Nora Fisher Onar headshot

Nora Fisher Onar

Associate Professor

Full-Time Faculty
Kalmanovitz Hall 275


Nora Fisher Onar is associate professor of international studies at the University of San Francisco and academic director of the graduate program in international studies. 

Her research interests include the theory and practice of international relations, social theory, foreign policy analysis, comparative area studies (Turkey/Middle East; Europe; Eurasia), political ideologies, gender, and history/memory. She received her doctorate from Oxford and holds master’s and undergraduate degrees from Johns Hopkins (SAIS) and Georgetown universities, respectively. She speaks five languages, has traveled to over 80 countries, and lived in eight.

Fisher-Onar is the author of a forthcoming book, Contesting Pluralism(s): Islam, Liberalism and Nationalism in Turkey, with Cambridge University Press and lead editor of the volume, Istanbul: Living With Difference in a Global City (co-edited with Susan C. Pearce and E. Fuat Keyman).

Fisher-Onar speaks often at policy fora like Brookings, Carnegie, and the German Marshall Fund (GMF) where she has served as a Ronald Asmus Fellow, Transatlantic Academy Fellow, and Non-Residential Fellow. She also contributes commentary to platforms like the Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, the Guardian, and OpenDemocracy.


  • Empire/Post-colonialism
  • Religion and Politics
  • History, Memory and Politics
  • Turkey/Middle East
  • EU/Europe

Research Areas

  • International relations
  • Comparative politics/area studies
  • Foreign policy analysis
  • Political ideologies
  • Gender


  • DPhil (PhD) in International Relations / Political Science, University of Oxford
  • Master in International Affairs (MIA), Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies
  • BS, Foreign Service, Georgetown University

Awards & Distinctions

  • Jesuit Foundation Grant, USF 2023

  • Davies Forum Professorship, USF Spring 2021

  • Deborah Gerner Award, Women's Caucus for International Studies, International Studies Association (ISA), 2017

  • Transatlantic Academy, Residential Fellowship on "Religion and the Liberal Order" German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), 2014-5

  • National Humanities Center Fellowship, 2013-4

Selected Publications