Serdar San, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

  • Faculty
Sociology and Criminal Justice
Contact Serdar
Ferguson 204
Related Department
Sociology and Criminal Justice

Dr. San holds a Bachelor of Arts in Policing from the Turkish National Police Academy. After graduating from the TNP Academy as a Police Lieutenant in 2006, Dr. San served in different units of the Turkish National Police until 2013 when he came to Canada on a Turkish government scholarship to pursue graduate studies. He holds a Master of Arts in Criminology from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). His M.A. thesis provided a critical and comparative examination of the counterterrorism policies of Turkey and Canada. In this comparative study of Turkey and Canada's responses to terrorism, he specifically focused on the role of law enforcement agencies of both countries in state counterterrorism activities.

San’s doctoral dissertation analyzed the evolution of the Turkish National Police through several major political changes over the last 40 years, including the transition from military to civilian rule in the early 1980s and the more recent establishment of a competitive authoritarian regime. San’s research interests include policing in political transitions, police-politics relationships, international and transnational policing, trajectories into and out of terrorism, deradicalization/disengagement and authoritarian regimes. He worked as an adjunct faculty at the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Lakehead University between 2021 to 2023, teaching several classes in criminology, including Policing, Terrorism, Criminal Profiling, Comparative Criminology, Trafficking, Right-Wing Extremism and Organized Crime.

Educational Background

Academic Experience


  • San. S. (2022). Transnational policing between national political regimes and human rights norms:The case of the Interpol Red Notice System. Theoretical Criminology.
  • San, S. (2020). Counter-terrorism policing innovations in Turkey: A case study of Turkish National Police CVE experiment. Policing and Society, 30(5), 583-598.
  • San, S., & Akca, D. (2021). How Turkey's democratic backsliding compromises the international dimension of democratization. Digest of Middle East Studies, 30(1), 34-52.
  • San, S., Bastug, M, F., & Basli, H. (2021). Crisis management in authoritarian regimes: A comparative study of COVID-19 responses in Turkey and Iran. Global Public Health, 16(4), 485-501.
  • Onat, I., & San, S. (2021). Global displacement of ISIS activities and effectiveness of police arrests as means of deterrence. In J. A. Goldstone, E. Y. Alimi, S. Ozeren, & S.Cubukcu (Eds.), From territorial defeat to global ISIS: Lessons learned (pp. 178-192).IOS Press.

Media Appearances

  • San, S. (2021, July 28). Interview with Nick Morgan. Why the West should take Turkey's international abductions more seriously. Ahval News.
  • San, S. (2020, October 16). Interview with Rahul Kalvapalle. A former police officer, U of T's Serdar San now studies the Turkish regime that cost him his job. U of T News.

Awards and Honors

  • Canadian Sociological Association (CSA), Outstanding Graduating Sociology Student Award, 2015/2016.
  • Granted salary awards fifteen times by the Turkish National Police for success in specific operations and overall professional achievement, 2007-2013
  • Letter of appreciation granted by the chief of TNP Intelligence Department for service performance and contributions to regional and international security and police cooperation against terrorism, 2010
  • Letter of appreciation granted by the U.S. Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Robert S. Mueller III for assistance in a joint investigative effort against international terrorism, 2008
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