ATLAS.ti in Book on Counter-terrorism and Human Rights

February 22, 2018

We had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Ipek Demirsu, from Sabanci University, in Istanbul, Turkey, on the occasion of the publication of her book  “Counter-terrorism and the Prospects of Human Rights: Securitizing Difference and Dissent” (Palgrave MacMillan, 2017). Here is the interview.

Ipek, tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a post-doctoral researcher at Sabanci University, working for a project on EU-Turkey relations in collaboration with KU Leuven, which is now coming to a close. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Middle East Technical University and a Master’s degree in Human Rights from the University of Essex as a Chevening scholar. I have obtained my PhD in Political Science from Sabanci University, where I have also worked as a teaching assistant. Among other academic publications, I am the author of the book entitled Counter-terrorism and the Prospects of Human Rights: Securitizing Difference and Dissent, published by Palgrave MacMillan. My research interests human rights, democracy, security studies, migration, and qualitative research in social sciences.

Where are you working now?

I have been working at Sabanci University as a post-doctoral researcher, where I’ve obtained my PhD and also worked as a teaching assistant in the past. Under the supervision of Prof. Meltem Müftüler-Baç who is a Jean Monnet Chair at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, we have been conducting research on the policy interdependence between Turkey and the EU, focusing particularly on the issue of migration. You can find more detail on Sabanci University and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in the following link:

What about the project in which you used ATLAS.ti for the writing of this book?  Tell us about it.

I first started using ATLAS.ti during my PhD studies, and later it has played a crucial role throughout the analysis of my doctoral thesis. I have devised a new methodological approach to textual analysis using the co-occurrence function in conjunction with the structure of frame analysis. Through this method, I have analyzed parliamentary debates in Turkey and the United Kingdom and discovered overlapping themes in the fields of security and rights. The co-occurrence function has allowed me to observe the frequencies of various codes that made up different frame elements (such as the roles, location, mechanisms and intersectionality in framing the problem and the solution).

This comparative multi-method research has been published as a monograph by Palgrave Macmillan, while a chapter on the UK has been published as a stand-alone article by the Journal of Language and Politics. Later in my post-doctoral research, I have continued using ATLAS.ti with a somewhat different methodological approach to doing discourse analysis in investigating perceptions on the refugee crisis and the Turkey-EU partnerships by both actors. The outputs of this project are also on their way.

Any closing words?

For those who are interested in my research, you can visit my personal webpage: Or contact me through my e-mail: I look forward to hearing from some of you. Thank you!

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