Event Videos

On November 5, 2015, Avi Max Spiegel joined POMEPS to discuss his recent release, Young Islam: The New Politics of Religion in Morocco and the Arab World (Princeton University Press 2015).  

Avi Spiegel is an assistant professor of political science and international relations at the University of San Diego and a fellow at the Strauss Center for International Security and Law at The University of Texas at Austin. He is a regular contributor to Foreign Policy and Huffington Post and has appeared as a Middle East analyst on Al Jazeera English, the BBC World Service, and NPR.


On October 29, 2015, POMEPS hosted a conversation with Jason Brownlee, Tarek Masoud and Andrew Reynolds about their new book The Arab Spring: Pathways of Repression and Reform.

Jason Brownlee is an associate professor of government and Middle Eastern Studies at The University of Texas at Austin, and his research focuses on political violence during periods of political change, with an emphasis on the experiences of vulnerable populations. He is also the author of Democracy Prevention: The Politics of the U.S.-Egyptian Alliance (Cambridge University Press, 2012) and Authoritarianism in an Age of Democratization (Cambridge University Press, 2007).

Tarek Masoud is an associate professor at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and his research addresses the role of religion in the Muslim world’s political development. He is the author of Counting Islam: Religion, Class, and Elections in Egypt (Cambridge University Press, 2014), and the co-editor of Problems and Methods in the Study of Politics (Cambridge, 2004) and Order, Conflict, and Violence (Cambridge, 2008).

Andrew Reynolds is an associate professor of political science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his research deals with democratization, constitutional design and electoral politics, with a particular focus on the presence and impact of minorities and marginalized communities. He is also the author of Designing Democracy in a Dangerous World (Oxford, 2011), The Architecture of Democracy: Constitutional Design, Conflict Management, and Democracy (Oxford, 2002) and Electoral Systems and Democratization in Southern Africa (Oxford, 1999).


Mark Tessler is a Samuel J. Eldersveld Collegiate Professor of political science at the University of Michigan and co-directs the Arab Barometer Survey project.  His research examines the nature, determinants, and political implications of attitudes and values held by ordinary citizens the Middle East and he has written extensively on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


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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Sarah Bush is an assistant professor of political science at Temple University and a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. She is the recipient of the 2014 Deborah “Misty” Gerner Grant for Professional Development awarded by the International Studies Association’s Women’s Caucus. Bush received a POMEPS Travel-Engagement-Research (TRE) grant in spring 2012 to research democracy promotion in 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


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