Birol Baskan received his PhD in political science from Northwestern University in 2006 and taught at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in Qatar from 2010-2018, Qatar University from 2007-2010, and the State University of New York-Fredonia in 2006-2007. He was previously a Non-Resident Scholar with MEI's Turkey Program. His research looks at the roles religion and religious actors play in creating, maintaining, undermining, and destroying political order in the Middle East and in the international politics of the Persian/Arabian Gulf and Turkish foreign policy. Baskan is the author of Turkey and Qatar in the Tangled Geopolitics of the Middle East (Palgrave, 2016) and From Religious Empires to Secular States (Routledge, 2014), and co-editor of State-Society Relations in the Arab Gulf States (Gerlach, 2014).

Baskan is currently working on his third manuscript, tentatively titled Between Jurists and Preachers: State-Religion Relations in the Gulf. He also published a number of academic articles in journals such as Akademik Ortadogu; Arab Studies Quarterly; Comparative Political Studies, HAWWA: the Journal of Women in the Middle East and the Islamic World; Insight Turkey; Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations; The Muslim World, Politics and Religion; Turkish Studies; and Turkish Yearbook of International Politics.

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