SOAS University of London

Department of Politics and International Studies

Dr Ulas Ince

Ph.D. Cornell University, Department of Government, 2013
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Publications


Ince Ulas - POL - IMG - 240, 186, 56
Department of Politics and International Studies

Senior Lecturer of Political Theory and Political Economy

Dr Ulas Ince
Email address:
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
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Academic Support Hours:
Mondays 1:00pm - 3:00pm


Onur Ulas Ince is Senior Lecturer of Political Theory and Political Economy. His research broadly investigates how the imperial constitution of global capitalism has been theorised in the medium of political economy since the early-modern period. He is the author of the award-winning book, Colonial Capitalism and the Dilemmas of Liberalism (Oxford UP, 2018), and of single-authored, peer-reviewed articles published in the American Political Science Review, The Journal of Politics, New Political Economy, Political Theory, and History of Political Thought.

Ulas’s research interests have been shaped by his global academic trajectory over the past decade and a half. Before joining SOAS, he held faculty positions at Koç University and Singapore Management University as well as fellowships at Princeton University, Brown University, and the National University of Singapore. He has given invited talks in several countries, from the US and Canada and to Japan and Korea.



Ulas’s research stands at the intersection of political theory, political economy, history of capitalism, and colonial studies. His first book, Colonial Capitalism and the Dilemmas of Liberalism (Oxford University Press, 2018), examines the distinctly liberal vindications of British colonial capitalism in the long-eighteenth century. Parting ways with culturalist approaches in political theory and postcolonial studies, the book discloses how imperial economic agendas mediated European constructions of civilisational and racial difference.

Colonial Capitalism won the 2020 David and Elaine Spitz Prize by the International Conference for the Study of Political Thought and was a finalist for the 2020 C. B. Macpherson Prize by the Canadian Political Science Association. It has been reviewed in Political Theory, Perspectives on Politics, Contemporary Political Theory, Canadian Journal of Political Science, The Review of Politics, and The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History. The book has also been featured in a podcast interview on the New Books in Political Science Network.

Ulas has published a dozen peer-reviewed articles and chapters in major disciplinary journals and handbooks. Taking the history of colonial capitalism as their departure point, several of these engage social and political theory in order to sharpen the political contours of capitalism. Other articles excavate the history of political thought for the ideological problems that colonial capitalism posed for liberal political economy.

Ulas is currently working on two research projects. The first of these, “Deprovincializing Racial Capitalism,” challenges the narrow Atlantic focus of the recent scholarship on race and capital. Widening the aperture to European colonial capitalism in Asia, the project draws theoretical insights from a trans-imperial frame. The arguments of the project are outlined at a recent talk at the University of Sussex. The second project, “Between Commerce and Empire: Capitalism and the Limits of Liberal Anti-Imperialism”, reappraises the Enlightenment critique of European colonialism. It is argued that the Enlightenment thinkers’ denunciation of European empires and their sympathy for its non-European victims were ultimately constrained by their commitment to commercial and capitalist expansion.


Authored Books

Ince, Ulas (2018) Colonial Capitalism and the Dilemmas of Liberalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Ince, Onur Ulas (2022) 'Saving Capitalism from Empire: Uses of Colonial History in New Institutional Economics'. International Relations, pp 1-26. [Forthcoming]

Ince, Ulas (2022) 'Deprovincializing Racial Capitalism: John Crawfurd and Settler Colonialism in India'. American Political Science Review, (116) 1, pp 144-160.

Ince, Ulas (2021) 'Adam Smith, Settler Colonialism, and Limits of Liberal Anti-Imperialism'. The Journal of Politics, (83) 3, pp 1080-1096.

Marwah, Inder S. and Pitts, Jennifer and Vasko, Timothy Bowers and Ince, Ulas and Nichols, Robert (2020) 'Empire and its afterlives'. Contemporary Political Theory, (19) 2, pp 274-305.

Ince, Ulas (2018) 'Between Equal Rights: Primitive Accumulation and Capital’s Violence'. Political Theory, (46) 6, pp 885-914.

Ince, Ulas (2018) 'Between Commerce and Empire: David Hume, Colonial Slavery, and Commercial Incivility'. History of Political Thought, (39) 1, pp 107-137.

Ince, Ulas (2016) 'Friedrich List and the Imperial Origins of the National Economy'. New Political Economy, (21) 4, pp 380-400.

Ince, Ulas (2016) 'Bringing the Economy Back In: Hannah Arendt, Karl Marx, and the Politics of Capitalism'. The Journal of Politics, (78) 2, pp 411-426.

Ince, Ulas (2014) 'Primitive Accumulation, the New Enclosures, and Global Land Grabs: A Theoretical Intervention'. Rural Sociology, (79) 1.

Ince, Ulas (2012) 'Not A Partnership in Pepper, Coffee, Calico or Tobacco: Edmund Burke and the Vicissitudes of Colonial Capitalism'. Polity, (44) 3, pp 340-372.

Ince, Ulas (2011) 'Enclosing in God’s Name, Accumulating for Mankind: Money, Morality, and Accumulation in John Locke’s Theory of Property'. The Review of Politics, (73) 1, pp 29-54.

Book Chapters

Ince, Ulas (2019) 'Development'. In: D'Aspremont, Jean and Singh, Sahib, (eds.), Concepts for International Law: contributions to disciplinary thought. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, pp 179-200.

Ince, Ulas (2014) 'Property'. In: Gibbons, Michael T., (ed.), Encyclopedia of Political Thought. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, pp 3008-3017.

Book Reviews

Ince, Ulas (2018) 'Review of: Duncan Bell : Reordering the world: essays on liberalism and empire (Cambridge University Press, 2016)'. Cambridge Review of International Affairs, (30) 5/6, pp 580-583.

Ince, Ulas (2018) 'Political Economy and Edmund Burke’s (Il)Liberal Logic of Empire'. Political Science Reviewer, (42) 1, pp 254-259.

Ince, Ulas (2018) 'Or Rosenboim : The Emergence of Globalism: Visions of World Order in Britain and the United States, 1939–1950 (Princeton University Press, 2017)'. Perspectives on Politics, (16) 2, pp 78-79.

Ince, Ulas (2017) 'Review of: Daniel O'Neill : Edmund Burke and the Conservative Logic of Empire. (Oakland: University of California Press, 2016)'. The Review of Politics, (79) 4, pp 726-729.

Ince, Ulas (2017) 'Imperial pasts, imperial presents'. European Journal of Political Theory, (16) 4, pp 470-480.


Ince, Onur Ulas (2019) 'Podcast Interview: Colonial Capitalism and the Dilemmas of Liberalism'.


Ince, Onur Ulas (2021) 'Locating Racial Capitalism: Insights from a Transimperial Frame'.


This list was last generated on Wednesday, 6th July 2022, 10:20 Europe/London.