Political ScienceBrian Mello

Department Chair and Professor of Political Science
Director, Center for Ethics

Contact Information:
[email protected]
Ettinger Hall 308D


Courses Taught:

  • PSC 103 Introduction to Comparative Politics & International Relations
  • PSC 230 Islam, Populism, & Political Change in Europe
  • PSC 242 Introduction to Conflict & Peace Studies
  • PSC 248 Governments & Politics of the Middle East
  • PSC 258 Contemporary Protest in the Middle East
  • PSC 281 Istanbul: History & Politics of a Contested Space
  • PSC 358 Islamist Radicalism as Ideology & Political Praxis


  • M.A., Ph.D. University of Washington, Seattle
  • B.A. Fairfield University


Dr. Mello’s areas of study include comparative politics, international relations, political theory, and the politics of social movements. Dr. Mello’s research focuses generally on politics in Europe and in the Middle East, and in particular on Turkish politics. Dr. Mello is currently working on a research project that applies insights from feminist IR theory to explore changing public support for US military intervention against the Islamic State. 

His past research examined such subjects as the impact of labor movement activism in Turkey, Great Britain, the United States and Japan; international norms of women’s rights as human rights; the affect of civil-military relations on Islamic politics in Turkey; the causes and consequences of the Arab Spring; and ways to understand the symbolic meaning of Islamic State violence.

He has conducted extensive research in Turkey during the spring of 2004, interviewing union leaders in Istanbul, Ankara, and in the coal mining regions of the Black Sea coast, and then again during the summer of 2008, conducting archival research on the history of women’s rights activism in Turkey at both the Parliamentary Library in Ankara and the Women’s Library in Istanbul.

Together with Dr. Mark Stein, Dr. Mello has designed a Muhlenberg Integrated Learning Abroad (MILA) course that includes a two week travel experience in Turkey. 

In addition, Dr. Mello has taught a first-year seminar on HBO’s hit show, The Wire, and a first-year seminar on anarchism, that is loosely inspired by AMC’s hit show, The Walking Dead

Dr. Mello contributes to the College’s focus on integrative learning through two sets of paired course, one that focuses on contemporary protest in the Middle East that is paired with a history course on revolutions in the Middle East, and another that focuses on radical Islamism as ideology and political praxis that is paired with a religion studies course on the religion of Islam.

Dr. Mello has worked with colleagues from Moravian College and Lafayette College to collaborate around issues of peace and conflict studies.  In addition, he has served as part of the program committee for the YWCA of Bethlehem hosted Great Decision in Foreign Affairs Program. 



Political ScienceBook:

Evaluating Social Movement Impacts: Comparative Lessons from the Labor Movement in Turkey. Forthcoming from Bloomsbury


“Preaching to the Apathetic and Uninterested.” (co-authored with Angelique Davis). Journal for Civic Commitment (March 2012).

“Islamic Political Mobilization in Turkey.” In History, Politics, and Foreign Policy in Turkey. Kiliç Buğra Kanat, Kadir Üstün, and Nuh Yilmaz (eds.) Ankara: SETA Foundation, 2011.

“Social Movements, Norm Cascades, and Women’s Rights Outside of the West.” (co-authored with Michael Strausz). Journal of Women, Politics, and Policy (November 2011).

“Communists and Compromisers: Explaining Divergences within Turkish Labor Activism, 1960-1980.” European Journal of Turkish Studies (October 2010).

“Political Process and the Development of Labor Insurgency in Turkey, 1945-1980.” Social Movement Studies. (November 2007).

Recasting the Right to Self-Determination: Group Rights and Political Participation.” Social Theory and Practice. (April 2004).