The Political Science of the Middle East: Theory and Research Since the Arab Uprisings

The Arab Uprisings of 2011-12 catalyzed a new wave of rigorous, deeply informed research on the politics of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). In The Political Science of the Middle East: Theory and Research Since the Arab Uprisings, Marc Lynch, Jillian Schwedler, and Sean Yom present the definitive overview of this pathbreaking turn. This is a monumental stocktaking organized around a singular theme: new theorizing from the MENA has advanced the frontiers of comparative politics and international relations, and the close-range study of the region occupies a core place in mainstream political science. Its dozen chapters cover an exhaustive array of topics, including authoritarianism and democracy, contentious politics, regional security, military institutions, conflict and violence, the political economy of development, Islamist movements, identity and sectarianism, public opinion, migration, and local politics. For each of these topics, leading MENA experts and specialists highlight innovative concepts, vibrant debates, diverse methodologies, and unexpected findings. The result is an indispensable research primer, one that stands as a generational statement from a regional subfield.

Below are audio recordings of conversations with POMEPS Director Marc Lynch and some of the authors of each chapter from the book. These audios recordings can be enjoyed on their own or can be used as supplementary education material in the classroom. Click the titles of the chapters to listen to or download the audio file. We hope you take a listen!  


Chapter 1. Introduction: The Project of Middle East Political Science: Research Agendas for a Maturing Field; Marc Lynch, Jillian Schwedler, Sean Yom

Chapter 2. Authoritarianism Reconfigured: Evolving Forms of Political Control; Andre Bank, Eva Bellin, Michael Herb, Lisa Wedeen, Sean Yom, and Saloua Zerhouni

Chapter 3. Between Two Uprisings: The Study of Protest in the Middle East, 2010-20; Nermin Allam, Chantal Berman, Killian Clarke, and Jillian Schwedler

Chapter 4. International Relations and Regional (In)security; May Darwich, F. Gregory Gause III, Waleed Hazbun, Curtis Ryan, and Morten Valbjorn

Chapter 5. Militaries, Militias, Violence; Holger Albrecht, Kevin Koehler, Devorah Manekin, and Ora Szekely

Chapter 6. Political Economy and Development; Ferdinand Eibl, Shimaa Hatab, and Steffen Hertog

Chapter 7. Islam and Islamism; Tarek Masoud, Khalil al-Anani, Courtney Freer, and Quinn Mecham

Chapter 8. The Politics of Identity and Sectarianism; Fanar Haddad, Lisel Hintz, Rima Majed, Toby Matthiesen, Bassel F. Salloukh, and Alexandra Siegel

Chapter 9. Public Opinion; Lindsay J. Benstead, Justin Gengler, and Michael Robbins

Chapter 10. Migration and Displacement; Rawan Arar, Laurie Brand, Rana B. Khoury, Noora Lori, Lama Mourad, and Wendy Pearlman

Chapter 11. Toward a Relational Approach to Local Politics; Janine A. Clark, Sarah El-Kazaz, Mona Harb, and Lana Salman

Chapter 12. Triumph over Adversity: Reflections on the Practice of Middle East Political Science; Lisa Anderson