POMEPS hosts its annual conference at the George Washington University each May. Invitations to submit proposals will be posted here in the spring.


Middle East Law and Governance (MELG) is inviting proposals for a special issue devoted to water.

Environmental issues and climate change have become not only major points of political dispute, but have also called for new approaches in the social sciences to account for systemic challenges that cross the accepted borders of social science disciplines. In the Middle East and North Africa, issues of the environment become particularly complex due to political instability, international intervention, regional conflicts, and the rise of trans-national armed groups. While recent scholarship on Middle East and North Africa has focused on social movements in light of what many have dubbed “The Arab Spring,” that same period witnessed considerable violence and correlatively, extensive demographic displacement (internally and across borders). These recent population displacements, coupled with the associated difficulty of accessing scarce resources, have generated what has been called a “water security” problem.

MELG invites proposals for papers that reflect on what scholars and policy researchers often call “water security” in the Middle East and North Africa. Assuming the state as a principle actor in natural resource management, “water security” regards water as a scarce resource for which need all too often increases in contexts of crises, demographic shifts, and climate variations. However, the primacy of the state in managing water as a resource is also a point of contest among some. This tension is manifest in their preference for the phrase “water sovereignty”, which recognizes the role of informal actors and opens the analysis to distinct questions about formal and informal management, local/regional/or centralized control—questions that allow for an interrogation of the state itself. In other words, water is both an object of analysis and an analytic vehicle through which to assess governance policies, whether by formal state actors or informal parties and social groups. Moreover, more than mere object to be regulated or analytic vehicle for reflecting on governance, water can also exercise a kind of agency that, in its capacity to create and destroy, exercises power over human societies.

Without privileging one expression or another (though acknowledging their salience), or containing the analytic scope of water, MELG invites scholars to consider how water offers a fruitful analytic vehicle by which to reflect on and assess the governing processes and conditions between people, state agencies, and other institutions in the Middle East and North Africa.

All proposals should not exceed 1500 words and must be received by November 30, 2015. Please send all proposals electronically to Ms. Vanessa Zhang ( with the subject: “MELG Water Issue.”


The Project on Middle East Political Science is delighted to invite proposals for papers on the politics of the contemporary Middle East for its seventh annual conference at The George Washington University on May 19-20, 2016. The conference will include workshop discussions of article-length papers with an eye toward preparing them for publication, with each paper read by by multiple senior scholars in the field. It will also feature plenary discussions of topics relevant to the Middle East political science community. Applications are open to scholars in political science or cognate fields at any career stage from ABD onward.  We welcome articles which have been previously submitted to journals and either rejected or sent back for revisions. Authors must commit to delivering full paper to the discussants by April 18, 2016. POMEPS will cover all travel and lodging expenses for the conference.

To apply, please send:
– a CV
– an abstract of 1 single-spaced page describing the paper’s research question, methods, and major arguments
– a list of up to five senior scholars whom you would like to have discuss your paper
– an indication of whether the article has previously been submitted to a journal and its status
Applications must be sent as a single PDF to Lauren Baker at and received by 5:00 EST December 11, 2015.


Bobst POMEpS

The American University in Beirut: Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, and the Princeton University: Bobst Center for Peace and Justice, in collaboration with the Project on Middle East Political Science are accepting proposals for their conference “After the Uprisings: The Arab world in Freefall, Fragmentation or Reconfiguration?” to be held at Princeton University March 4-5, 2016. The deadline for abstracts is September 5, 2015.

New realities and challenges confront the region. State fragmentation and occasional collapse, sectarian conflicts, authoritarian resilience, stifled civil societies, economic devastation, soaring unemployment, massive refugee flows, the emergence of new non-state actors and the “Islamic State”, recalibrated big power interventions in the region, and the affirmation of long-standing regional powers are some of the new trends and developments facing the Middle East region. Alongside these challenges, there are new opportunities as well. Societies are far more committed to principles of social justice. And civil societies and organizational life are at forefront of many debates. This conference will bring together academics, policy-makers, civil society activists and intellectuals to discuss these pressing issues. [click to continue…]



As a part of its When Authoritarianism Fails in the Arab World (WAFAW) program, the European Research Council will be holding an international conference on October 29- 30, 2015 hosted by CERI/Sciences Po in Paris. This year’s theme will be: “With or Without Brothers: Domestic, Regional, International and Transnational, State and Sub-State Political Makeovers of the Islamist Scene (2013-2015).”

For more information, please see the institute’s website or reference the call for papers.

Participants are encouraged to propose papers focusing on the following issues:

• Micro-dynamics of Islamist mobilization post-2013

• Quietist Salafi resilience

• Political and popular interactions with the Organisation of the Islamic State

• Al-Qaida vs. the Islamic State

• Intra-Muslim Brotherhood contestation

• Jihadi movements and diasporas

Deadline for proposals in English, Arabic or French (300 words) is June 30, 2015 (see application instructions here)

Approved first draft papers (4,500 words minimum, in English, Arabic or French) will be sent for circulation by September 20, 2015. In order to enhance the quality of the discussions and debates, it will be mandatory for all participants to send their paper prior to the conference and to circulate it amongst other paper givers. All will be encouraged to have read all the contributions. As such, oral presentations will only be minimal and the conference will dedicate most of its time to interactions between specialists and the audience.


