The Project on Middle East Political Science, POMEPS, is a collaborative network designed to enhance the broader Middle East’s political science field and its engagement with the broader academic discipline, public policy, and the public sphere. POMEPS seeks to shape innovative new approaches to the political science of the region, support the field’s publication in leading academic journals, and ultimately build the number of tenured political scientists specializing on the Middle East. It also aims to increase their contribution to the public foreign policy debate and to the policy-making process, in order to allow their expertise to have more of an impact on vital decisions about the Middle East.

POMEPS is based at the Institute for Middle East Studies at the George Washington University and is supported by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York and a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation. It is directed by Marc Lynch, and guided by a Steering Committee, which includes leading political scientists from major research universities.

Major POMEPS Activities:

  • Annual Meeting: Once a year, POMEPS brings together more than 25 leading Middle East-focused political scientists from around the United States to discuss the field and to exchange work and ideas. The inaugural meeting was in May 2010.
  • Regular Meetings: Throughout the year, POMEPS hosts smaller meetings unified by a common theme, such as Yemen, Islamism, oil, democracy or Iran. Half a dozen scholars exchange cutting-edge work in progress, and also meet privately with senior policy-makers, journalists, editors, and policy analysts.
  • Academic Engagement: POMEPS helps Fellows improve their prospects for academic publication and supports events where they can present their work, including special sessions and organized panels at relevant academic conferences.
  • Policy Engagement: POMEPS helps to facilitate interaction between its members and policy makers, journalists, and others on a regular basis.
  • Web Site: The POMEPS website regularly publicizes new academic work on the Middle East and host “book salons” for authors and critics. The site also is a major outlet for the dissemination of research.
  • The Monkey Cage: In efforts to increase the reach of research by academic Middle East specialists, POMEPS solicits, edits, and publishes analysis articles on The Monkey Cage at the Washington PostThe Monkey Cage has long been one of the premiere political science blogs, with the mission of disseminating high quality political science research and promoting public engagement by political scientists. Read more on POMEPS and The Monkey Cage here.
  • Middle East Channel: From March 2010 to March 2014 POMEPS supported the Middle East Channel at ForeignPolicy.com, a hub for online analysis and commentary on the Middle East. During that time, POMEPS published more than 1,000 articles from over 500 contributors, including academics, journalists, policy analysts, and think tank representatives.

The POMEPS Team:

Marc Lynch is a professor of political science and international affairs at the George Washington University and director of the Project on Middle East Political Science. He served as the the director of the Institute for Middle East Studies at GW from 2009-2015. Lynch is also a nonresident senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a contributing editor at The Monkey Cage blog for the Washington Post. He is the co-director of the Blogs and Bullets project at the United States Institute of Peace. In 2016, he was named an Andrew Carnegie Fellow.

He is the author of The New Arab Wars: Anarchy and Uprising in the Middle East, (2016), The Arab Uprising: The Unfinished Revolutions of the New Middle East (2012), Voices of the New Arab Public: Al Jazeera, Iraq, and Middle East Politics Today (2006), and State Interests and Public Spheres: The International Politics of Jordan’s Identity (1999) and edited The Arab Uprisings Explained: The New Contentious Politics of the Middle East, (2014).

Lynch blogged as Abu Aardvark for seven years before joining Foreign Policy as a blogger and columnist. In 2010 Lynch, launched the Middle East Channel on Foreign Policy, which he edited until March 2014. He can now be found online at The Monkey Cage.

Prerna BalaEddy is a Senior Program Associate of POMEPS. Prior to joining POMEPS, she was a Program Assistant at George Washington University Law School, receiving the GW Law Staff Recognition Award for three years in a row.  In her previous positions at a variety of nonprofit organizations in DC and NY; she conducted research, managed grants, performed fundraising, and assisted in general operations. Prerna has lived and studied in Jordan, learning Arabic through the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE). She holds a Master’s in International Affairs and International Law and Organizations from George Washington University and a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies and Peace and Conflict Resolution in the Middle East from American University.

Tessa Talebi is a Program Associate of POMEPS. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in Global Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. During her time at Cal, Talebi taught a course on political activism and hip hop, which analyzed the relationship between hip hop and modern politics. Talebi has lived and studied in Lebanon, earning a certificate in Arabic Language and Culture from the American University of Beirut. She also conducted field research in Israel, Palestine, and Jordan exploring the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Prior to joining POMEPS, Talebi has interned at various nonprofit organizations across the country, including The Carter Center.