Leyla Tiglay


Leyla Tiglay

Graduate Student


Areas of Expertise

  • Diplomatic History
  • History of Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation
  • U.S. Foreign Policy History
  • History of Decolonization in Africa and the Middle East
  • History of Technology and Environment
  • Cold War History


  • MA Political Science, Boston University (2018)
  • MA International Studies and Diplomacy, University of London School of Oriental and African Studies (2015)
  • BA International Relations Istanbul University, School of Political Science (2003)

Leyla Tiglay is a Ph.D. candidate studying the international history of the Cold War and decolonization. She is currently an Ernest May Fellow in History and Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs. She is also a Peace Scholar Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). Previously, Leyla held fellowships from the Center for Grand Strategy at the Bush School of Government and the Mershon Center for International Security Studies.

Her dissertation examines the nexus of nuclear history and decolonization, exploring how major crises of decolonization affected nuclear decision-making during the Cold War. This project looks more specifically at decolonization in Africa, anti-nuclear movements, and France's nuclear tests in the Sahara. Great Power diplomacy through the Test Ban negotiations, the mobilization of science and technology in nuclear decision-making, and American grand strategy are major background themes of this research. Broadly, it aims to merge bottom-up and top-down politics of disarmament and nuclear decision-making to offer fresh insights into the formation of the international nuclear regime.

Before her doctoral studies, Leyla worked and studied in various countries, including Türkiye, Belgium, Cameroon, and the United Kingdom.






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