Arslan Ayan

Nonresident Research Associate
ArslanAyan

Arslan Ayan is a Ph.D. candidate at York University with a special focus on conventional International Relations (IR) theory. Building on the existing theoretical interest in identity analysis and on rapidly growing scholarship on ontological security (OST), Ayan’s research interests mainly lie in the intersection of state-centric security issues and the social reality of the international system. 

Ayan holds a master’s degree in IR from York University, with a thesis focusing on the question of how do rivalling identities within a state impact irrational state behaviour to seek ontological security that is often believed to endanger material security. He also places a focus on the global resurgence of populism and nationalism, seeking to understand how and to what extent cultural backlash, rivalling identities within a state, and the spread of social media catalyse the success of populist leaders around the world. 

Among the principal concerns he has sought to address during his Ph.D. studies are: 

  • How the multiple identities of a state shape the ontological security seeking process.
  • If ontological security depends on routinized relations and a stable sense of self, why would a state, without any significant threat to its identity(ies), engage in irrational behaviour by consciously overturning routinized relations and disrupting its routines with partners? 
  • Do all of the identities within a state simply enjoy ontological security from the same sources with the same routines? 
  • How do rival state identities impact the irrational state behaviour to seek ontological security that is often believed to endanger material security?