POMEPS is thrilled to announce that the American Political Science Association has officially approved the creation of an Organized Section on Middle East and North Africa Politics. Since its creation ten years ago, POMEPS has worked to enhance and support scholars of the region within the discipline of political science. APSA MENA Politics Section is a powerful signal of our success.  Now I am asking those of you who are, or who could be, members of the APSA to consider joining the Section and participating in its activities. To join the section, log in to your APSA account and find Section 49 in the “Organized Sections” area in the “Memberships” section, linked here.

The APSA MENA Politics Section is meant to be the institutional home of MENA Political Science within the APSA.  It has the mission of supporting research on the politics of the MENA region utilizing interdisciplinary methodological, theoretical and empirical tools. It seeks to fully integrate the rigorous study of the politics of the Middle East with the broader discipline of Political Science, to serve as an institutional home for the community of political scientists dedicated to the Middle East, and to fully integrate scholars from the MENA region and diverse scholars from the United States into the global study of Middle East politics.

The Section will feature a wide range of activities and programs to serve the field of MENA Political Science.  We will organize panels at the Annual Conference (our own and co-sponsored), and support the MENA Research Development Group held in conjunction with the Annual Conference.  We will award official APSA research prizes such as Best Dissertation and Best Paper Presented to the APSA Annual Conference. We will oversee the MENA Politics Newsletter, featuring original essays and news from the field, and could potentially launch a journal.  What else we can do is up to the membership!

While POMEPS helped to create the Section (and I am currently the chair of both) the Section is a fully autonomous and independent institution within the APSA.  All officers will be term-limited and elected by the membership, and all awards and program committees will be selected from within the membership. The Section is committed to methodological and all other forms of diversity, and welcomes scholars working on any dimension of MENA Politics.

Lindsey Benstead, who serves as chair of the program committee, will soon be forming prize committees and the annual conference program committee – and only members are eligible to serve.  Please do join the Section as soon as possible if you are or could be an APSA member. Yearly membership dues are only $10 for Professional Members, and are $0 for Targeted International Members (i.e. from the MENA Region) and $0 for Student Members.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact any member of the APSA MENA Politics Section leadership:

Chair
Marc Lynch, George Washington University mlynch@gwu.edu

Vice-Chair
Lindsay Benstead, Portland State University benstead@pdx.edu

Treasurer
Steven Brooke, University of Louisville sbrooke@gmail.com

Council
Bassel Salloukh, Lebanese American University bassel.salloukh@lau.edu.lb

Jillian Schwedler, Hunter College js1287@hunter.cuny.edu

Call for Members: APSA MENA Politics Section