Toby Matthiesen is a research fellow in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at Pembroke College, University of Cambridge. He is the author of Sectarian Gulf: Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the Arab Spring That Wasn’t (Stanford University Press, 2013). POMEPS hosted Matthiesen in 2013 to discuss Sectarian Gulf in POMEPS Conversations 28. He discusses his recent release The Other Saudis: Shiism, Dissent and Sectarianism (Cambridge University Press, 2014). Kristin Smith Diwan offers comments. Diwan is a professorial lecturer at American University and a visiting scholar at the George Washington University’s Institute for Middle East Studies.

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#48 — May 7, 2015. The George Washington University’s Marc Lynch, director of the Project on Middle East Political Science, speaks to Sarah Bush, assistant professor of political science at Temple University. She is the author of The Taming of Democracy Assistance: Why Democracy Promotion Does Not Confront Dictators (Cambridge University Press, 2015). Lynch and Bush discuss this new book, which looks at democracy promotion in Jordan and Tunisia.


Jocelyne Cesari is a senior fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and visiting associate professor in the department of government at Georgetown University. She directs the Berkley Center’s Islam in World Politics program and the “Islam in the West” program at Harvard University. She is the author of Why the West Fears Islam: An Exploration of Islam in Western Liberal Democracies (Palgrave, 2013) and When Islam and Democracy Meet: Muslims in Europe and in the United States (Palgrave, 2006). She discusses her recent release, The Awakening of Muslim Democracy: Religion, Modernity, and the State (Cambridge University Press, 2014). Nathan J. Brown, professor of political science and international affairs at the George Washington University, offers comments.


Michael Herb is an associate professor of political science at Georgia State University. He is the author of All in the Family: Absolutism, Revolution, and Democracy in the Middle Eastern Monarchies. He discusses his new release The Wages of Oil: Parliaments and Economic Development in Kuwait and the UAE. Farah Al-Nakib, director of the Center for Gulf Studies and assistant professor of history at the American University of Kuwait, offers comments.


Abdullah Al-Arian is an assistant professor of history at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar. In fall 2014 Arian was a visiting scholar at the University of Denver’s Center for Middle East Studies. His research interests include Islamic social movements, U.S. relations with the Middle East, Islam and globalization, Islamic law and society, and the history of Islam in the United States. He is a frequent contributor to Al-Jazeera English. He discusses his recent release Answering the Call: Popular Islamic Activism in Sadat’s Egypt.


This event was part of a special series on Islam in a Changing Middle East supported by the Henry Luce Foundation.


Laura Kasinof is a freelance journalist who reported from Yemen from 2009 to 2012. As the Arab Spring spread to the country in 2011, she found herself thrown into a maelstrom of popular protest and a government crackdown. Kasinof discusses her book, Don’t Be Afraid of the Bullets: An Accidental War Correspondent in Yemen, and her experiences documenting Yemen’s revolution.

This event was part of the IMES Title VI Journalism Initiative with the support of the Project on Middle East Political Science.


The Arab Uprisings Explained

February 24, 2015

Authors from The Arab Uprisings Explained: New Contentious Politics in the Middle East assess their contributions critically, discussing what they missed, misinterpreted, exaggerated, or rushed to premature judgments about during the 2011 uprisings.

The Arab Uprisings Explained – Regime Responses

Marc Lynch, George Washington University (chair)
Steven Heydemann, United States Institute of Peace
Daniel Brumberg, Georgetown University
Ellen Lust, Yale University
Curtis Ryan, Appalachian State University

The Arab Uprisings Explained – Publics and Others

Nathan Brown, George Washington University (chair)
Mark Tessler, University of Michigan
Michael Robbins, Princeton University
Vickie Langohr, College of the Holy Cross

The Arab Uprisings Explained – Economy and Civil Society

Jillian Schwedler, Hunter College, City University of New York (chair)
Clement Henry, American University in Cairo
David Patel, Brandeis University
Quinn Mecham, Brigham Young University


#47 — February 17, 2015. The George Washington University’s Marc Lynch, director of the Project on Middle East Political Science, speaks with Monica Marks, a visiting fellow at Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Democracy, Toleration and Religion and a doctoral fellow with the WAFAW program in Aix-en-Provence, France. Marks is a doctoral candidate at St Antony’s College at the University of Oxford. Lynch and Marks discuss Islamist movements and society in Tunisia, as well as Egypt.


#46 — February 10, 2015. The George Washington University’s Marc Lynch, director of the Project on Middle East Political Science, speaks with Raphaël Lefèvre, a Gates Scholar and PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge, as well as a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Middle East Center. He is the author of Ashes of Hama: The Muslim Brotherhood in Syria (Oxford University Press, 2013) and co-author of State and Islam in Baathist Syria: Confrontation or Co-Optation? (Lynne Rienner, 2012). Lynch and Lefèvre discuss the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, the Syrian Civil War, and Lebanon.


Laurie A. Brand is the Robert Grandford Wright Professor of international relations and Middle East studies and director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Southern California. She is the chair of the Middle East Studies Association’s Committee on Academic Freedom. Brand is the author of several works, including Citizens Abroad: Emigration and the State in the Middle East and North Africa (Cambridge University Press 2006). She discusses her most recent book Official Stories: Politics and National Narratives in Egypt and Algeria (Stanford University Press 2014).


© 2011. Project on Middle East Political Science. All rights reserved.