Saygun Gökarıksel

Saygun Gökarıksel
The City University of New York
PSB 205
Phone Number: 
+90 212 359 4833
Areas of Interest: 


Political and historical anthropology

Transitional justice and human rights

Eastern Europe and Global South

Saygun Gökarıksel's research and writing engages the themes of law,  history, and politics, especially the field of transitional justice and human rights, from a critical legal and political anthropological perspective. His current research examines the legal and moral-political reckoning with the communist past in Poland and Eastern Europe more generally, with a focus on violence, archive, memory, and neoliberal and rightwing authoritarianism. His writings and commentaries have appeared in journals and forums across Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and the US.

Courses Taught: 

Soc 281 Social Anthropology; Soc 286 Political Anthropology; Soc 375 Sociology/Anthropology of Law; Soc 480 Revolutions, States, and Social Movements; Soc 481 Transitional Justice, Violence, and Politics; Soc 491  The Purges and Conspiracies of Power; Soc 492 Contemporary Issues in Eastern Europe.

Selected Publications: 

“Screening the Criminal Underworld of Capitalist Nation-State Making: Dogs and Memory of the 1990s in Poland,” forthcoming in Remembering the 1990s: Economic Change in East-Central Europe and Beyond after 1989 edited by Veronika Pehe and Joanna Wawrzyniak. Routledge.  

-- “Judicializing Communism: Transitional Justice and Nationalist Populism in the Uneven Time-Space of Eastern Europe” In Law, Populism, and the Political edited by Rafał Manko, Adam Sulikowski, and Przemysław Tacik. London: Routledge.

-- “Anti-Fascist Strategy Today: Historical Lineages of Anti-Communism and “Militant Democracy” in Eastern Europe.” In Back to the 1930s: Crisis, Repetition, and Transition in the 20th and 21st Centuries edited by Jeremy Rayner, George Souvlis et al., Palgrave, 2020, 215-233.  

-- “Facing History: Sovereignty and the Spectacles of Justice and Violence in Poland’s Capitalist Democracy,” Comparative Studies in Society and History, January 2019, 111-144

-- With Umut Türem, “The Banality of Exception? Law and Politics in ‘Post-Coup’ Turkey,” South Atlantic Quarterly, January 2019, 175-187