Hamid Akın Ünver

Hamid Akın Ünver
Ozyegin University · International Relations

PhD University of Essex

About

46
Publications
20,232
Reads
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175
Citations
Introduction
I currently work at the Department of International Relations, Ozyegin University and serve as a fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Previously, I was a dual non-resident fellow at Oxford University's DPIR and the Alan Turing Institute, London. I'm interested in how greater interdisciplinarity and hybrid research methods improve our understanding of world affairs. Current focus: how technology affects human conflict online and offline.
Additional affiliations
December 2017 - present
University of Oxford
Position
  • Fellow
December 2017 - present
Alan Turing Institute
Position
  • Fellow
January 2017 - September 2017
University of Oxford
Position
  • Fellow
Education
February 2006 - June 2010
University of Essex
Field of study
  • Government

Publications

Publications (46)
Technical Report
Full-text available
a systematic inquiry on the political impact of A.I., or whether algorithms will reinforce democracy or authoritarianism should take into account how decisions are made, regulated and overseen across different regime types. More critically, the role of A.I. in changing the power balance between political institutions, actors, and executive organs n...
Article
Full-text available
This articles evaluates the claims of three main critiques of online political structures from a political engagement and resource generation perspective. The article argues that digital space is still very much a democratic space, albeit imperfect, that needs to address two fundamental issues: fixing metrics of digital engagement and bringing huma...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The structural shadow of uncertainty over diplomacy is stronger than ever. Some communicative rituals and practices of diplomacy are growing more obsolete, as modern political communication slides increasingly to short and sharp rhetoric, coupled with automation tools that bombard audiences at unprecedented levels. Diplomacy itself is hardly obsole...
Preprint
In recent years, computational research methods, digital trace data and online human interactions have contributed to the emergence of new technology-oriented sub-fields within International Relations (IR). Although the cybersecurity scholarship had an initial promise to be the primus inter pares among these emerging fields, the main thrust of this...
Article
Full-text available
Following the Russian meddling in the 2016 US elections, disinformation and fake news became popular terms to help generate domestic awareness against foreign information operations globally. Today, a large number of politicians, diplomats, and civil society leaders identify disinformation and fake news as primary problems in both domestic and fore...
Preprint
Why do countries engage in disinformation campaigns even though they know that they will likely be debunked later on? We explore a core puzzle in information warfare whereby countries that pursue disinformation to confuse and demobilize their adversaries usually suffer from reputational penalties after they are debunked, yet they nonetheless contin...
Chapter
Full-text available
The US and China grew locked into a competition over global A.I. dominance, both trying to maximize their respective capacities and exporting their own products to the world. Both countries prioritize capitalizing on the rapid growth in computing capacity, producing and processing increasingly bigger datasets, develop newer and more sophisticated a...
Preprint
Full-text available
What determines whether a country imports high-technology artificial intelligence (A.I.) products from the United States and China? Over the last decade, a growing body of literature began focusing on regime types and argue that authoritarian countries tend to import A.I. from China, whereas democratic countries from the United States. In this stud...
Chapter
Full-text available
The literature on online disinformation studies focuses disproportionately on the United States - especially on the 2016 Presidential elections – and has failed to generate an equally robust and diverse research agenda elsewhere.1 Empirical studies have drawn on a very narrow pool of cases, with the overwhelming majority of the scientific and polic...
Technical Report
Full-text available
In less than a decade, fact-checking around the world has grown into a new democratic practice, creating its own social and political institutions. Although the global awareness of, and demand for fact-checking grew after the 2016 US election and following European elections, the practice is as old as journalism itself. Fact-checking is generally v...
Preprint
Full-text available
In recent years, computational research methods, digital trace data and online human interactions have contributed to the emergence of new technology-oriented sub-fields within International Relations (IR). Although the cybersecurity scholarship had an initial promise to be the primus inter pares among these emerging fields, the main thrust of this...
Technical Report
Full-text available
In recent years, Russian digital information operations, including disinformation, fake news, and election meddling have assumed prominence in international news and scholarly research outlets. A simple Google Trends query shows us that 'fake news' as a term enters into global mainstream lexicon starting with October 2016, peaking in the immediate...
Preprint
This doctoral dissertation is a study of these discursive constructions and perceptions; more importantly, a study of the reasons and factors behind differing interpretations of the problem. Using the Kurdish conundrum in Turkey as a case, this study also seeks to provide an analytical framework for the analysis of the factors behind domestic and f...
Article
Full-text available
Turkey and Russia have been developing comparable approaches to digital surveillance. The advent of Internet Communication Technologies (ICTs) and social media platforms have enabled significantly increased systematic state surveillance. From the state’s perspective, data-centric digital surveillance is required for two reasons. First, the extent a...
Article
Full-text available
Leaders choose to mislead their domestic peers when the political risk and cost associated with a particular foreign policy decision is too great and when the structure of the political system in question is too leader-centric to afford these costs being incurred by the leader. This article argues that risk, uncertainty and imperfect information ar...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The traditional understanding of intelligence is the methodical collection of high-value information in a way that yields comparative advantage to decision makers.2 Such information can be on a foreign country’s capabilities, general global events, or a country’s domestic affairs. While most people tend to equate intelligence with military or secur...
Article
Full-text available
Computational Social Science emerged as a highly technical and popular discipline in the last few years, owing to the substantial advances in communication technology and daily production of vast quantities of personal data. As per capita data production significantly increased in the last decade, both in terms of its size, bytes, as well as its de...
Chapter
Full-text available
