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Yüksel Sezgin is the director of the Middle East Studies Program and an assistant professor of political science at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University.

He earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Ankara, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the University of London (SOAS), and the University of Washington. Prior to working at the Maxwell School, he taught at the University of Washington, Harvard Divinity School, and the City University of New York. He has held research positions at Princeton University, Columbia University, Bielefeld University, the American University in Cairo, and the University of Delhi.

Professor Sezgin’s research and teaching interests include legal pluralism, comparative religious law (Islamic, Jewish and Hindu), and human and women’s rights in the Middle East, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. His scholarly articles on comparative law, religion, and politics have appeared in various edited volumes and journals.

He is the author of Human Rights under State-Enforced Religious Family Laws in Israel, Egypt and India (Cambridge University Press, 2013). He is currently working on a new book project tentatively titled Democratizing Shari‘a: How Do Non-Muslim Democracies Apply and Regulate Muslim Family Laws?

Professor Sezgin is the recipient of American Sociological Association's Gordon Hirabayashi Human Rights Book Prize (2014), the American Political Science Association's Aaron Wildavsky Dissertation Award (2008), and the Middle East Studies Association's Malcolm H. Kerr Dissertation Award (2008).

Professor Sezgin is a member of the executive body of the Commission on Legal Pluralism and the associate editor of the Journal of Legal Pluralism.

Professor Sezgin has also served as a consultant to major international development agencies including the UNDP, UN Women, WHO, and USAID. His commentaries and opinion pieces on Turkish politics and regional affairs have appeared in a wide range of print and online publications including The Washington Post and Al Jazeera English.