The POMEPS Steering Committee

POMEPS is advised by a Steering Committee and Advisory Board comprised of leading Middle East specialists at a range of top universities and institutions. Steering committee members make up the selection committee for all POMEPS activities.

Steering Committee Members: 

Lindsay J. Benstead is Associate Professor of Political Science in the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government and Director of the Middle East Studies Center (MESC) at Portland State University. From 2018-2019 she served as a fellow in the Middle East Program and the Global Women’s Leadership Initiative at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC. She is an Affiliated Scholar in the Program on Governance and Local Development (GLD) at the University of Gothenburg and Yale University and served as Kuwait Visiting Professor at SciencesPo in Paris (fall 2016). Benstead has conducted surveys in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Jordan and contributes to the Transitional Governance Project. Her research has appeared in Perspectives on Politics, International Journal of Public Opinion Research, Governance, and Foreign Affairs. She holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Political Science from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and served as a doctoral fellow at Yale University and a post-doctoral fellow at Princeton University.

Dina Bishara is an Assistant Professor of International and Comparative Labor at Cornell University. Her research interests include authoritarianism, state-labor relations, social and protest movements, and transitions from authoritarian rule. Her book, Contesting Authoritarianism: Labor Challenges to the State in Egypt, has been published with Cambridge University Press (2018). Her articles have been published or are forthcoming in Comparative Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Perspectives on Politics and Middle East Law and Governance. She has been awarded research fellowships from Harvard University, the University of Oxford, and the German Institute for International and Security Affairs.

Steven Brooke is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and a Faculty Fellow at the Association for Analytic Learning about Islam and Muslim Societies (AALIMS) at University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is also a non-resident fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Middle East Initiative. Steven’s research and teaching focuses on comparative politics, religion and politics, and the politics of the Middle East.  His first book, Winning Hearts and Votes: Social Services and the Islamist Political Advantage, looks at how and why non-state groups provide social services, with an empirical focus on the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.  His articles have appeared in the American Political Science Review, Perspectives on Politics, Political Research Quarterly, and the British Journal of Middle East Studies.

Janine A. Clark is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto Mississauga.  Her work focuses on decentralization and local politics, Islamist movements, civil society activism and women and politics in the Middle East and North Africa. Currently, she is working on a SSHRC-funded project examining sexuality politics and gender activism in Lebanon, Jordan, and Tunisia. She has conducted extensive field research in Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen. She is the author of two single-authored books: Local Politics in Jordan and Morocco: Strategies of Centralization and Decentralization (Columbia University Press, 2018); and Islam, Charity and Activism: Middle-Class Networks and Social Welfare in Egypt, Jordan and Yemen (Indiana University Press, 2004).

Daniel Corstange is an Associate Professor of Political Science and of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. His teaching focus is political development, ethnic politics, and research methods. He previously taught at the University of Maryland, and was a visiting fellow at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Corstange holds a PhD in political science from the University of Michigan and a BA in political science and history from Northwestern University.

May Darwich is a Lecturer in International Relations of the Middle East at University of Birmingham. She was Assistant Professor at Durham University (2016-2019) and a Research Fellow at GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, within the IDCAR-Network ‘The International Diffusion and Cooperation of Authoritarian Regimes’(2014-2015). Her research attempts to bring Middle East cases to debates within IR theory while surmounting the challenge to the study of state behaviour in the Middle East through theoretical lenses. She is author of Threats and Alliances in the Middle East: Saudi and Syrian Policies in a Turbulent Region (Cambridge University Press, 2019).

Rabab El Mahdi is an associate professor of political science at The American University in Cairo. Her field of specialization is comparative political economy and development, with a focus on Latin America and the Middle East. El Mahdi’s research interests cover the areas of state-civil society relations, social movements and resistance, as well as the political economy of social policy. She is also the recipient of a number of research grants from Carnegie Corporation of New York and The Rockefeller Brothers Foundation. Currently, she leads AUC’s research project, Alternative Policy Solutions (APS). She serves on the boards of a number of civil society and professional organizations, including the Arab Political Science Network (APSN).

