Dr Baris Cayli Messina

I am a social and cultural critic and a feminist because of moral and practical necessity. I am Visiting Professor at the University of LUMSA in Palermo, Italy and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Derby in the UK. You will find my research interests, publications and my current works by visiting the related pages of this personal website. My blog page covers current social, political and cultural issues. You can also view the photos that I took in the  Photography section.


From Ottoman Rebellions to Jihadist Organizations

(Kingston & Ontorio, London, Chicago: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2019)

You can visit the webpage of the book by clicking here




‘A serious-minded and sophisticated treatment of a controversial and significant subject’

Richard English, Queen's University Belfast, author of Does Terrorism Work? A History

"An in-depth look at a complicated topic, Violence and Militants examines the history of destabilizing groups in the Middle East from revolts against the Ottoman Empire to ISIS. Anyone seeking to better understand the state of affairs in the Middle East would be well advised to read this"

Jo Neiderhoff, San Francisco Book Review

"Violence and Militants offers the reader an exciting journey to unveil the ravages of catastrophe" 
Jeffrey Ian Ross, University of Baltimore, author of Political Terrorism: An Interdisciplinary approach

“Violence and Militants is an insightful analysis focused on a key question: How do violent organizations and groups justify their use of violence in different times and places? In this empirically rich study Baris Cayli explores how structural and cultural violence operate in premodern and contemporary social contexts. Homing in on the behaviour of rebels and state authorities in the Ottoman world as well as violent organizations of today, this book offers a novel interpretation of the social processes involved in the rationalization and use of violence.”

Siniša Maleševic,  University College Dublin, author of  The Rise of Organised Brutality

"This thought-provoking and comprehensive discussion will likely prove influential in foreign policy and both domestic and international security concerns for decades to come."

Kate Robinson, US Review of Books

“Cayli’s analytical, comparative, and moderate approach invites readers to engage in an intellectual dialogue over group manifestations of violence, rationalized in the name of ideological goals. The points raised are thought-provoking – not entertainment or distraction. Questions asked as well as answered generate new inquiries and new insights in this book.” 

Ezel Kural Shaw, co-author of

The History of Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey

“Baris Cayli’s approach through the prism of cultural and structural violence brings the kind of comparative study that I haven’t seen anywhere else."

Christophe Chowanietz, John Abbott College, author of Bombs, Bullets, and Politicians


“The great strength of Violence and Militants is the way in which it utilizes the concepts of both cultural and structural violence and applies them to different instances of violence committed by militant groups across time and space.”

Monica Ingber, York University author of The Politics of Conflict




This study explores the role of crime, bandits, and public panic in in the nineteenth century Ottoman society by using archival documents and employing a comparative perspective. In addition to the social bandit concept of Eric Hobsbawm, there is an introduction of two new banditry forms in this study—opportunist bandits and imagined bandits. The comparison of different bandit forms clarifies that social bandits and opportunist bandits aggravated public panic and produced imagined bandits. Hence, public panic and the dissent of local people unveiled through rumors about the imagined bandits. The exploration of different forms of bandits in the Ottoman Empire is a response to the vexed issue concerning the challenges in the social control of territories in a multiethnic and multi-religious empire. This study provides new conceptual tools to rethink about the spatial dimensions in the emergence of bandits. This article shows that spatial factors in the social control of territory can be influenced by the reaction of local people from bottom-to-top and, in doing so, can determine the response of state authority. The present study, therefore, unveils the power relationship in the social control of territory whether it is manifested by physical force or public panic.The article has recently been published in Territory, Politics, Governance





This study advances our knowledge about the effectiveness of body-worn cameras (BWCs) through exploring the perceptions of English police officers in three principal areas: positive perceptions, negative perceptions and evidence-focussed perceptions. In doing so, the purpose of this paper is to shed new light on the democratising process in the habitus of policing. This study presents a novel data set that evaluates the introduction of BWC to police officers in the East Midlands area of England. The authors conducted an extensive survey to explore the perceptions of 162 police officers about the BWCs. We examined the empirical data using Stata within the theoretical framework of Pierre Bourdieu concerning the concept of habitus. This study offers new insights about the perceptions of police on BWCs before they started using them. We introduce the democratic habitus of policing as an innovative concept and explored power dynamics in the habitus of policing through BWCs. The findings provide a strong empirical contribution to determine the conditions of democratic habitus of policing. In doing so, this study develops our theoretical knowledge about the habitus concept in sociology by employing BWCs in policing activities.


Cayli, B., Hargreaves, C., and Hodgson, P. (2018). "Body-Worn Cameras: Determining the Democratic Habitus of Policing" Safer Communities 17(4): 213-223.