Daniel Amir is a social and cultural historian of the Iranian Jewish community. Before coming to Brandeis he was a Wolfson Scholar at the University of Oxford, where he also received an undergraduate degree in Persian and Urdu. His doctoral research examines nationalism, popular literature, and print culture among Jews and other religious minorities in twentieth century Iran.
Barnett is an assistant professor in the School of Government and Public Policy and School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Arizona. Carolyn's research focuses on how public opinion, social norms, and political behavior in the Middle East and North Africa evolve in response to women's rights reforms and other social policies. Her work has appeared in the "Journal of Political Science," "PS: Political Science and Politics," "Middle East Law and Governance" and "Hawwa." Carolyn has held Fulbright scholarships to Morocco for research and to Egypt for language study through the Center for Arabic Study Abroad program. She has also held a Marshall Scholarship to the UK, where she earned an MSc in Middle East politics and MA in Islamic studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. Carolyn earned a BSFS from Georgetown University and worked as a research fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies from 2012-15. She holds a PhD in politics from Princeton University.
Zeynep Kadirbeyoğlu was most recently an associate professor of political science at Bogazici University in Istanbul. Her research focuses on democratization, decentralization, local governments, civil society organizations, and citizenship, with publications in journals such as the Canadian Journal of Development Studies, Public Administration and Development, Environmental Policy and Governance, Environmental Politics, Mediterranean Politics and VOLUNTAS. She has led international initiatives at Bogazici University, including a project on eradicating poverty (ADAPTED) as part of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Networks. She is part of the inter-disciplinary political ecology working group and the Human Development Research Center at Bogazici University. She is the country expert on Turkey for the European University Institute Global Citizenship Observatory (GLOBALCIT) and a member of the Group of Independent Experts on the European Charter of local Self-Government. She received her PhD from McGill University and was a Jean Monnet Scholar during her MPhil at the University of Cambridge.
Hadi Kahalzadeh holds a Ph.D. in social policy from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management. He studies the impacts of economic sanctions on Iran's social welfare, particularly poverty, inequality, and impoverishment in Iran. He holds an MA in sustainable international development from Brandeis, an MA in energy economics from the Islamic Azad University and a BA in Theoretical Economics from Allameh Tabatabai University in Tehran.Before joining the Ph.D. program, Kahalzadeh worked as an economist with the Department of Economic and Social Planning in the Social Security Organization of Iran for eight years. He also served as a member of the board of several political parties and civil society pro-democratic organizations in Iran. He has contributed extensively to published analyses on various topics, including Iran's political economy, development, the welfare state, poverty, and inequality. His work has been featured in prominent media outlets such as The Guardian and Foreign Affairs. Kahalzadeh's research interests span various aspects of social welfare, including poverty measurement, impact evaluation, health, education, social security, and the political economy of policy reforms.
Karakuş holds a PhD in sociocultural anthropology from the University of Arizona. His interdisciplinary research lies at the intersection of cultural anthropology, gender and sexuality studies, and security studies, with a focus on the modern Middle East. His dissertation, "Queer Debt: Affective Politics of Security and Intimacy in Kurdish Turkey," analyzes the effects of emergent security regimes on the intimate lives and livelihoods of queer and transgender Kurds. While at the Crown Center, Karakuş will develop his dissertation research into a book project that examines how regional notions of debt, responsibility, repayment and right are taken up, adapted and deployed by queer and transgender Kurds as they stake a claim to livelihood, but which also ends up more deeply implicating them in the securitized logics and socialities of the Kurdish conflict. Karakuş is also a Jean Monnet Scholar who completed his MSc at University College London's Security Studies program.
Noora Lori is an Associate Professor of International Relations at the Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University; she co-directs the Forced Migration and Human Trafficking Initiative. Her research focuses on citizenship, migration and racial politics in the Middle East and in comparative perspective. Her book, Offshore Citizens: Permanent “Temporary” Status in the Gulf (Cambridge University Press 2019), received three book awards from the American Political Science Association and the International Studies Association. She has published in International Migration Review, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Journal of Global Security Studies, Ethnic and Racial Studies, and International Relations (selections). She was previously an Academy Scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, a fellow at the International Security Program of the Harvard Kennedy School, and a visiting scholar at the Dubai School of Government. She received her PhD in Political Science from Johns Hopkins University in 2013.
Born in Baghdad, Makiya left Iraq to study architecture at MIT, later joining Makiya Associates to design and build projects in the Middle East. In 1981, he left the practice of architecture and began to write a book about Iraq. Kanan has written several books and is widely published. "Republic of Fear: The Politics of Modern Iraq" (University of California Press, 1989) became a best-seller after Saddam Hussein's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. In 2003, he founded the Iraq Memory Foundation, a NGO based in Baghdad and the US that is dedicated to issues of remembrance, violence and identity formation. The Iraq Memory Foundation has collected and digitized nearly 10 million pages of Ba'th era documents and has been supported by both the Iraqi and U.S. governments as well as many foundations. Makiya recently authored the novel, "The Rope" (Pantheon, 2016), which quickly became an international bestseller.
