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Dr Merve Sancak

Job: Lecturer in Globalisation

Faculty: Business and Law

School/department: Department of Politics, People and Place

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH

T: N/A



Personal profile

Merve Sancak joined the Department of Politics, People and Places in January 2021. Before this, she was a Postdoctoral Researcher at Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI). She completed her PhD in Sociology at the University of Cambridge in 2019. 

Her research sits in between international political economy, comparative political economy and economic sociology to understand capitalist societies in the context of globalisation. More specifically, she is interested in studying the intersections between the global political and economic dynamics and the national institutional structures, and the implications of these interactions for inclusive development. 

Her research so far has focused on the skill formation systems in Mexico and Turkey, and how the coordination structures in global value chains (GVCs) and national institutional arrangements affect domestic firms’ strategies for finding workers with the skills necessary for them. For this, she developed a novel ‘multi-level’ framework that links the macro-level studies on GVCs and comparative capitalisms with the micro-level approach of employment systems and human resource management. 

Currently, she is working on a research project for understanding the global embedding of late industrialising economies, which focuses on a range of international linkages of these countries, and the implications of these linkages for inclusive development.

She has had experience in policy-oriented research, and has worked with international organisations and think-tanks including the OECD, Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV), and Istanbul International Centre for Private Sector in Development (IICPSD).

Research group affiliations

  • The Centre for Urban Research on Austerity (CURA)
  • People Organisations and Work Institute (POWI)

Publications and outputs

  • Global Production, National Institutions and Skill Formation: The political economy of training and employment in auto parts suppliers from Mexico and Turkey. Oxford University Press (forthcoming).
  • Partisan politics of skills in middle-income countries: Insiders, outsiders and the vocational education system of Turkey. Competition & Change (2020)
  • When politics gets in the way: domestic coalitions and the making of skill systems, Review of International Political Economy, 25:3, 340-363,, with Isik D. Özel (2018)
  • "Ulrich Jürgens, Martin Krzywdzinski, The new worlds of work: Varieties of work in car factories in the BRIC countries, Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2016; xvii, 345 pp.: ISBN 9780198722670,£ 55.00 (hbk) translated by Pete Burgess." Competition & Change (2018)

Research interests/expertise

Comparative capitalisms, global value chains, inclusive development, emerging market economies, skill formation systems, employment systems, Turkey, Mexico, developmental state, international organisations

Areas of teaching

Globalisation, comparative capitalisms, late industrialisers/emerging markets, development, employment systems.


  • PhD Sociology, University of Cambridge (2019)
  • MSc Comparative Social Policy, University of Oxford (2011)
  • BA Economics, Koc University (2010)
  • BA International Relations, Koc University (2010)

Courses taught

POPP1402 – Introduction to Globalisation

POPP5007 – Globalisation

Honours and awards

  • Japanese Award for Outstanding Research on Development; Global Development Network (2018)
  • Early Career Paper Award; the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE) (2017)
  • Supplementary PhD Funding; Cambridge Political Economy Society (2016)
  • Mexican Government Scholarship; the Mexican Agency for International Development (2014)

Membership of professional associations and societies

  • Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE) 
  • Political Studies Association (PSA)
  • Latin American Political Economy Network (REPAL)
  • World Interdisciplinary Network for Institutional Research (WINIR)