Personal profile

Personal profile

I am a Reader in International Business and Entrepreneurship and the Deputy Director of the MPhil/PhD programme at the School of Business and Management, Royal Holloway. I have held various academic appointments, including Visiting Professor at the International School of Yonsei University (2015-2019), Research Director of the Chevening Gurukul Fellowship, London School of Economics (2005-2013), Associate Fellow and Political Risk Analyst at the Emerging Markets Group, London School of Economics (2002-2008), Assistant Professor, Middle East Technical University (1994-1996), and Research Assistant, University of Rome “La Sapienza” (1986-1987).

I hold a PhD in Economic Geography (London School of Economics), an MSc (Middle East Technical University) and a BSc (Dokuz Eylul) in City and Regional Planning. With a long standing interest in urban and architectural conservation, I studied Architectural Conservation at ICCROM in Rome (The International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property). My scholarship has been recognised by prestigious awards from academia and policy forums such as the Robert McNamara Fellowship of the World Bank, the Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship, the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship at the Kennan Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars, and Social Science Research Fellowship of the American University of Central Asia.

I investigate the spatial, moral and political character of the enterprise and business actors through an interdisciplinary approach. My work on local economic development draws upon economic geography and examines political and social mobilisation of small business owners in provincial regions of Turkey. In entrepreneurship, I am interested in social stratification, ideological transformations and class relocation which shape the development of post-Soviet businesses. In political economy, I examine interest alignments between firms and political actors with spatial and industry level analyses. In international business, I explore the emerging market business groups and their internationalisation strategies. These studies use both ethnographic and quantitative techniques and I have built cross-regional business data sets through extensive fieldwork research in several languages (Turkish, Italian, Russian and Uzbek). 

I published in leading business, geography and development journals such as Business and Politics, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Economic Geography, Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, World Development, Comparative Economic Studies, Environment & Planning C, Progress in Planning, and Insight Turkey. With extensive empirical research on SMEs and enterprise development in post-Soviet and emerging regions, I published numerous books such as Diverging Paths of Development in Central Asia (Ed. Routledge, 2017); Building States and Markets: Enterprise Development in Central Asia (Palgrave, 2010); Small Firms and Local Economic Development: Entrepreneurship in Southern Europe and Turkey(Ashgate, 1995).

Recent research project
In/Visible Syrian Immigrants in Turkey: Identities and Cities in Transition (British Academy GCRF). I was the Principal Investigator for the project along with an interdisciplinary team of leading scholars from three partner universities.



I have taught a variety of courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. These include leadership and women, strategic management, modern corporations, European business, international perspectives on entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship history and theory, corporate governance, and research methods.

I welcome high quality proposals from prospective PhD students wishing to undertake research in international business and entrepreneurship, especially in the fields of business-politics ties, technology use by SMEs and the internationalisation of emerging market business groups. My previous doctoral students include Sinfree Gono (SMEs and ICT use in South Africa), Patrick Giwa (Technology entrepreneurship in Nigeria), Umut Gündüz (Political ties and business performance in Turkey) and Nadia Popova (FDI in Bulgaria).

Other work

I am involved in various external engagement and policy development activities as an expert reviewer for the European Research Area of the European Union, ESRC and the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan, an international advisory board member of the Anatolian Artisans and served as an elected council member of the British Association for Turkish Area Studies (2018-2021) and the lead author of the UNDP study on business solutions to poverty in the CIS and Eastern European countries.  I am the co-founder of the London Central Asia Research Network, an interdisciplinary hub for early career researchers, and give frequent media interviews (such as BBC Radio 4, BBC World TV, the Financial Times, Sky News, Medyascope, TRT Avaz, Correio Braziliense and Radio Free Europe).

Recent activities



Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Education/Academic qualification

Economic Geography, PhD, Small Firms and Local Economic Development, London School of Economics and Political Science

Award Date: 5 Dec 1993

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or