Dr Ziya Meral

Senior Associate Fellow


Dr Ziya Meral is a Senior Associate Fellow of the Royal United Services Institute and a Lecturer in International Studies and Diplomacy at the School of Oriental and African Studies. He is an expert on global trends shaping defence and security, climate change and security, foreign policies of Turkey and Middle Eastern countries, and intersection of religion with global affairs.

Dr Meral is also a Visiting Fellow at the Royal Navy’s Strategic Studies Centre, a Senior Associate Fellow of the European Leadership Network. He is also co-founder and an associate of the Climate Change and (In)Security Project, a joint initiative of UK Army and the University of Oxford, exploring impact of climate change on defence and security. He was formerly the Director for Research and Programmes at the Centre for Historical Analysis and Conflict Research - British Army’s civilian and military think tank based at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. During his time at CHACR between 2016 to 2023, he organised more than 40 conferences and events for 9000 UK defence personnel, commissioning more than 100 academics and researchers and leading release of more dozens of publications, and regularly taught, briefed and supported UK Army personnel at all levels on global developments, on going conflicts and operations.

He is a frequent commentator in international and British media. He travels widely to lecture and delivered talks at leading diplomatic and academic institutions and conferences around the world. These have included expert statements and talks at the UK House of Commons and House of Lords, the U.S. Congress, US State Department, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office & Ministry of Defence, the EU Commission, the West Point Military Academy, Seoul Defence Forum and the NATO Defense College.

He holds a 1st Class BA Hons from Brunel University in London, a MSc in Sociology from the London School of Economics and a PhD in political science from the University of Cambridge. He studied Russian Literature at Ankara University. He has undertaken short-term studies and research in a wide range of countries, including Iran, Egypt, China, Canada, Nigeria, Israel, Turkey, USA and Jordan. During 2010-2011, he was a Joseph Crapa Fellow at the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in Washington DC, conducting research on ethno-religious violence. His book, How Violence Shapes Religion: Belief and Conflict in Africa and Middle East, was published by the Cambridge University Press in 2018.

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