A Note From POMEPS  

Dear Colleagues,

We hope you are keeping well through these difficult times. Like everyone else, POMEPS has been forced to adapt to the realities created by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has meant postponing workshops and conferences through at least the rest of 2020.  We continue to do everything we can to support our network of scholars, and wanted to update you on some of our recent activities.

First, I am delighted to introduce two new members of the POMEPS team. Prerna BalaEddy (prerna.pomeps@gmail.com) joins us from the GW Law School after recently completing her M.A. degree at the Elliott School of International Affairs. Tessa Talebi (tessa.pomeps@gmail.com) recently graduated from the University of California, Berkeley.  Please join me in welcoming them to the team!

This week, we released POMEPS Studies 40 – Africa and the Middle East: Beyond the Divides. Based on a February 28 workshop held at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs just ahead of the COVID-19 global shutdown, this project organized with Hisham Aïdi and Zachariah Mampilly brought together a diverse international group of scholars focused on Africa and the Middle East.  It is the beginning of a sustained initiative to promote transregional scholarship and break down artificial divides in the study of Africa and the Middle East. The full collection is available for download here.

In response to the COVID-19 shutdown, we launched the POMEPS Junior Scholar Virtual Workshop to give junior scholars the opportunity for feedback and discussion on articles being prepared for submission to peer-reviewed political science journals. This has been tremendously successful.  By the end of June, POMEPS will have hosted 7 Zoom workshops with 22 junior scholars and the same number of senior scholar discussants. The virtual format has allowed us to more easily include scholars based in the Middle East and Europe.  We will run the Virtual Workshop at least through the fall, and longer if there continues to be interest.  To see the full spring and summer schedule, please click here.

The American Political Science Association wisely decided to move the 2020 Annual Meeting to a virtual format. We will be conducting the MENA Junior Scholar Research Workshop short course over Zoom, and plan to announce details for a virtual happy hour reception in the coming weeks. We will likely do the same for our reception at the Middle East Studies Association Annual Meeting.

In other news, POMEPS supported the publication of the spring issue of the APSA MENA Politics Newsletter. This issue of the Newsletter features Melani Cammett and Isabell Kendall’s fascinating glimpse at publication trends for Middle East research in Political Science journals, and three special sections. The first special section, edited by Lisel Hintz, examines the intersection between domestic politics and foreign policy in Turkey. The second special section, edited by Nadav Shelef, looks at the state of democracy in Israel. Finally, the third special section, edited by Marc Lynch, looks at Islamist movements at war. The complete newsletter is available for download here.

We recently completed an exceptional season of the MENA Politics Book podcast, hosted by Marc Lynch. Recent episodes include conversations with Catherine Herrold, Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, Noah Salomon, Salwa Ismail, Omar Dewachi, Sara Pursley, Samuel Helfont, Fanar Haddad, Steven Brooke, Ceren Lord, Thomas Hegghammer, Mark Thompson, Yael Zeira, May Darwich and many more. All podcasts are available for listening on our website; for more information, click here .

Finally, to faculty and graduate students, Carnegie Corporation invites you to participate in a virtual classroom collaboration opportunity. In their words, “Building on a new comfort level many of us have with online video conference platforms, this voluntary initiative offers professors, adjuncts, and graduate students who have participated in a Corporation-supported program an easy and accessible platform to invite guest lectures, outside voices, and new expertise into their syllabi and classrooms.” More information about this opportunity is available on our website; for more information, click here.

Thank you for your support, as always. And do make sure you follow us on Twitter and Facebook to ensure you are up-to-date on the latest POMEPS news.


Marc Lynch
Director of POMEPS