After completing her PhD studies at Paris IV-Sorbonne University in France, Emel Akçalı conducted post-doctoral studies at the Center for Politics and European Studies at Birmingham University. She worked as an assistant professor at the Department of International Relations at Central European University (CEU) in Budapest and as a senior lecturer at the Department of International Relations at Swansea University.
Her teaching and research interests are Environmental Geopolitics at the age of Anthropocene, state, society, conflict, and politics in the Global South, social movements, upheavals and the formation of collective identities (transformation) in the era of globalization, the limits of neoliberal governmentality outside the West realm, critical realist philosophy and non-Western and alternative globalist geopolitical discourses.
For her ongoing research on state and social transformation challenges in post-revolution Tunisia, she has been awarded research fellowships from the CEU Advanced Research Institute and the Advanced Research Institute of the University of Aix-Marseille.
She is the author of Chypre: Un enjeu géopolitique actuel (l'Harmattan, Paris, 2009), and her articles have been published in Political Geography, Security Dialogue, Eurasian Geography and Economics, Antipode, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Asian Journal of Social Sciences, South European Society and Politics, Journal of International Relations and Development and Geopolitics. She edited a volume by Palgrave entitled "Neoliberal Governmentality and the Future of the State in the Middle East and North Africa".