Dr Baris Cayli Messina


I am a social and cultural critic and a feminist because of moral and practical necessity to attain an equal and better society. I am Senior Researcher at the University of Derby in the UK. I had Visiting Professorship and Fellowship positions at the University of Palermo, LUMSA University, University of Oxford, and Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. I am Senior Research Affiliate at the TSAS, Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security and Society and RUSI.


I am very happily married to Gioachino Messina. This personal website aims to share my research with the public. You will find my research and teaching interests, publications, and my current works by visiting the related pages of this website. My blog page covers blog articles, calls, and current social, political and cultural issues.

Dr Baris Cayli Messina (he/him/his)

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

Marble Surface


‘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

"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

“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, 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, author of The Politics of Conflict

"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

"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





Mafia organisations engaged illegal activities, destroyed the urban environment, dominated the construction sector, and extorted money from shopkeepers. This formidable amalgam of urban crimes created by different mafia groups across the world plundered different cities dramatically, changed architectural landscape, increased inequality gap, threatened powerless groups, violated fundamental human rights, and fostered a culture of lawlessness. We cannot think of the mafia independent from other factors such as rapid urbanisation, globalising capitalism, corruption, and limited social mobility of people living in the peripheries of cities. Providing a number of cases in the urban history of mafia expansion, I contend that all these factors enabled mafia organisations to sack cities and shape severely everyday life of people. This study demonstrates that the sack of cities by different mafia groups reveals the enormous network of state and non-state forces in which  we can expose the complexity of political-criminal nexus and uncover the strategically connected hidden social networks by following the activities and contacts of mafia groups in cities.


Messina, Cayli, B. (2021). "Organised Crime and the Urban History of Violence and Social Change" Urban History (Forthcoming)




Outlaws have been prominent actors in a social context which is characterized by collective dissent, conflict, and violence. Bandits, brigands, and militants emerged in societies with the decline of social justice, political stability, and economic prosperity. Their emergence and social networks with different actors and agencies provide us principal motives to deconstruct the social identity of outlaws and determine the factors that fostered collective dissent, conflict, and violence in different societies. This special issue covers a vast geography and different time periods to theo- retically and methodologically advance our knowledge in the historical sociology of outlaws. In doing so, we address complex social, political, and cultural issues that rendered outlaws inextri- cable part of social problems. Exploring the power and activities of outlaws in different social geographies offers us new perspectives to tackle the origins and outcomes of social, political, and cultural dissent across the world.


Messina, Cayli B. (2021) "Bandits, Brigands, and Militants: The Historical Sociology of Outlaws

Journal of Historical Sociology  34(3): 402-406.


24-25 March 2022
Deadline to submit: 1 December 2021

Marble Surface