Associate Professor of Law
Legal Research Center
Ozan O. Varol teaches in the areas of constitutional law, comparative constitutional law, Islamic law, and criminal law. His recent scholarship has focused on comparative 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 10 law review articles published or forthcoming in academic journals such as the California Law Review, Iowa Law Review (twice), Harvard International Law Journal, Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, International Journal of Constitutional Law (peer-reviewed), Texas International Law Journal, Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, and Missouri Law Review. His scholarship has been featured in various domestic and foreign media outlets, including CNN, Washington Post, BBC Radio, Slate, and Foreign Policy Magazine. He is the only scholar to twice receive the American Society of Comparative Law’s Younger Comparativists Prize.
Professor Varol’s recent publication, Temporary Constitutions, was selected as one of the best three papers in the 2014 AALS Scholarly Papers Competition and awarded “Honorable Mention.” In addition, his article, The Democratic Coup d’État, was identified by Professor Mark Tushnet (Harvard Law School) as “one of the best works of recent scholarship relating to constitutional law” in a review published in Jotwell:The Journal of Things We Like (Lots). The same article was selected for presentation at the 2012 Yale-Illinois-Princeton Comparative Law workshop and was the only article from Volume 53 of the Harvard International Law Journal selected to be featured on an on-line symposium with invited responses by other scholars.
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 also 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
- B.A. 2003 Cornell University
- J.D. 2007 University of Iowa, with highest distinction
Works Published As Part of a Collection
- Stealth Authoritarianism, 100 Iowa Law Review __ (forthcoming 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).