Dr Burcu Ozcelik

Associate Research Fellow

Burcu joined the Henry Jackson Society as an associate research fellow in May 2022.

Dr Burcu Ozcelik holds a PhD in Politics and an MPhil in Development Studies from the University of Cambridge and subsequently held the prestigious Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at the Department of Politics and International Studies where she taught Conflict, Peacebuilding, and the Politics of the Middle East.

Dr Ozcelik’s research primarily focuses on the international relations of the Middle East, non-state armed actors and peacebuilding. She has extensive experience with Turkey, Iraq, Syria, and Israel.

Dr Ozcelik grew up mainly in the US and lived in numerous countries including Turkey, Saudi Arabia, China, Iraq, and Belgium before moving to Cambridge. She is a native English speaker and is fluent in Turkish.

Prior to joining HJS, Dr Ozcelik was an associate fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) and has previously worked for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Turkey and in civil society, focusing on democracy and human rights. In addition to her scholarly articles, Dr Ozcelik’s research has been widely published in journals including War on the Rocks, The National Interest, Foreign Affairs, New Lines Magazine, Middle East Eye, the Royal United Services Institute and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Dr Ozcelik also acted as contributing editor of The politics of race and racialisation in the Middle East (Routledge 2022) and authored An Analysis of Seyla Benhabib’s The Rights of Others: Aliens, Residents and Citizens (Routledge and Macat 2017).


  • Armed conflict and peacebuilding
  • The changing roles of women in the politics of the Middle East
  • State-building, self-determination, and democratisation
  • Energy geopolitics in the Eastern Mediterranean
  • Political Islamic movements
  • Country expertise on Turkey, Iraq, Syria, and Israel
  • Political violence and counter-terrorism
  • Understanding prescribed terror organisations and their affiliates

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