Dr Hande Paker

Senior Research Fellow

Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research
Schifferstraße 44
47059 Duisburg

Phone: +49 (0)203 379-5258
Fax: +49 (0)203 379-5276
E-Mail: paker@gcr21.uni-due.de





Since 01/2018

Bahçeşehir University, Istanbul, Türkiye

Department of Political Science and International Relations

Associate Professor


Hamburg University

Cluster of Excellence Integrated Climate System Analysis and Prediction

Visiting Researcher


Bahçeşehir University, Istanbul, Türkiye

Department of Political Science and International Relations

Assistant Professor


Sabancı University, Türkiye

Istanbul Policy Center

Mercator-IPC Research Fellow


McGill University, Montreal, Canada

Department of Sociology

PhD Sociology

Dissertation Title: 'Social Aftershocks: Rent Seeking, State Failure and State-Civil Society Relations in Turkey'

Research Interests

  • Political sociology
  • State-civil society relations
  • Political ecology
  • Transnational politics of environment and climate change
  • Cosmopolitan citizenship
  • Intersectionality in climate politics
  • The role of arts and culture in ecological transformation


Dr Hande Paker joined the research group 'Legitimation and Delegitimation in global Cooperation' in September 2022 and will be a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre until January 2024.

Research Project at the Centre

Climate Commons: Cooperation and Contestation for Ecological Transformation

My current project focuses on local and transnational environmental spaces of action and examines whether and how translocal commons are built around climate protection by various civil society actors (e.g. climate justice networks, environmental NGOs, grassroots mobilizations) in two starkly dissimilar political and economic contexts, those of Turkey and Germany. By expanding my research on civic interactions, contestations and meaning-making in climate politics to understand how and why efforts to construct a common ground succeed and fail, I aim to contribute to the research agenda of identifying the conditions that can support horizontal ties of cooperation among civil society actors and counteract populist pressures of Othering (de-legitimation). As such, I propose to develop an intersectional framework which builds on three tasks: First, I analyze the issue of climate change at the nexus of transnational and local networks and frames since both the impact of and the response to the global problem of climate change are shaped in local geographies. Second, I use insights from renewed cosmopolitan theory to show how the cosmopolitan idea of engaging with the Other is relevant for the climate issue. Third, I establish the common ground as a political space by investigating intersectionalities as well as cleavages that crosscut the climate commons. I adopt a bottom-up approach to global cooperation focusing on horizontal ties between civil society organizations, movements, artists, change makers in relation to climate commons.     


Paker, Hande (2020). 'Politicizing the environment: the ecological crisis of Turkey' (ed. E. Canan-Sokullu). Turkey in transition: Politics, society, and foreign policy. Berlin: Peter Lang.

Paker, Hande (2017). 'The 'politics of serving’ and neoliberal developmentalism: the megaprojects of the AKP as tools of hegemony building' (ed. F. Adaman, B. Akbulut and M. Arsel). Neoliberal Turkey and its discontents: Economic policy and the environment under Erdoğan. I. B. Tauris.

Paker, Hande (2018). 'Contesting the ‘Third Bridge’ in Istanbul: local environmentalism, cosmopolitan attachments?' (ed. N. Fisher Onar, S. Pearce, and F. Keyman). Istanbul: Living with Difference in a Global City. Rutgers University Press

Paker, Hande, Fikret Adaman, Zeynep Kadirbeyoğlu, and Begüm Özkaynak (2013). 'Environmental organizations in Turkey: engaging the state and capital'. Environmental Politics, 22, 5: 760-778.

Williams, David, Osman Balaban, Hande Paker, Akgün İlhan, Ümit Şahin, Beyza Sarıkoç Yıldırım, Ethemcan Turhan, Baran Alp Uncu, and Marta Olazabal (2022). 'A policy content analysis for evaluating urban adaptation justice in İstanbul'. Environmental Science and Policy, 136: 476-485.

Paker, Hande (2021). 'Arts and Culture for Ecological Transformation'. Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts. www.iksv.org/i/content/16512_1_Arts-and-Culture-for-Ecological-Transformation_2021.pdf

Kadirbeyoğlu, Zeynep, Fikret Adaman, Begüm Özkaynak, and Hande Paker (2017). ‘The effectiveness of environmental civil society organizations: an integrated analysis of organizational characteristics and contextual factors’. Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 28, 4: 1717-1741.

Paker, Hande and E. Fuat Keyman (2020). ‘State, Civil Society, and Syrians in Turkey’, (ed. K. Rygiel and F. Baban), Fostering pluralism through solidarity activism in Europe: Everyday encounters with newcomers, Palgrave Macmillan.

Paker, Hande (2017). ‘Cosmopolitan democracy revisited in a world of rising populism, deepening polarization, and rampant neoliberalism’. Istanbul Policy Center.