Karabekir's work draws from comparative historical institutionalism, theories of democracy and democratisation, civil-military studies and critical IR theory, and explores the role of institutions and human agency in affecting socio-political change. His research has an inter-regional comparative focus, covering the Middle East (in particular Iran and Turkey), Latin America (Brazil), and Southeast Asia (Indonesia).
Karabekir's forthcoming monograph, Guardianship and Democracy in Iran and Turkey: Tutelary Consolidation, Popular Contestation (Edinburgh University Press, 2022), analyses political change in the two countries through a comparison of their institutions of regime guardianship, the Khomeinist clergy and the Kemalist military. His current research looks at Turkey’s ‘repeat elections’ in 2015 and Israel’s 2021 elections to understand how populist autocratic incumbents fuel conflict in an attempt to reverse election setbacks. He is also at the preliminary stages of a project that uses computational social science methods to explore the transnational dissemination and local adaptation of far-right conspiracy theories in Brazil, the US and Turkey.
At SOAS, Karabekir convenes the postgraduate module State and Transformation in the Middle East and co-convenes the undergraduate module Government and Politics in the Middle East. Previously, he worked in Brazil as a lecturer at Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV) and a visiting scholar at the International Relations Institute, University of São Paulo, teaching courses on International Development and Middle East Politics. Between 2014 – 2017 he was a post-doctoral research and teaching fellow on Modern Turkey at the Centre for Southeast European Studies, University of Graz, Austria.
Karabekir has a PhD from the Department of Government, London School of Economics (2014), M.Phil in International Relations from the University of Cambridge (2008) and a B.A. in History and International Relations from Brown University (2005).