APSA-MENA Politics Newsletter 3(2) – Fall 2020

As Editor and Chair of the Section, I am delighted to present the Fall 2020 issue of the APSA MENA Politics Newsletter.


We lead with a report by Nermin Allam, Gail Buttorff and Marwa Shalaby about the results of a survey of MENA scholars on the impact of COVID-19 on their research and careers. The results are sobering, and pose a profound challenge across generations – particularly for women, who have been disproportionately affected. The impact of COVID-19 is also unevenly distributed across methodologies, and has struck MENA research more than it has other regions of the world, which could produce long-term inequities and imbalances in MENA political science.  The leadership of the MENA Politics Section is deeply committed to working with our colleagues and partner institutions to try to mitigate these difficult problems.

The rest of the Fall 2020 issue is dedicated to a symposium on women and gender in the politics of MENA. The symposium, based on papers presented to a virtual workshop organized by Gamze Cavdar, ranges widely across methodologies, countries and issues to paint a fascinating picture of the complex evolution of the role and status of women in MENA.  There are few more important issues for the Newsletter to take up, and I’m deeply grateful to Gamze Cavdar and her colleagues for producing this exemplary work of engaged scholarship.

Marc Lynch

Washington, D.C. – October 14, 2020

Chair of the MENA Politics Section and Newsletter Editor

Prerna BalaEddy

Newsletter Assistant Editor




Marc Lynch

     Message from the Section Chair and Editor

Marc Lynch

     Section 2020 Award Winners

Ahmed Morsy and Andrew Stinson

     Note from APSA



Nermin Allam, Gail Buttorff and Marwa Shalaby

     COVID-19 Pandemic Compounds Challenges Facing MENA Research



Gamze Cavdar

     Introduction: Looking Beyond Islam

Lillian Frost

     Unequal Citizens: State Limitations on Women’s Nationality Rights

Lihi Ben Shitrit

     Gilead in Palestine

Catherine Warrick

     Gender and the Law in the Arab World: Text, Pretext, and Citizenship

Shirin Saeidi

     “We Don’t have Citizenship:” Liberation and Other Conceptual Frameworks for Understanding Iranian Women’s Activism in the MENA and Beyond

Erika Biagini and Paola Rivetti

     State repression and activist organizing in informal spaces: Comparing feminist movements in Egypt and Iran

Aili Mari Tripp

     Why Autocrats Adopt Women’s Rights: The Case of Morocco

Gamze Cavdar

     Implications of Islamist Rule for Women’s Employment in Turkey

Marwa Shalaby

     Gender Stereotypes and Women’s Political Representation in MENA

Lindsay J. Benstead

     What Explains Patriarchal Attitudes? The Role of Women’s Employment and Household Structure

Nermin Allam

     A Case for Community Engaged Research in Gender Studies and The Middle East