Özgür Özkan is a research fellow with the Middle East Initiative at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and a visiting scholar at the Fletcher School of International Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He holds a Ph.D. in International Studies from the University of Washington, Seattle and an M.A. in Regional Security Studies (Russia-Eurasia) from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA.

Before pursuing an academic career, he served as an officer in the Turkish army and NATO. Özgür’s research lies at the nexus of international security and comparative politics with a regional specialization in Turkey and the Middle East. He primarily studies the efficiency and accessibility of security institutions, particularly the military, focusing on organizational culture, social composition, technology, and their implications for authoritarianism and political violence. Özgür is working on a book project based on his dissertation exploring the officer officer recruitment and promotion patterns and their interaction international and intrastate conflicts in Turkey since the late Ottoman period.

His current book project draws on extensive fieldwork in Turkey and a uniquely comprehensive dataset of the ethnic backgrounds and career paths of approximately 25,000 officers. Özgür published a book chapter and has several articles in the process of publication on the causes and consequences of the military’s representativeness and effectiveness. His policy-relevant research has appeared in Foreign Policy Magazine.

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