New Article in Third World Quarterly

Excited to share the article “A conditional norm: chemical warfare from colonialism to contemporary civil wars,” published with Güneş M. Tezcür in Third World Quarterly.

We ask under what conditions do third parties emphatically sanction violators of the chemical weapons (CW) norm? While we agree that the norm against CW remains valid at a discursive level, we argue that the anti-CW norm has never had universal status and always remained conditional on a hierarchy of victims. While the perpetrators have changed from imperialistic regimes to dictatorships facing popular rebellions, victims have remained primarily civilian populations in the Global South. Consequently, a recognition of this hierarchy of victims is essential for a more informed understanding of the weakness inherent in the CW norm.

For our empirical analysis we consulted a variety of rich archival resources including primary language documents to study a number of historical cases including late colonial wars during the interwar period, and Middle Eastern civil wars since the late twentieth century.

First solo-authored peer-reviewed article

My first academic article “Cyber-weapons in nuclear counter-proliferation” in Defense and Security Analysis is out today, July 20, 2020!

I explore under what conditions can the use of cyber weapons be effective in nuclear counterproliferation? I suggest that when cyber-weapons are independently used as counterproliferation measures, they have inherent difficulties to be effective in the long-term if nuclear weapons programs are in advanced developmental stages. Cyber-weapons can delay and disrupt a nuclear program, but not halt it. Cyber operations are more effective if they are used in congruence with conventional weapons. I conduct a comparative case study of Operation Orchard, Stuxnet, and ‘Left-of’Launch’ operations.

Read the article here: 


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I wrote this article in my first months of graduate studies when I had just been introduced to the basics of qualitative research. I certainly improved my research skills  since and acquired scientific know-how. While the piece has its limitations, I believe it is important to celebrate the small steps and minor achievements as young scholar. I’m excited to continue my research and hopefully and publish additional pieces soon. It’s a process of professional development that I enjoy very much.

What Gen Z Has To Say About Nukes: A New Piece with Inkstick Media

In a short article, I discuss the opinions of young people on nuclear weapons. My dissertation’s pilot study with students at the University of Central Florida suggest that Generation Z (1997-2012) has some strong -but highly divided- opinions on nukes. Click here to read more:

I highly recommend checking out other pieces on Inkstick. It’s a young but wonderful outlet for experts in foreign policy that want to make their research and knowledge available to the general public. It avoids unnecessary jargony acronyms and contrived technicalities that we use in our academic writing.

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Honorable Mention for GTA Performance

Since Fall 2017, I have been a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) at UCF for more than 13 courses in the Political Science Department. I was very pleased to have received the College of Sciences’ Honorable Mention for Excellence by a GTA. While I did not get selected as the schools’ winner it was nevertheless a wonderful recognition of my work as GTA. Especially since the recognitions we PhD students receive mostly focus on our research achievements.

I will certainly carry the values and standards I have established for myself as a GTA into this semester’s independent teaching and look forward to receive feedback from my students later in the semester.

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Promotional Video Project

As part of my research assistantship and in cooperation with Dr. Güneş Murat Tezcür, I produced a promotional video for the Kurdish Political Studies Program (KPSP) at the University of Central Florida. It promotes KPSP to prospective graduate students, visiting researchers, and potential collaborators who would like to take courses, attend events, and develop research related to Kurdish issues. It further aims at public outreach given the saliency of Kurdish issues in international politics.

It was a wonderful opportunity to work on something that is so very different from my own research. For the full video, click HERE.

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INR4115: Strategic Weapons and Arms Control

I got the approval to teach INR4115: Strategic Weapons and Arms Control at the School of Politics, Security, and International Affairs at UCF! I will be an independent instructor for the senior-level class for this upcoming Spring 2020. I look forward to go beyond my  teaching assistant role that I held for the past two years. Luckily enough I got a topic that is closely related to my research field! I look forward to teach the diverse UCF student body and hope to be able to share my interest and excitement for the field of nuclear security.


Two Travel Grants to Attend the 2020 ISA Convention

I am very excited to have been accepted to the International Studies Association (ISA) 2020 Annual Convention on March 25th – 28th, 2020 in Honolulu, Hawaii. I also received an ISA Travel Grant as well as the UCF College of Graduate Studies Presentation Fellowship to be able to attend the conference.

I will present my paper “Revisiting National Security Hawks: The Evolution of Israeli Public Opinion on The Use of Force” that explores how Israelis exhibit different positions on issues of national security. The paper identifies patterns in Israeli society and parameters of divisions within on the use of force. Empirically, it provides a collection of data from surveys 1984 – 2018 that include questions that test hawkish tendencies of the public.

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Successful Dissertation Prospectus Defense

On October 3rd I got to celebrate two things this year: German Unity Day and the successful defense of my dissertation prospectus! My dissertation “An Illusional Nuclear Taboo: Mechanisms of Domestic Attitudinal Patterns for Extreme Methods of War” studies public and political elite attitudes toward nuclear weapons. I ask what factors influence public and elite willingness to support the usage of nuclear weapons? Informed by fields of international relations, comparative politics, and social psychology, my dissertation advances scholarly understanding of the political conditions and individual characteristics that lead to support for the usage of nuclear weapons.

The remainder of the fall semester will be spent applying for IRB review, securing a points of contact in Israel, and finalizing my experimental survey questionnaire. The months will be dedicated to reviewing theoretical foundations of my argument and revising theory chapters as well as a latent variable model that explores elite opinion on the use of force.  I’m looking forward to present a part of my dissertation at the International Studies Association Annual Conference on March 25th -28th in Hawaii before traveling to Israel in Summer 2020 to conduct my survey experiment.



Summer Research Grant Awarded

I am very excited to have my summer research supported by a non-profit association that fosters the study of the Middle East and Africa. I was awarded $2000 for my paper on “Revisiting Hawks and Doves: Patterns of Israeli Public Opinion on National Security” which I will present in November 2019 in Washington, D.C.

The research work includes the accumulation of vast amounts of data and evaluation of such. The grant enables me to make my data collection as comprehensive as possible, to focus on my archival research of valuable primary sources, and to develop the theoretical and empirical sections. Overall, the quality of the proposed project will be fundamentally improved and I can complete a journal submission draft in a timely manner.