Daniel Neep was previously the assistant director for research and a sabbatical fellow at the Crown Center. Neep is the author of Occupying Syria: Insurgency, Space, and State Formation (Cambridge 2012). He is currently finishing his second book, The Nation Belongs to All: The Making of Modern Syria, which explains Syria’s political development in terms of global transformations, changing economic infrastructures, emerging political geographies, and waves of popular protest. He holds a PhD in politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. His research has been supported by the Andrew L. Mellon Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, the American Druze Foundation, the British Academy, the Council for British Research in the Levant, and the Arts & Humanities Research Council (UK), in addition to the Crown Center. He has taught Middle East politics at Georgetown University and the University of Exeter, and currently teaches in the Department of Political Science at George Washington.
Philbrick Yadav is Professor and Chair of the International Relations department at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Specializing in the politics of Yemen, she focuses on the work of Yemeni civil actors. Her first book, Islamists and the State: Legitimacy and Institutions in Yemen and Lebanon, was published in 2013, followed by a number of articles on Yemen's partisan and post-partisan politics. Her 2022 book was Yemen in the Shadow of Transition: Pursuing Justice Amid War; and as a Crown Center non-resident fellow, she wrote "Fragmentation and Localization in Yemen’s War: Challenges and Opportunities for Peace," a Middle East Brief. As chair of the MENA Politics section for the APSA, she focused on the ethical challenges of field research in the MENA region, and she currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Project on Middle East Political Science, the American Institute of Yemeni Studies, and the Center for Research in Partnership with the Orient. She holds a PhD in political science from the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Abdel Monem Said Aly is the Chairman of the Board and CEO of Al Masry Al Youm Publishing House in Cairo, and the former Chairman of the Board, CEO, and Director of the Regional Center for Strategic Studies in Cairo. He has served as president of Al Ahram Center for Political & Strategic Studies in Cairo, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Al Ahram Newspaper and Publishing House, and was a member of the Board at Al Ahram Institutions and the Director of Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo. He was also a research fellow at both the Brookings Institute and the Belfer Center at Harvard University. He is currently a Senior Fellow in the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis. In 2014, he founded The Gulf Arab States Institute in Washington. He served as a Senator in the Egyptian Shura Council and has published books, articles, and chapters on world systems, Arab relations, European integration, the Arab-Israeli conflict, Egypt’s political system, National Security, and Arms Control. He contributes regularly to newspapers and media forums. His most recent publications are State and Revolution in Egypt: The Paradox of Change and Politics (Brandeis University, Crown Center for Middle East Studies, January 2012), and Arabs and Israelis: Conflict and Peace Making in the Middle East (London, MacMillan & Belgrave), coauthored with Shai Feldman and Khalil Shikaki. He obtained his B.A. from Cairo University and his M.A. and PH.D in Political Science from Northern Illinois University.
Dr. Jillian Schwedler is Professor of Political Science at the City University of New York’s Hunter College and the Graduate Center. She has served as elected member of the Board of Directors of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) and the APSA Council of the American Political Science Association and as a member of the editorial committees of Middle East Law and Governance, International Journal of Middle East Studies, and Middle East Report, among others. Dr. Schwedler’s research focuses on contentious politics, political geography, protest and policing, and Islamist political parties. Her books include the award-winning Faith in Moderation: Islamist Parties in Jordan and Yemen (Cambridge 2006), Policing and Prisons in the Middle East (with Laleh Khalili, Columbia 2010), and most recently, the award-winning Protesting Jordan: Geographies of Power and Dissent (Stanford 2022). Her articles have appeared in World Politics, Comparative Politics, Middle East Critique, and Social Movement Studies, among many others.
Shikaki has directed the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah since 2000 and has conducted more than 100 polls among Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since 1993. A world-renowned expert on Palestinian public opinion and a widely published author, he has taught at several institutions, including Birzeit University, An-Najah National University, the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, and the University of South Florida. He was also a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, in 2002.
VanderMeulen holds a PhD in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies from New York University. His research explores intersections among media, sound, the senses, and Islamic thought and practice, with a particular focus on the Maghrib. His current book project, “Microphonic Islam: Sound Reproduction and the Recited Qur’an in Morocco,” examines the application of sound media to Qur’an recitation pedagogy, and the harnessing of such pedagogies to state-driven political agendas. Combining archival sources with extensive ethnography, the book argues that the objectification of sound itself within such political projects is due not only to the advent of new technologies but also “micro-phonic” sensibilities that have long genealogies within the Islamic scholastic tradition. Prior to joining the Crown Center, VanderMeulen taught anthropology and sociology at Kalamazoo College and Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at NYU. His feature articles appear in American Ethnologist, the International Journal of Middle East Studies, and Lateral: Journal of the Cultural Studies Association.