Waleed Hazbun is the Richard L. Chambers Professor of Middle Eastern Studies in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alabama. He previous taught international relations at the American University of Beirut (AUB) and the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He is author of Beaches, Ruins, Resorts: The Politics of Tourism in the Arab World (Minnesota, 2008), co-editor of New Conflict Dynamics: Between Regional Autonomy and Intervention in the Middle East and North Africa (Copenhagen, 2017), and founding member of the Critical Security Studies in the Arab World working project supported by the Beirut-based Arab Council for the Social Sciences (ACSS).

Lisel Hintz is an Assistant Professor of International Relations and European Studies at Johns Hopkins University. She works at the intersection of identity politics and foreign policy. She is particularly interested in how domestic identity struggles spill over to shape, and be shaped by international affairs. Her regional focus is on Turkey and its relations with Europe and the Middle East. She received her PhD in Political Science from George Washington University, was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Cornell University’s Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, and was Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Barnard College, Columbia University. Professor Hintz’s forthcoming book with Oxford University Press draws on 18 months of fieldwork across Turkey.

Elizabeth Nugent is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Yale University. She received her doctorate in politics from Princeton University with a specialization in comparative politics and a focus on the Middle East in June 2017. Her research explores political behavior in authoritarian contexts, religion and politics, and the origins of coercive institutions, combining a variety of survey, voting, archival, and interview evidence, and incorporating quantitative, qualitative, and experimental methodologies. In July 2018, she was a postdoctoral research fellow with the Middle East Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. She served as an AY2007-2008 Fulbright Fellow in Cairo, Egypt and has conducted fieldwork for a variety of projects in Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Sarah E. Parkinson is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. She received her PhD from the University of Chicago in 2013 and joined the faculty of Johns Hopkins University in 2016. Her research examines organizational behavior and social change during and following war. Focusing predominantly on the Middle East and North Africa, she uses social network analysis and ethnographic methods to study the ways that actors such as militant organizations, political parties, and humanitarian groups cope with crisis, disruption, and fragmentation. She has conducted extensive fieldwork among Palestinian and Syrian refugees in Lebanon and with humanitarian organizations in Iraqi Kurdistan. Parkinson’s work has been published in the American Political Science Review, Perspectives on Politics, Social Science and Medicine, The Middle East Report, and the Monkey Cage.

Bassel F. Salloukh is an Associate Professor of political science in the Department of Social Sciences at the Lebanese American University. His main fields of specialization include Comparative Politics (Global South especially Middle East), Political Theory (Public Philosophy, and the Philosophy of Reconciliation and Interculturalism), and International Relations (Middle East IR). His current research interests include an intersectional critique of power-sharing arrangements in postwar states, the philosophy of reconciliation in divided places, and Middle East International Relations after the popular uprisings.

Morten Valbjørn is Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science, Aarhus University, and director of the interdisciplinary research project SWAR: ‘Sectarianism in the Wake of the Arab Revolts. In addition to Shia/Sunni Sectarianism, his research focuses on the analytical implications of the Arab uprisings and the sociology of knowledge concerning the study of Middle East politics, various expressions of identity politics in (the study of) the Middle East, the international relations theory/Middle East studies nexus, the post-democratization debate and transformations of Islamism.

Sean Yom is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Temple University. His research focuses on authoritarianism, democracy, and development in the Middle East and North Africa. He has published widely on post-colonial state formation, the dynamics of regime durability, and strategic implications for US foreign policy. He is the author of From Resilience to Revolution: How Foreign Interventions Destabilize the Middle East (Columbia University Press, 2015).

Stacey Philbrick Yadav is Associate Professor of Political Science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. She joined the faculty in 2007. She specializes in comparative politics of the Middle East and teach classes in Middle East politics, Comparative politics and Islamic Political Thought. Her research focuses on the role of Islamist organizations in the transformation of public spheres and over the past ten years she has lived and conducted research in Lebanon, Yemen, Egypt and Israel. In 2013, she published Islamists and the State: Legitimacy and Institutions in Yemen and Lebanon, a book on the institutional and discursive strategies adopted by the Islamist members of two major political alliances, the Joint Meeting Parties in Yemen and the March 8 bloc in Lebanon. She received her Ph.D. and M.A. from University of Pennsylvania and her B.A. from Smith College.