Migration Governance in the Post-“Arab Spring” Middle East

One of the most critical challenges to arise from the ‘Arab Spring’ has been the need to address a number of migration-related issues across the region. Over the past three and a half years, governments have had to tackle new waves of refugees or political asylum seekers, diasporic empowerment in states’ electoral and constitutional processes, transnational political activism, and long debates around questions of citizenship and nationality. While some research is being conducted on aspects of this complex phenomenon (namely its legal, security, and domestic political economy components), scant attention has been paid to the evolving policy framework concerning migration governance within the Middle East. [click to continue…]


The Project on Middle East Political Science is delighted to invite proposals for papers on the politics of the contemporary Middle East for its fifth annual conference at The George Washington University on May 24-25, 2014. The conference will include workshop discussions of accepted papers by senior scholars in the field, with an eye toward preparing them for publication, and plenary discussions of topics relevant to the Middle East political science community. Applications are open to scholars at any career stage from ABD onward. Authors must commit to delivering a full paper to the discussants by April 21, 2014. POMEPS will cover all travel and lodging expenses for the conference.

To apply, please send:

  • a CV
  • an extended abstract of 2 single spaced pages describing the research question, methods, and major arguments of the paper
  • a list of up to five senior scholars whom you would like to have discuss your paper

Applications must be received as a PDF email attachment to Mary Casey,, by the extended deadline of 5:00 pm EST, January 10, 2014.


POMEPS hosted its 4th annual conference May 23-24, 2013 at the George Washington University.  About 35 prominent political scientists attended the two-day conference focused on the Middle East.  Four plenary panels considered the themes of democracy, violence, mobilization, and gender in relation to the changing dynamics in the Arab world.  In addition to the four exploratory plenary discussions, POMEPS held 10 breakout sessions where participants presented article manuscripts and working papers focused on the politics of the contemporary Middle East with an eye toward preparing them for publication.  In these smaller sessions, participants provided comments and critiques on their peers’ work. Some of the topics discussed included:

Albrecht, Holger. “The Myth of Authoritarian Consolidation: Coups d’état in the Middle East and North Africa, 1950-2011.”

Herb, Michael. “Institutions and zeitgeist: regime type and the pattern of protests in the Arab Spring.”

Langhor, Vickie. “How Activists for Women’s Rights In Egypt Understand and Respond to Sexual Assault at Protests: Implications for Women’s Rights Organizing.”

Lust, Ellen and Waldner, David. “Parties, Polarization, and Democratic Development in the Middle East and North Africa.”

Marshall, Shana. “The Political Economy of Control: The Egyptian Military’s Economic Interests & its Institutional Response to the Uprising.”

Pearlman, Wendy and Arslanalp, Mert. “Mobilization against Military Tutelage: Lessons from Turkey, Brazil, and Egypt.”

Shelef, Nadav G. and Zeira, Yael. “Assessing the Impact of International Recognition on Attitudes Towards Territorial Compromise.”


In June 2011, POMEPS and the American University of Cairo co-hosted a three-day conference  “From Tahrir: Revolution or Democratic Transition” at AUC’s historic Tahrir Square campus. The conference connected scholars and activists in the Middle East with experts from the United States and Europe. Conference panels included:

  • Between Democratic Transition and Revolution: Where to Place Events in Egypt?
  • How to Understand the Current Uprisings: The Role of Labor and the Subaltern
  • Youth Movements and Social Media: Their Role and Impact
  • The Future of Political Parties
  • Elections in the Region: Enduring Clientalism?
  • Restructuring the Entrenched Security Apparatus
  • From Authoritarianism to Democracy: Experiences from Central Europe, Mexico and Spain
  • After the Transition: Consolidation of Democracy


The highlight of the conference was a dinner and Keynote Address from former Foreign Minister of Brazil Ambassador Celso Amorim on “Democratic Transition and the Brazilian Experience.”


POMEPS held its third annual conference, “New Opportunities for Political Science,” at George Washington University May 29-30, 2012. Over the course of two days, 32 leading political scientists discussed nine areas in which the field of political science of the Middle East can grow. Panel discussion topics included: social movements, elections and parties, authoritarianism, survey research, regional international relations, violence and transitional justice, political economy, Islamist movements, and political communications. Prior to the conference, participants submitted memos on where they believed political science should be turning considering recent developments in the Middle East. POMEPS published a collection of these memos in a special briefing book, New Opportunities for Political Science.


On May 20 and 21, 2011, POMEPS hosted its second annual conference “The Arab Uprisings in Comparative Perspective.” The two-day event drew 40 political scientists to discuss the regional uprisings that began in December 2010. Lisa Anderson of American University in Cairo opened the conference with a plenary talk focused on state institutions in the Middle East.  The opening plenary was followed by a lunch keynote from the Senior Director of Strategic Planning at the National Security Council, Derek Chollet. Later in the afternoon, Nathan Brown of George Washington University led a plenary focused on the role of special forces in the region. On day two, POMEPS Director Marc Lynch led a morning plenary that examined international factors in the uprisings. Etel Solingen of the University of California, Irvine and Valeria Bunce of Cornell University led a final afternoon plenary that considered the viewpoints of the uprisings from other regions.

Between plenary talks, participants broke into smaller groups for breakout sessions. Prior to the conference, 15 of the participants prepared memos which were discussed in great detail in the three breakout sessions. Some of the topics covered were:

  • The political economy of transitions
  • constitutions and courts
  • The media, old and new
  • Public opinion
  • Civil society
  • Labor and trade unions
  • Islamist parties and movements
  • Protests and policing
  • Urban networks and family politics


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