The Department of Government
The Department of Government

Kimberly Gouz Guiler

M.A. in Social Sciences, The University of Chicago; B.A. in Political Science and B.S. in Journalism, The University of Florida

Kimberly Gouz Guiler



Middle East politics; voting behavior; Islamist movements; religion and politics; hybrid regimes; survey, experimental and quantitative methodologies


Kimberly (Kim) Guiler is a doctoral candidate, specializing in comparative politics and methodology at the University of Texas at Austin. Her dissertation develops and tests an original theory of broad-based partisan attachment to politicians who espouse narratives of political victimhood at the hands of a powerful common enemy. She argues that a history of political suffering enables politicians to credibly position themselves as representatives and protectors of masses who feel marginalized from national political life. This research employs a mixed methods approach, including survey experimental tests of the theory’s micro-foundational psychological mechanism, more than 80 in-depth interviews, and case studies of voting behavior and leader attachment in Turkey and Tunisia based on in-depth fieldwork in both countries. The findings have implications for the political future of the Middle East, the development of political parties, elite electoral strategy, transitions to democracy, and the study of competitive authoritarianism.

Kim's research has been supported by the Boren Fellowship, and by grants from the Department of Education, the Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS), the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Florida, and the University of Haifa.

During the Spring 2016 semester, Kim was a visiting scholar at Ecole Supérieure de la Statistique et de l'Analyse de l'Information in Tunis, Tunisia. During the 2014-2015 academic year, she was a visiting researcher in the Department of International Relations at Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey. 

Visit Kim's personal website for more infrmation about her research, teaching experience, and fieldwork in Turkey and Tunisia.



GOV S365N • Autocrtc Poplsm: Mid East/Us

83136 • Summer 2017
Meets MTWTHF 10:00AM-11:30AM GDC 4.304
GC (also listed as MES S341)

This course is designed for students in Government, Middle Eastern Studies, and other fields who want to learn about the dual, and sometimes overlapping, phenomena of populism and authoritarianism. Populist political leaders seek or exercise power based on board mass support from followers who they promise to rescue from threats and enemies who oppress or exploit them. Autocratic populists draw on populist discourse. These latter, more authoritarian leaders use their claims to broad mass support to legitimize actions that undermine the rule of law, threaten the independence of state institutions, and consolidate their power. This course will discuss various forms of populism in world-historical perspective, with special attention to the powerful strands of autocratic populism that have characterized and reshaped the Middle East, from Nasserism in the 1950s to Recep Tayyip Erdogan in contemporary Turkey. We will end the course with an examination of populism in America, comparing the personality and leadership styles of prominent populist politicians in this country with that of the other populist leaders we have studied. By the end of the course students will have a working knowledge of current theories and debates about populism. 




  • Acemoglu, Daron. 2017. “We are the Last Defense Against Trump.” Foreign Policy
  • Arrighi, Giovanni, Terence K. Hopkins, and Immanuel Wallerstein. 1989. Anti-Systemic Movements. London: Verso.
  • Fromm, Enrich. 1957. “The Authoritarian Personality.” First published in Deutsche Universitätszeitung, Brand 12 (Nr. 9, 1957), pp. 3-4.
  • Guiler, Kimberly. 2016. “Towards Erdogan and the East: Conspiracies and Public Perception in Post-Coup Turkey” in Contemporary Turkish Politics. Projects on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS).




  • Attendance: 5%
  • Regular Participation: 25%
  • Five Quizzes: 20% (lowest grade will be dropped)
  • Final Exam: 50%

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