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Başak Bilecen

John F. Kennedy Memorial Fellow & Visiting Scholar 2017-2018


Başak Bilecen

Başak Bilecen is a sociologist and her research revolves around international migration, transnational networks, and social inequalities. Previously she held Assistant Professorship and post-doctoral positions at Bielefeld University in Germany before joining the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Bielefeld University in Germany and her research was funded by the ZEIT Foundation. In her book called ‘International Student Mobility and Transnational Friendships’ (2014) Başak focuses on the ways in which friendship is done across borders through a qualitative analysis of international students’ social networks. After obtaining her Ph.D., she has worked on three international large-scale collaborative research projects funded by German Research Council (DFG) investigating mainly social networks of migrants and inequalities they experience. She has co-edited 3 special issues in international peer-reviewed journals (Population, Space and Place (2015), Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (2017), and Social Networks (2018).

During her stay at CES, through a mixed-methods research design, Başak will investigate the role of international students’ personal networks on their study abroad motivations, decision-making processes, and social protection in Germany and in the United States in comparison.

This information was last updated for the 50th anniversary of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Fellowship, September 2017.


  • John F. Kennedy Memorial Fellow 2017-2018, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Visiting Scholar 2017-2018, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Rosalind Franklin Assistant Professor of Sociology, Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences, University of Groningen, the Netherlands
  • Research Fellow, Center on Migration, Citizenship and Development, Bielefeld University, Germany

Research Project

Personal networks of Chinese international students: A structural and comparative analysis



Areas of Expertise

  • Sociology of migration
  • Relational sociology
  • Social network analysis
  • International student mobility
  • Social inequality
  • Social protection


  • Bilecen, B., Gamper, M., and Lubbers, M.J. 2018. Co-edited Special Issue ‘The Missing Link: The Social Network Analytical Approach in Migration and Transnational Studies’. Social Networks.(forthcoming)
  • Bilecen, B., Gamper, M., and Lubbers, M. 2018. The missing link: Social network analysis in migration and transnationalism. Social Networks, available at:
  • Bilecen, B. and Yurtseven, D. 2018. Temporarily protected Syrians’ access to the healthcare system in Turkey: Changing policies and remaining challenges. Migration Letters 15(1): 113–124.
  • Bilecen, B. and van Mol, C. 2017. Co-edited Special Issue ‘International Academic Mobility and Inequalities: Opportunities and Outcomes’. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 48(3).
  • Bilecen, B. and van Mol, C. 2017. Introduction: International Academic Mobility and Inequalities: Opportunities and Outcomes. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 48(3):1241–1255.
  • Bilecen, B. and Cardona, A. 2017. Do transnational brokers always win? A multilevel analysis of social support. Social Networks, available:
  • Bilecen, B. 2016. A Mixed-Methods Design of Social Network Analysis to Investigate Transnational Social Protection. International Review of Social Research 6(4): 233–244.
  • Bilecen, B. and Faist, T. 2015. International Doctoral Students as Knowledge Brokers: Reciprocity, Trust and Solidarity in Transnational Networks. Global Networks – A Journal of Transnational Affairs. 15 (2): 217–235.
  • Faist, T., Bilecen, B., Barglowski, K., and Sienkiewicz, J.J. 2015. Co-edited Special Issue ‘Safety Nets of Migrants Across Borders: An Inquiry into Social Mechanisms of Inequality’. Population, Space and Place 21(3).
  • Bilecen, B. 2014. International Student Mobility and Transnational Friendships. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.