Staff profile

Dr Baris Cayli Messina

Senior Researcher

Baris Cayli teaching




College of Business, Law and Social Sciences

Research centre

Social, Cultural and Legal Research Centre, Better Society




One Friar Gate Square, Derby Campus



I was trained and educated in Turkey, Netherlands, Italy, UK and the USA. I was an Impact Fellow at the University of Stirling in my previous employment. I held visiting academic posts at the Department of Sociology, University of Oxford and the School of Criminal Justice, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. I am a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Member of the Council for the Defence of British Universities and Academics Stand Against Poverty. I am also Research Associate at the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research (SCCJR). I am Visiting Professor (2018-2019) at the Department of Culture and Society, University of Palermo and Visiting Professor at LUMSA University in Italy in 2019-2020.

I am an interdisciplinary scholar. My research mainly explores the origins and outcomes of injustice, violence, crime, inequality, cultural shifts, political and social movements as well as conflicts between the state and non-state forces. My research agenda endeavours to be relevant to the local context and clarify complex global transformations at the same time. My research aims to bring positive changes to the communities that we live in and produce meaningful impact on the lives of people. I would define myself as a social and cultural critique so both my research and approach to different subjects contain strong critical outlook and seek to address the existing power hierarchies.

Teaching responsibilities

I oversee the Master of Research Programme in Social Sciences and Humanities. I am a module leader for a number of modules. I am teaching the Sociology of Violence, Doing Grounded Theory, and Computer Programmes for Qualitative Data masterclasses. I have contributed to the teaching of Doctoral programme in the College as well. 

I welcome PhD applications in the following areas:

Research interests

My research has been funded by a couple of prestigious fellowships. I received a research grant from Sos Impresa, which is a prominent civil society organisation founded in Palermo against organised crime. The University of Camerino has also recognised my research initiatives and its impact by giving Human Resource Excellence in Research Award in 2011. I received a research grant from the British Academy to conduct archival research for two years in the Ottoman and Italian archives.

I have an interdisciplinary research agenda that covers the sub-fields of sociology, anthropology, history, criminology, politics, law and philosophy.

Peer reviewer for the following journals

Membership of professional bodies



International experience

Additional interests and activities

I have expertise in a number of empirical methods both in qualitative and quantitative data analysis. I have comprehensive knowledge in analytical data analysis in archival research, ethnography, methods in digital humanities, content analysis, and computer programmes for both qualitative and quantitative data. I have been recently interested in expanding my knowledge in AI, machine learning, and data visualisation as well. 

Research methods expertise:

  • Archival Research
  • Field Research
  • Digital Ethnography
  • Discourse Analysis
  • QDAMiner programme for Qualitative Data
  • Advanced Interview Techniques
  • Digital Methods in Humanities
  • Voyant Tools
  • NVivo
  • Web Scraping
  • Spatial Data Analysis
  • Automated Text Analysis
  • Data Visualization
  • Field Experiments
  • Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
  • Python
  • Bayesian Statistics
  • Time Series Analysis for Political and Social Sciences
  • Stata
  • SPSS
  • Machine Learning
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Functions in R
  • Simulations in R
  • Advanced Graphics in R


In the media

I regularly write for op-eds for relevant media to develop public scholarship. You can see a number of articles and op-eds that I wrote below:

(2021) '"Turkish Women’s Long Fight to Survive” Open Global Rights (In Press) (in English and Spanish) 

(2020) '"The shared ‘orientalist vision” of radicalised militants andpopulist politicians poses a threat to us all" The Loop

(2019) "Body-Worn Cameras: A Litmus Test for the Democratic Habitus of Policing" Discover Society.

 (2018) “A Generational Fight: Teaching Young Italians to Defy the Mafia.”RUSI.

 (2017) “Lemons gave mafia taste for sharp practices”The Times (consultation for opinion)

Recent publications


"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

“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.” A. Ezel Kural Shaw, co-author of The History of Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey
"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

“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

Edited Volumes

Baris Cayli Messina (Guest Editor) (2021) "Mafia and the Sack of Cities: Criminalisation and Social Decay in Urban History" Urban History (Forthcoming)

Baris Cayli Messina (Guest Editor) (2021) "Bandits, Brigands, and Militants: The Historical Sociology of Outlaws" Journal of Historical Sociology  (In press)

Baris Cayli Messina (Guest Editor) (2020) "The Cultural Anthropology of Protest against the Perceived Injustice" Anthropological Notebooks  vol. 26, no: 3.

Long peer-reviewed journal articles (in the last five years)

Book chapters (in the last five years)

Research reports, op-eds, and book reviews (in the last five years)