Leyla Tiglay

Postdoctoral Research Associate in International and Public Affairs
Areas of Expertise Nuclear Weapons, Science & Technology Policy, Social Movements, US Foreign Policy
Areas of Interest Disarmament and Non-Proliferation, Decolonization, Cold War, History of Technology, International History of Africa, Modern U.S. History, Post-1945 European Security, Applied/Public History and Historical Methods


Leyla Tiglay is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in International and Public Affairs at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University and continues to serve as an Ernest May Fellow in History and Policy at the Kennedy School Belfer Center at Harvard University since 2022. Leyla received her Ph.D. in History from The Ohio State University (*She is scheduled to defend her dissertation in June 2024.) She holds an MA in Political Science from Boston University, an MA in International Studies and Diplomacy from the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies, and a BA in International Relations from Istanbul University, School of Political Science. Previously, Leyla received predoctoral fellowships from the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and the Bush School of Government's Center for Grand Strategy. Currently also an affiliate at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies, her research has garnered support from various institutions, including the Clements Center for National Security at the University of Texas at Austin and the Wilson Center's Nuclear Proliferation International History Project. Before embarking on her doctoral journey, Leyla worked and studied in several countries, including Türkiye, Belgium, Cameroon, and the United Kingdom.


Leyla's project explores the influence of major decolonization crises on early Cold War nuclear politics, shaping the international nuclear regime we know today. Her dissertation specifically examines the nexus of decolonization in Africa, France's nuclear tests in the Sahara, and anti-nuclear movements, all set against the backdrop of Great Power diplomacy marked by the Geneva and Test Ban negotiations of the late 1950s. This project brings new insights into overlooked aspects of African colonial and postcolonial history, particularly those related to nuclear issues affecting the continent, and blends grassroots historical forces in the decolonizing world with top-level nuclear politics. As a scholar with an interdisciplinary background, Leyla aims to integrate international history with elements of technological studies, environmental history, and international security studies.


Van Beek, Mael, M. Z. Lopate, Andrew Goodhart, D. A. Peterson, Leyla Tiglay, J. Edgerton, H. Xiong, D. Kent, M. Alam, and Bear F. Braumoeller. (2023) “Hierarchy and War.” American Journal of Political Science https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ajps.12855


Causes of War and Peace