Post-truth is a misnomer. Not only that it locates the political function of information wrong (within truth), it also omits a century of political psychology research in diagnosing the effects of realities in political behavior. This book chapter aims to anchor 'post-truth' as a concept back within the academic literature where it belongs: emotion...
Chapter
Full-text available
No-go zones are gray areas in conflict settings where state weakening is followed by the emergence of violent non-state actors (VNSAs). These groups not only expel state security forces from the area but gradually start to take on the functions of the state, such as provision of security, law enforcement, and providing basic goods and services. The...
Article
Full-text available
This article makes an empirical exposition of militancy governance under state failure by focusing on ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria), YPG (People's Protection Units), Luhansk People's Republic and Donetsk People's Republic. Specifically, the article discusses how these groups mobilize different types of grievances and frame their propaganda...
Article
Full-text available
The goal of this paper is to offer a new framework for conceptualizing the relationship between traditional channels of political expression and their adoption of emerging communication technologies to respond to the new challenges of digital crises. In doing so, it revisits the question "Are Digital Technologies Making Politics Impossible?", appro...
Article
Full-text available
Discourse and politics on intra-state conflicts that involve one or many non-state armed actors usually take their form along two philosophical polarities. The hegemonic or state-centric position focuses exclusively on national security, terrorism and territorial integrity concerns, shunning other solutions to the problem as “treason” or “naiveté”....
Article
Full-text available
Combining discourse analysis with quantitative methods, this article compares how the legislatures of Turkey, the US, and the EU discursively constructed Turkey's Kurdish question. An examination of the legislative-political discourse through 1990 to 1999 suggests that a country suffering from a domestic secessionist conflict perceives and verbaliz...
Article
Full-text available
Continued inability of the international climate negotiations to reach a common resolution has been subject to academic and scientific research focus. These studies have focused on the ways of fostering cooperation and preventing free-riding in climate negotiations, through the development of balancing methods. This article first attempts to explor...
Article
Full-text available
As the Middle East goes through one of its most historic, yet painful episodes, the fate of the region’s Kurds have drawn substantial interest. Transnational Kurdish awakening—both political and armed—has attracted unprecedented global interest as individual Kurdish minorities across four countries, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria, have begun to shak...
Article
Full-text available
Third parties have grown increasingly relevant in European politics in recent years, with the rise of status-quo changing parties such as Podemos in Spain, Syriza in Greece, UKIP in Britain and the Front National in France. This article aims to bridge the gap in the comparative politics literature by introducing two new types of third parties in Eu...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This paper offers an introduction to the debate on data transfers and localization, why companies store data and how regulation-versus-localization shape the debate on data transfers. Then, it discusses more technical aspects of how governments regulate data transfers, why they want to localize data and the pitfalls of overregulation in data manage...
Article
Full-text available
State weakening in Syria unearthed long-dormant processes of disenfranchisement, contributing to the regime’s loss of territory in the north-eastern half of the country. Out of this state weakening, two major armed non-state groups emerged: Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Both groups have uprooted the co...
Book
Full-text available
The Kurdish question is one of the most complicated and protracted conficts of the Middle East and will never be resolved unless it is fnally defned. The majority of the Kurdish people live in Turkey, which gives the country a unique position in the larger Kurdish conundrum. Society in Turkey is deeply divided over the defnition and even existence...
Article
The Kurdish question is one of the most complicated and protracted conflicts of the Middle East and will never be resolved unless it is finally defined. The majority of the Kurdish people live in Turkey, which gives the country a unique position in the larger Kurdish conundrum. Society in Turkey is deeply divided over the definition and even existe...
Article
Full-text available
UmutUzer, Identity and Turkish Foreign Policy: The Kemalist Influence in Cyprus and the Caucasus (New York: I. B. Tauris, 2011) Pp. 256. $96.00 cloth. - Volume 45 Issue 3 - Hamid Akin Ünver
Chapter
Full-text available
This edited volume, comprising chapters by leading academics and experts, aims to clarify the complexity of Turkey’s Kurdish question. The Kurdish question is a long-standing, protracted issue, which gained regional and international significance largely in the last thirty years. The Kurdish people who represent the largest ethnic minority in the M...
Article
Full-text available
Comparative and State-Centric Approaches to Kurdish Nationalism - Volume 45 Issue 1
Thesis
Full-text available
This doctoral dissertation is a study of these discursive constructions and perceptions; more importantly, a study of the reasons and factors behind differing interpretations of the problem. Using the Kurdish conundrum in Turkey as a case, this study also seeks to provide an analytical framework for the analysis of the factors behind domestic and f...
Article
This thesis analyzes the impact of the European Union (EU) on the Turco-Hellenic conflict. The theoretical foundation of this thesis is the link between EU enlargement, policies of conditionality and the process of ‘Europeanization’. The thesis makes the point that, apart from visible capabilities such as Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP),...

Questions

Question (1)
Question
Do you think R and Python should be taught together in a master's level social data science course, or should the course pick one and focus on it? Let's assume students have some background with Excel and have minimal training in R or Python.

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
This is an 'umbrella project' that seeks to explore themes and sub-themes of how digital communication technologies and related research methods influence and impact the field of International Relations. Some of the research streams include the impact of computational methods on conflict and behavioural research related to diplomacy, violence and inter-state competition.
Project
Existing attempts to model civil conflicts, like those in Ukraine and Syria, are not currently reliable as they are often not data driven, or only rely on data provided by the states. The large volumes of open Internet and social media data available has the potential to rethink the way civil wars are modelled. How can we simulate and model civil conflicts in a data-driven way, to understand the dynamics of these events?
Project
This project makes a time-series overview of A.I.-based military adaptation events over the last decade. It provides a typology of 'A.I.-based weaponization' dynamics, policies and tools and gradually constructs a dataset that will be used for future publications. The GAIA dataset will be open to public and academic use once completed.