Sahan Savas Karatasli

Sahan Savas Karatasli

Assistant Research Scientist

Contact Information

Research Interests: Comparative-historical sociology, historical capitalism, social movements, nationalism, global social change and development, global inequality

Education: PhD


My research interests include (1) contemporary and historical processes of globalization and financialization, (2) global inequality, social change and development, and (3) social and political movements (e.g. nationalist movements, labor unrest, social revolts, revolutions and warfare) in world history. I use a combination of quantitative and comparative-historical methods. I am particularly interested in explicating the interrelationship between social change and development at the global and local levels; in particular, the ways in which changes in the global political economy affect social and political movements, and class and ethnic-based hierarchies.

Book Project: "Capitalism and Nationalism in the Longue Duree"

My current book project concentrates on the relationship between historical capitalism and state-seeking nationalist movements in world history from 14th century to present. This book explain the complex inter-relationship between macro-structural dynamics of historical capitalism, international warfare, social revolutions and state-seeking nationalist movements. Contrary to much of the literature which predicted that the decline of nationalism would go hand-in-hand with the advance of capitalism, I show how state-seeking nationalism has followed a cyclical pattern (successively rising and declining) over the longue durée of capitalist history. The comparative-historical analysis utilized in the book also aims to provides an explanation for transformations over time in the form of state-seeking movements--from religious in the long 16th century to secular-democratic in the late 18th century and from ethno-nationalist in the 19th century to new emergent forms in the early 21st century--and how this evolutionary pattern is linked to the rise and decline of world hegemonies. The book also introduces a new major dataset of state-seeking movements in world history.

Economic and Geopolitical Crises and Waves of Social Unrest 

This study - supported  by a National Science Foundation grant (submitted with Beverly Silver) - seeks to shed light on the recent (post-2008) global upsurge of labor and social unrest by comparing it with analogous historical periods since the mid-nineteenth century. 
Because of its intensity and global spread, scholarly debates on the causes and significance 
of the recent protest wave have mushroomed, including debates around the class composition
 of the participants and the causal mechanisms linking unrest to economic crises
 and geopolitical transformations. This project aims to construct a new database
 on events of labor and social unrest worldwide from 1851 to the present using the digital newspaper
 archives of The New York Times and The Guardian (London). By casting the analysis of the current global wave of social protest in a much longer temporal frame and broader geographical scope than is normally done, we will be able to directly address (and resolve) debates about this wave's historical significance and novelty.

Transformations in Hierarchies of Wealth and Power: Global and Local

My third broad area of research is the historical transformations in hierarchies of wealth and power. I am particularly interested in examining how the world income hierarchy (between and within) have changed in world history due to geographical relocation of global capital, changes in the global political economy, escalation of economic/financial crises and political-military struggles among great powers.  I am also interested in explicating the uneven manifestations of these global-level transformations at the local/national levels. Currently, I am co-coordinating the development research working group at the Arrighi Center, which has been investigating the changes in the patterns of global inequality and the trimodal income distribution of the global world-economy in world history.  


Courses Taught at Johns Hopkins University Homewood Campus

230.205 Introduction to Social Statistics

230.265 Research Tools & Technologies for the Social Sciences

230.325 Global Social Change and Development Research Practicum

230.359 Research Seminar on Global Social Protest

230.407 Comparative Labor Movements Research Seminar

230.460 Research Seminar on Stratification in the Modern World Economy: 1600-2014

230.600 Introduction to Social Statistics

230. 644 Reading Capital @ 150

Courses Taught Elsewhere

192.310 Populism in Comparative Perspective (SAIS Bologna Campus)


Karatasli, S. S. (2017) “Capitalist World Economy in the Longue Duree: Changing Modes of the Global Distribution of Wealth, 1500-2008”. Sociology of Development 3(2): 163-195

  • Honorable Mention for Best Faculty Article Award by Sociology of Development Section of the American Sociological Association

Karatasli, S. S., Kumral, S., Pasciuti D & Silver, B. (2017). World Hegemonies and Global Inequalities. in V. Popov & P. Dutkiewicz. Mapping a New World Order: The Rest Beyond the West. Edward Elgar, pp.23-37.

Karatasli, S. S. & Kumral, S. (2017) “Territorial Contradictions of the Rise of China: Geopolitics, Nationalism and Hegemony in Comparative-Historical PerspectiveJournal of World Systems Research 23(1): 5-35

Karatasli, S. S. (2017). “The Fall of the Turkish Model: How The Arab Uprisings Brought Down Islamic Liberalism“, Social Forces 96(1), e1-5.

Karatasli, S. S. (2016) Communal Patriotism, Civic Nationalism and City-State Chauvinism: Transformation of Collective Identities in Northern Italy, 1050-1500International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society. 29(1), pp.73-101

Karatasli, S. S. (2015) The Origins of Turkey’s 'Heterodox' Transition to Neoliberalism: The Özal Decade and Beyond, Journal of World Systems Research, Vol 21(2)

Silver, B. J & Karatasli, S. S. (2015) "Historical Dynamics of Capitalism and Labor Movements", in Della Porta, Donatella and Diani, Mario (ed). Oxford Handbook of Social Movements, Oxford: Oxford University Press [in press]

Karatasli, S. S. (2014) "World Hegemonic Crises and Rising Tides of Secessionism", Trajectories (Comparative-Historical Section of the ASA), vol26(1), pp.85-89

Karatasli, S. S.; Kumral, S.; Scully, B.; Upadhyay, S. (2014). "Class, Crisis, and the  2011 Protest Wave: Cyclical and Secular Trends in Global Labor Unrest", in Immanuel Wallerstein, Christopher Chase-Dunn and Christian Suter (eds). Overcoming Global Inequalities. New York: Paradigm.

Karatasli, S. S. & Kumral, S. (2013). "Financialization and International (Dis)Order: A Comparative Analysis of John Hobson and Karl Polanyi", Berkeley Journal of Sociology. Vol 57 (1): Critical Approaches to Financialization, pp.40-73

Karatasli, S. S.; Aktas, F.;  Fidan, M.; Senturk, S. (2012).  "Fragments of Nations and Nationalisms: Towards a Typology of 21st Century Nationalisms", International  Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vol 4(1), pp. 325-334