BOOK PROJECT: KURDISH QUESTION: RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS, DRONES, AND TRIBES
A large portion of my dissertation deals with the ongoing conflict between the Turkish state and the separatist Kurdish armed organizations. Upon graduation, I plan to complete a book manuscript about the "Kurdish Question." This book will analyze how the Turkish governments manipulate the level of violence for electoral benefits, how violence affects Kurds’ voting behavior, the role of state-led and civilian-led religious institutions, and the role of ethnic tribes in reaching a sustained settlement
TERRORISM AND VOTING BEHAVIOR:
Existing studies primarily look at the effect of military casualties and funerals on the voting behavior of individuals living in conflict zones. This project examines how rebel casualties, who often are the relatives of the natives of the conflict zone, as well as civilian casualties affect political behavior. ‘Whose Martyr? Radicalizing Effect of Civilian, Military, and Rebel Casualties’ investigates how the identity of the dead and funerals impact certain districts. I argue that political legacies of past rebellions matter: while the districts with pro-government tribes are more sensitive to military casualties, districts in which a rebellion took place against the Ottoman Empire or the early Turkish Republic would be more receptive to civilian and rebellion casualties
Second, as an IR component of my research agenda, I examine drone usage in civil warfare in the ongoing war against Kurdish separatism in Turkey. I have daily event-based data on unmanned armed and non-armed aerial vehicles used by the Turkish government against the separatist armed groups. This project investigates the effectiveness of using drones, whether it is a deterrent for future terror attacks, and how the public sees the usage of armed drones, especially when they witness civilian casualties.
Third, every terror attack is a signal to both the state and the public. I have been assembling a dataset on terrorist attacks in Turkey in order to understand the conditions underwhich terrorist groups target metropoles, kidnap civilians or village guards, demolish buildings, and increase the frequency of bombings, as well as the effects these attackes have on public opinion.
INTERNATIONAL NAMING AND SHAMING
Understanding when ‘naming and shaming’ undermines domestic support for the contested policy is a key question in international human rights enforcement. What are the factors that influence the type of reaction naming and shaming triggers in the `shamed' country (i.e. target)? Through survey experiments, my co-author and I will analyze the effect of the identity (NGO, IGO, great power) of the shamer and how the threat of sanction conditions the nexus of shaming and domestic response.
CIVIL-MILITARY RELATIONS, MILITARY COUPS, DEMOCRACY:
Scholars often think that ending the influence of the military over politics is a robust step toward democratization. However, some cases show that ending the military’s political power (civilianization) deteriorates the balance of power within a country in favor of the authoritarian-leaning government. Does civilianization mean democratization? Relying on a cross-country global sample of measurements of civil-military relations and democratization as well as qualitative methods such as process tracing and comparative case study, I answer this question in a series of articles.