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Photo of Tepe, Sultan

Sultan Tepe, PhD

Associate Professor

Political Science


Building & Room:

1114-A BSB


1007 W. Harrison Street

Office Phone:

(312) 355-0128


Sultan Tepe's research focuses on a range of issues at the intersection of religion, politics, and authoritarianism and their impact on marginalized and under-researched groups. Her published work, among others, offers a methodological and theoretical critique of studies of religion and politics, and addresses a range of issues such as the blind spots of approaches to populism, polarization, political party moderation, the relevance of western originated theories of religion to other contexts, the subversive strategies of women theologians to challenge gendered spaces and hierarchies, the impact of top-down urban renewal projects on the urban poor, and the effects of urban governance on transnational religious minorities, and misperceptions about Black Muslims in the US. Her research, mentoring, and teachings have been recognized by several awards such as the Choice Outstanding Academic Title Book award, the American Political Science Association Weber Best Research Paper, Excellence in Graduate Mentoring, and the Silver Circle Teaching Award. In addition to her book Beyond Sacred and Secular (Stanford University Press ), her analyses and commentaries have appeared in numerous journals and edited volumes such as Journal of Democracy, Foreign Policy, Political Research Quarterly, Democratization, Populism, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Politics, and International Journal of Religion: Politics, Sociology, Culture. She is the editor-in-chief of Politics and Religion.

Selected Publications

The Emergence of Religious Populism? Insights from Israel, India, and Turkey, Populism (published online ahead of print 2022 pgs. 1-29). doi:

How Authoritarians Win When They Lose. Journal of Democracy, vol. 32, no. 4, Oct. 2021, pp. 87–101.

Populist party’s challenge to democracy: Institutional capture, performance and religion. Party Politics. June 2021

A Religious Movement on Trial: Transformative Years, Judicial Questions and the Nation of Islam. International Journal of Religion: Politics, Sociology, Culture, 1(1),2020  6176.


PhD University of Texas at Austin, 2002