Beril Ocaklı is a critical geographer and institutional economist. She has been a research associate at ZOiS since March 2022. In her interdisciplinary and multi-methodological research, Beril Ocaklı follows discourses and practices of modernity, governance and development through extractive infrastructure projects, above and below ground, along corridors and roads, in Central Asia and the South Caucasus. She is currently leading the BMBF-funded project China, the EU and Economic Development in Eastern Europe and Eurasia at ZOiS. Previously, she was a postdoctoral researcher at the Integrative Research Institute on Transformations of Human-Environment Systems (IRI THESys) at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. She also completed her PhD in Human Geography there and still maintains her connection as a guest scholar. Her incentive to return to academia after a career in development cooperation was her many years of experience in leading transdisciplinary projects on resource governance on behalf of the German government, the EU and other multilateral organisations. Her studies in International Economics at the Corvinus University of Budapest in Hungary and Development Studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science in the UK led her to development cooperation.

Externally funded project

Research interests

  • Critical geopolitics and infrastructural processes in Central Asia and the South Caucasus
  • Authoritarian governance and repression through resource extraction and development paradigms
  • Activism and protest movements for just human-environment relations
  • Interdisciplinary, multi-method co-laboration and research