Juliette Tolay, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Political Science, School of Public Affairs
Public Administration PhD Graduate Faculty
Office Phone: +1 717 948 6080
Office Location: Olmsted Building, W160
Mailing Address:

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Juliette Tolay is assistant professor of Political Science at the School of Public Affairs in Penn State Harrisburg. She is an expert on asylum and migration, foreign policy and public attitudes. Her research and publications focus on Europe, Turkey and the Middle East. She co-authored the book: “Turkey and Its Neighbors: Foreign Relation in Transition,” Lynne Rienner, 2011. Her publications also appeared in International Migration, Perspectives on Politics, Rising Powers Quarterly, Les Etudes du CERI, and several edited academic books. Her research has also been featured in the Conversation, Huffington Post and OpenDemocracy. She has shared her findings at public events with the Brookings Institution, the German Marshall Fund, the Middle East Institute, Istituto Affari Internazionali, World Affairs Council of Harrisburg, and others. Dr. Tolay is a former fellow at the Transatlantic Academy and the 2010 recipient of the first prize of the Sakıp Sabancı International Research Award for a paper on multiculturalism in Turkey. Dr. Tolay received her Ph.D. in Global Governance from the University of Delaware, and also studied at Sciences Po in Paris, at the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales in Paris, and in Galatasaray Universitesi in Istanbul. Dr. Tolay is also the faculty director of Penn State Harrisburg Model United Nations (PSHMUN).


Dr. Tolay's research interests center around attitudes toward migration at the individual and state level: Why do some individuals oppose immigration, while other support immigration? Are the reasons similar in the case of refugees? Why do some states use more or less restrictive immigration and asylum policies? What are the historical, institutional, cultural, social, economic and psychological roots of specific attitudes? What role does framing (media) and prestige or self-praise play in the pursuit of these attitudes and policies? How do considerations of domestic and foreign policy affect migration policies?

Turkey lies at the core of Dr. Tolay's scholarship. She is particularly interested in how knowledge about immigration into Turkey is generated by the media, social media and Academia. For an overview of the scholarship on "immigration into Turkey", refer to http://immigrationintoturkey.blogspot.com


Dr. Tolay teaches a wide variety of courses on International Politics at the introduction and advanced levels. International Relations and Introduction to Comparative Politics are two general education courses that exposes students to the theories and main realities of international politics. At the 400-level, Dr. Tolay teaches interactive courses on politics in the Middle East and Europe, as well as a course on International Law where students role-play the trial of a world leader at the International Criminal Court, and a U.S. foreign policy course where each week, students write a memo to the White House advising the U.S. President of a course of action for the most pressing issue of that week. Dr. Tolay is also developing a new course on the United Nations that provides a solid academic background and prepare students for PSHMUN. 


Since 2014, Dr. Tolay is the advisor of the International Affairs Association/Rotaract Club (IAA/RC). The Club is one of the oldest and most active club on campus, organizing events to raise awareness on international cultures and international affairs: participation in MUN conference, WorldFest, international dinner, national geography week, and many more. Dr. Tolay is also the faculty director of Penn State Harrisburg Model United Nations (PSHMUN), which celebrated its 45th anniversary in 2017, and hosts over 300 high-school students coming to simulate the work of the UN and solve important issues. Dr. Tolay is also active in a number of college and school committees, and is actively involved in the campus’ international and intercultural activities. 

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Research Interests
Immigration, asylum and displacement
Foreign policy
Turkish politics
European politics
Middle Eastern Politics
Public opinion and Public attitudes