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Ozan Varol

Associate Professor of Law

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    Copyright, Steve Hambuchen

Legal Research Center

To access Professor Varol’s personal website and download a free chapter from his forthcoming book, click here.

Ozan Varol is a rocket scientist turned award-winning law professor and author.  He teaches in the areas of constitutional law, criminal law and procedure, comparative constitutional law, and Islamic law.  His recent scholarship has focused on constitutional transitions and constitutional design.  He also lectures and writes about civil-military relations and law and politics in the Middle East.

Professor Varol is the author of two forthcoming books with Oxford University Press:  The Democratic Coup d’État (monograph) and Comparative Constitutional Law:  A Global and Interdisciplinary Approach (co-authored textbook).

He has also authored more than a dozen book chapters or law review articles published or forthcoming in the California Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, UC Davis Law Review, Iowa Law Review (twice), Harvard International Law Journal, Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, Virginia Journal of International Law, American Journal of Comparative Law (peer-reviewed), and the International Journal of Constitutional Law (peer-reviewed), among many other academic journals.  His scholarship has been featured in various domestic and foreign media outlets, including BBC, CNN, Washington Post, Slate, and Foreign Policy.

Professor Varol’s articles have received numerous scholarly recognitions.  He is the only scholar to twice win the American Society of Comparative Law’s paper competition for younger scholars.  His 2014 article, Temporary Constitutions, was selected as one of the best three papers in the AALS Scholarly Papers Competition, which is widely considered the most prestigious in legal education, and awarded Honorable Mention.  In 2014 and in 2016, his articles won the Federalist Society’s Young Legal Scholars Paper Competition.   In addition, his article, The Democratic Coup d’État, was identified in a review by Professor Mark Tushnet (Harvard Law School) as “one of the best works of recent scholarship relating to constitutional law.”

Professor Varol is an elected member of the Executive Committee for the American Society of Comparative Law.  He previously served as the Chair of the Younger Comparativists Committee, which is the premier global organization for younger comparative law scholars.  He has also served as a legal consultant for the U.S. Department of Defense and to private entities on issues involving Turkish law.

Before entering academia, Professor Varol served as a law clerk for the Honorable Carlos T. Bea of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  He practiced law at Keker & Van Nest LLP in San Francisco, where he worked on complex civil and white-collar criminal defense litigation.

Professor Varol received his law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law, where he graduated first in his class, earning the highest grade point average in the history of the law school since the introduction of the 4-point grading scale.  During law school, he also served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Iowa Law Review.  He has a bachelor’s degree in planetary sciences from Cornell University, where he was a College Scholar and a member of the operations team for the 2003 Mars Exploration Rovers mission. Professor Varol is a native of Istanbul, Turkey, and lived there for 17 years before coming to the United States for his undergraduate studies.

Specialty Areas & Course Descriptions

Academic Credentials

  • B.A. 2003 Cornell University
  • J.D. 2007 University of Iowa, with highest distinction



  • The Democratic Coup d’État (forthcoming Oxford University Press 2017) (monograph)
  • Comparative Constitutional Law:  A Global and Interdisciplinary Approach (forthcoming Oxford University Press 2017) (co-authored textbook)

Book Chapters

  • Constitutional Performance in Transitions from Military Rule, in Assessing Constitutional Performance (Tom Ginsburg & Aziz Huq eds.) (forthcoming Cambridge University Press 2016)

Works Published As Part of a Collection

  • Structural Rights, 105 Georgetown Law Journal __  (forthcoming 2016).  SSRN LINK
  • An Empirical Analysis of Judicial Transformation in Turkey, 65 American Journal of Comparative Law 187 (2017).  SSRN LINK
  • Constitutional Stickiness, 49 UC Davis Law Review 899 (2016).  SSRN LINK
  • Remedying Constitutional Stickiness, 37 National Journal of Constitutional Law 119 (2017),

  • Stealth Authoritarianism, 100 Iowa Law Review 1673 (2015) SSRN LINK
  • Temporary Constitutions, 102 California Law Review 409 (2014). SSRN LINK
  • Revolutionary Humor, 23 Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal  555 (2014). SSRN LINK
  • The Turkish “Model” of Civil-Military Relations, 11 International Journal of Constitutional Law 727 (2013). SSRN LINK
  • The Military as the Guardian of Constitutional Democracy, 51 Columbia Journal of Transnational Law 547 (2013). SSRN LINK
  • The Democratic Coup d’État, 53 Harvard International Law Journal 292 (2012).  SSRN LINK
  • The Origins and Limits of Originalism: A Comparative Study, 44 Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 1239 (2011).  SSRN LINK
  • Strict in Theory, But Accommodating in Fact?, 75 Missouri Law Review 1243 (2010).  SSRN LINK
  •  Is Secularism Possible in a Majority-Muslim Country?: The Turkish Example, 42 University of Texas International Law Journal 1 (2008) (with Adrien K. Wing).  SSRN LINK
  • Substantive Due Process, Plenary-Power Doctrine, and Minimum Contacts:  Arguments for Overcoming the Obstacle of Asserting Personal Jurisdiction over Terrorists Under the Anti-Terrorism Act, 92 Iowa Law Review 297 (2006) (student note).
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Ozan Varol’s office is located in room 222 of Legal Research Center.


voice 503-768-6805

Ozan Varol Associate Professor of Law

Lewis & Clark Law School 10015 S.W. Terwilliger Boulevard MSC 51 Portland OR 97219 USA

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