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Phyllis Jeffrey

Phyllis is a graduate student in Sociology at the University of California, Davis. She holds a bachelor’s degree in 
History from the University of California, Berkeley, as well as a master’s degree in Sociology from UC Davis. 
Phyllis’ research interests are focused at the intersection of political and cultural sociology, and include the 
sociology of political parties, social movements, and social theory; they find expression in her work on the modern 
Turkish state. 

Phyllis has recently completed a paper that examines legal cases (1998 to 2008) brought before the Turkish 
Constitutional Court against political parties—including a 2008 case against the ruling Justice and Development 
party (AKP). In the paper, she frames such proceedings as intrastate struggles over authority, and originates a 
model based in Pierre Bourdieu’s notion of social fields to argue that the outcome of a contest between political 
and judicial actors was key in the rise to dominance of the AKP. Phyllis presented her paper at the American 
Sociological Association’s Comparative-Historical Sociology and Political Sociology Section Joint Mini-
Conference, “Capitalism, the Politics of Inequality, and Historical Change” in August, 2013.
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