


Competing Populisms, Digital Technologies and the 2024 Elections in Indonesia January 2, 2024.

Digital Authoritarianism in Turkish Cyberspace: A Study of Deception and Disinformation by the AKP Regime’s AKtrolls and AKbots November 13, 2023.

Comprehending Strategic Digital Information Operations (SDIOs) September 10, 2023.

Gender Populism: Civilizational Populist Construction of Gender Identities as Existential Cultural Threats May 24, 2023.

The Impact of Civilizational Populism on Foreign and Transnational Policies: The Turkish Case May 4, 2023.

Contest between leaders of the Ummah: Comparing civilizational populisms of PTI and TLP in Pakistan February 15, 2023.

The Others of Islamist Civilizational Populism in AKP’s Turkey February 4, 2023.

Hindutva civilizational populist BJP’s enforcement of digital authoritarianism in India December 8, 2022.

The nexus of religious populism and digital authoritarianism in Pakistan December 1, 2022.

Nationalism, Religion, and Archaeology: The Civilizational Populism of Benjamin Netanyahu and Likud October 10, 2022.

Manufacturing Civilisational Crises: Instrumentalisation of Anti-Western Conspiracy Theories for Populist Authoritarian Resilience in Turkey and Pakistan August 15, 2022.

Islamist Populists in Power: Promises, Compromises and Attacks on Democratic Institutions August 7, 2022.

Civilizational Populism Around the World July 31, 2022.

Religious populism in Israel: The case of Shas March 30, 2022.

Military and Populism: A Global Tour with a Special Emphasis on the Case of Pakistan March 1, 2022.

Civilizationist Populism in South Asia: Turning India Saffron February 24, 2022.

Religious Populism and Vigilantism: The Case of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan January 23, 2022.

A Quest for Identity: The Case of Religious Populism in Pakistan April 26, 2021.


Digital Authoritarianism and Activism for Digital Rights in Pakistan July 20, 2023

Religious Populism, Cyberspace and Digital Authoritarianism in Asia: India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Turkey January 20, 2022.


Populism, Violence, and Vigilantism in Indonesia: Rizieq Shihab and His Far-Right Islamist Populism May 14, 2021.

Erdogan’s Political Journey: From Victimised Muslim Democrat to Authoritarian, Islamist Populist February 14, 2021.

Imran Khan: From Cricket Batsman to Populist Captain Tabdeli of Pakistan February 10, 2021.

The AKP’s Authoritarian, Islamist Populism: Carving out a New Turkey February 5, 2021.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf: Pakistan’s Iconic Populist Movement February 3, 2021.







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