Dr Ziya Meral is a researcher, adviser, and programmes director specialising in global trends shaping defence and security, politics and foreign policies of Turkey and the Middle East. He also covers thematic issues surrounding the interaction of religion with global affairs. Dr Meral is the Director for Research and Programmes and Head of Strategic Studies at the Centre for Historical Analysis and Conflict Research – the British Army’s own think tank, providing independent analysis and research on defence and security, based at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He is also co-leader of the Climate Change and (In)Security Project, a joint initiative of CHACR and Reuben College, University of Oxford, exploring the impact of climate change on defence and security, and a Visiting Fellow at the Royal Navy’s Strategic Studies Centre.
His latest book, ‘How Violence Shapes Religion: Belief and Conflict in Africa and Middle East’, has been released by the Cambridge University Press in 2018. Dr Meral holds a PhD in politics from the University of Cambridge, a MSc in sociology from the London School of Economics, a MDiv from the International School of Theology in Manila, and a First-Class BA Honours from Brunel University.
He is a frequent commentator in British and international media, and regularly gives lectures and talks in leading academic, diplomatic, and military institutions, and briefs officials and business leaders alike on his areas of expertise. These have included testimonies before the House of Commons’ Foreign Affairs Committee, as well as lectures at the NATO Defence College, US State Department, EU Commission and to British Army units, officer training courses and deployment orientations. Dr Meral has conducted research and undertook academic studies across the world, including in Iran, Turkey, China, Jordan, Egypt, Israel, USA, Lebanon, Nigeria, and the Philippines.