Upcoming Deadline: 2015 APSA MENA Workshops

“The Resource Curse in the Middle East and North Africa”

May 2015 in Qatar – December 2015 in Kuwait

The American Political Science Association (APSA) is pleased to announce a Call for Applications from early-career scholars who would like to participate in the 2015 MENA Workshops program. This two-part workshop program is a unique opportunity to network with colleagues from across the MENA region and develop discreet research findings related to the impact of rent wealth on democracy, state-building, political stability, and state-society relations.

The first one-week workshop will be hosted by Qatar University’s Social and Economic Survey Research Institute (SESRI) from May 17-21. A follow-up workshop will be held at the Alsalam Center for Development and Strategic Studies, a research center affiliated with Kuwait University, in early December. The organizers, with support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, will cover all the costs of participation (including travel, lodging, meals, and materials) for the accepted applicants. The working language of the workshop is English.

The 2015 program is part of a multi-year effort to support political science research among early-career scholars in the Arab Middle East and North Africa, and strengthen research networks linking Arab scholars with their colleagues overseas. Previous workshops have been held at the American University in Cairo (AUC), the American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR) in Amman, the Center for Maghreb Studies in Tunis (CEMAT), and Lebanese American University (LAU) in Beirut.

The online 2015 Application Form can be found hereThe application deadline is Saturday, March 14, 2015 at 11 PM (EST).


The workshop is principally targeted at Ph.D. students and post-doctoral fellows of political science who are currently based at institutions in the Middle East and North Africa. A smaller number of applicants from universities in the United States or Europe will also be accepted. The program is open to scholars from any social science discipline undertaking research related to the workshop theme. Applicants are expected to apply with a manuscript or research project in progress, which they will share at the first workshop week, improve over the interim period, and present formally during the second workshop week, with the expectation that they will then submit their piece to a peer-reviewed political science journal soon after the conclusion of the workshop program. Professional fluency in English is required.

Workshop Theme

The 2015 workshops will be led by Justin Gengler (Social and Economic Survey Research Institute, Qatar University), Michael Herb (Georgia State University, USA), Ghanim al-Najjar (Alsalam Center for Development and Strategic Studies, Kuwait University), Alanoud Al Sharekh (Women’s Research and Studies Center, Kuwait University), and Mark Tessler (University of Michigan, USA). Participants will explore the rentier state literature to debate questions including: How does rent influence citizenship and other policies of the Gulf States and how can we understand this in a wider comparative perspective? How does aid from rich oil states affect political outcomes in aid recipient states in the region? What will be the impact on rentier states of the recent decline of oil prices?

To provide a framework for reflection and investigation relating to these and other relevant questions, the workshop will also focus on issues of research design, modes of and approaches to political science inquiry, and issues associated with manuscript preparation and publication. Workshop sessions will be devoted to small seminar discussions, presentations of participants’ ongoing research, and training on research design and research methods.  Following the workshops, alumni will be eligible to apply for small grants to facilitate further research collaboration.


To submit an application for participation in the workshop, first review the eligibility requirements on APSA’s MENA Workshop website and then follow the web link to the Online Application Form. Completed applications, including all necessary supporting documents, must be submitted by March 14, 2015 at 11 PM (EST). The final list of selected Workshop Fellows will be announced in April 2015.

Applications must be in English and include:

  1. The completed online Application Form.
  2. A detailed, recent Curriculum Vitae/resume.
  3. A 500-2,000 word statement that describes your current research interests and how it relates to the workshop theme. This should be a detailed outline or research plan summarizing the work-in-progress you intend to bring with you to the first workshop and continue to develop over course of the workshop program.
  4. Two letters of reference on official letterhead and scanned as electronic files. If you are a graduate student, one letter should be from your supervising professor. If you are a researcher or faculty member, the letters can be from a former dissertation supervisor, a colleague at your home institution, a university official, or an employer.
  5. A copy of your valid passport

 For questions, contact us at menaworkshops@apsanet.org. Please do not contact the workshop leaders directly.

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