Yüksel Sezgin

Associate Professor, Political Science

Yuksel Sezgin

Contact Information

100F Eggers Hall
(315) 443-4431

Director, Middle Eastern Studies Program


Ph.D., University of Washington, 2007


Legal pluralism, informal justice systems, comparative religious law (Islamic, Jewish and Hindu), and human and women’s rights in the context of the Middle East, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Personal Website



In 2018-19, Prof. Sezgin will be teaching PSC 768 (Fall),  PSC 123 and PSC 374 (Spring).




Human Rights under State-Enforced Religious Family Laws in Israel, Egypt, and India (Cambridge University Press, 2013) (Winner of American Sociological Association’s Gordon Hirabayashi Human Rights Book Prize-2014)

Further information on Prof. Sezgin’s publications can be found on his personal website.

Research Projects

Currently working on a book project entitled Making “Shari‘a” and Democracy Work: The Regulation and Application of Muslim Family Laws in Non-Muslim Democracies (under contract with Cambridge University Press). The book will address the question of how non-Muslim democracies (i.e., Israel, India, Greece, and Ghana) have tackled challenges of implementing shari‘a within a democratic framework. Some of the challenges that reformers in the Muslim world have to overcome are well-known. But what about the challenges that legislators, judges and activists in non-Muslim countries need to surmount to render shari‘a -based laws human/women’s rights- and the rule of compliant? Has it been easier or more difficult to amend Islamic laws in non-Muslim contexts? What strategies and tactics non-Muslim governments have adopted to curb such practices as underage marriages, unilateral divorce or polygyny? Have they been successful? And most importantly, in the backdrop of so-called Arab Spring, what lessons, if any, can democratizing Muslim nations learn from experiences of non-Muslim democracies? Making “Shari‘a” and Democracy Work will engage these vital questions and many others and provide thought-provoking answers based on rich archival documentation, interviews and court observations across four “shariʿa-implementing” non-Muslim democracies.