Advisory Board Members:

Jason Brownlee is a professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin. He is 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). He is co-author, with Tarek Masoud and Andrew Reynolds, of The Arab Spring: Pathways of Repression andReform (Oxford University Press, 2015).

Melani Cammett is a Professor of International Affairs at Harvard University. Cammett’s recent books include Compassionate Communalism: Welfare and Sectarianism in Lebanon (Cornell University Press 2014), which won the American Political Science Association (APSA) Giovanni Sartori Book Award and the Honorable Mention for the APSA Gregory Luebbert Book Award; A Political Economy of the Middle East (co-authored with Ishac Diwan, Westview Press 2015); and The Politics of Non-State Social Welfare in the Global South (co-edited with Lauren Morris MacLean, Cornell University Press 2014), which received the Honorable Mention for the ARNOVA book award. Her current research projects explore governance and the politics of social welfare, identity politics and the long-term historical roots of distinct development trajectories in the Middle East.

Amaney Jamal is the Edwards S. Sanford Professor of Politics and director of the Mamdouha S. Bobst Center for Peace and Justice at Princeton University and co-directs the Arab Barometer project. She authored Of Empires and Citizens: Pro American Democracy or No Democracy at All? (Princeton University Press, 2012) and Barriers to Democracy: The Other Side of Social Capital in Palestine and the Arab World (Princeton University Press, 2007). She is co-author of Citizenship and Crisis: Arab Detroit after 9-11 (Russell Sage, 2009) and co-editor of Race and Arab Americans after 9-11: From Invisible Citizens to Visible Subjects (Syracuse University Press, 2008).

Vickie Langohr is an associate professor of political science at the College of the Holy Cross. She is a member of the Middle East Studies Association’s Committee on Academic Freedom. Langohr is the author of the chapter “Labor Movements and Organizations” in The Arab Uprisings Explained: New Contentious Politics in the Middle East (Columbia University Press, 2014).

Tarek Masoud is the Sultan of Oman Associate Professor of International Relations at Harvard University‘s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is the author of Counting Islam: Religion, Class, and Elections in Egypt (Cambridge University Press, 2014) and co-author of  The Arab Spring: Pathways of Repression and Reform (Oxford University Press, 2015) with Jason Brownlee and Andrew Reynolds. He is co-editor of Problems and Methods in the Study of Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2004) and Order, Conflict, and Violence (Cambridge University Press, 2008).

Wendy Pearlman is an associate professor of political science at Northwestern University. She is the author of Violence, Nonviolence, and the Palestinian National Movement (Cambridge University Press, 2011) and Occupied Voices: Stories of Everyday Life from the Second Intifada (Nation Books, 2003). She is a member of the journal advisory board of Middle East Law and Governance.

Curtis Ryan is a professor of political science at Appalachian State University. He is the author of Inter-Arab Alliances: Regime Security and Jordanian Foreign Policy (University Press of Florida, 2009) and Jordan in Transition: From Hussein to Abdullah (Lynne Reinner, 2002). He is a member of the Middle East Research and Information Project’s editorial committee.

Jillian Schwedler is a professor of political science at Hunter College of The City University of New York. She is author of Faith in Moderation: Islamist Parties in Jordan and Yemen (2006), editor of Understanding the Contemporary Middle East (2013), and co-editor of Policing and Prisons in the Middle East: Formations of Coercion (2010). She is a member of the Middle East Research and Information Project’s editorial committee.

Lisa Wedeen is the Mary R. Morton Professor of Political Science and the College and the co-director of the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory at the University of Chicago. She is the author of Peripheral Visions: Publics, Power, and Performance in Yemen (University of Chicago Press, 2008) and Ambiguities of Domination: Politics, Rhetoric, and Symbols in Contemporary Syria (University of Chicago Press, 1999).

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