Department of Politics and International Studies

Dr Ulas Ince

Key information

Department of Politics and International Studies Senior Lecturer of Political Theory and Political Economy
Department of Politics and International Studies
Ph.D. Cornell University, Department of Government, 2013
Russell Square, College Buildings
Email address
Support hours
Wednesday, 1:00pm-3:00pm, Main Building, Room 4409


Onur Ulas Ince is Senior Lecturer of Political Theory. His research and teaching interests are in political theory, political economy, history of capitalism, and colonial studies. 

Ulas is the author of the award-winning book, Colonial Capitalism and the Dilemmas of Liberalism (Oxford UP, 2018), which received the 2020 David and Elaine Spitz Prize (ICSPT) and was finalist for the 2020 C. B. Macpherson Prize (CPSA). The book has also been reviewed in several academic journals and featured in a podcast interview on the New Books Network. 

Ulas’s articles on political theory of capitalism and intellectual history of empire have appeared in leading disciplinary journals, including American Political Science Review, The Journal of Politics, New Political Economy, History of Political Thought, and Political Theory. 

Before joining SOAS, Ulas held faculty positions at Koç University and Singapore Management University as well as visiting fellowships at Princeton University, Brown University, and the National University of Singapore.  

Research interests

Ulas’s research broadly investigates how the imperial constitution of global capitalism has been theorised in the medium of political economy since the early-modern period. His first book, Colonial Capitalism and the Dilemmas of Liberalism examines the liberal vindications of British colonial capitalism in the long-eighteenth century. Parting with culturalist approaches, the book discloses how imperial economic agendas mediated European constructions of civilisational and racial difference. 

Ulas is currently working on two book monographs. The first, “Before the Color Line: Capital, Empire, and Race in Asia, 1800-1850” situates the study of race and capital in a trans-imperial frame and connects it to the Enlightenment discourses of political economy and civilisation/savagery.  The second, “Between Commerce and Empire: Capitalism and the Limits of Liberal Anti-Imperialism,” reappraises the Enlightenment critique of European colonialism from a political economic perspective. 

Ulas welcomes the opportunity to supervise PhD these in the following areas: 

  • Political theory 
  • Political economy 
  • History of capitalism 
  • Colonial and postcolonial studies 
  • British imperial history 


Contact Onar Ulas