Research

My research addresses a variety of issues related to identity politics and conflict; identity and development; the politics of authoritarianism in the Middle East; welfare and development; and qualitative methods.

Identity Politics and Conflict

Much of my current research focuses on identity politics and conflict in various guises and contexts.

Post-conflict settlements

My new book project, Toleration, explores why and how people live together after “ethnoreligious” violence. My research aims to understand the emergence of norms and practices of toleration, or the peaceful coexistence with others from different identity-based communities as a minimal condition for social relations in the wake of conflict ostensibly waged in the name of these identities. The project is based on subnational comparative analyses of selected localities in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Lebanon, and Northern Ireland and involves the collection and analysis of original qualitative and quantitative data.

Power-Sharing in Post-Conflict Societies: Implications for Peace and Governance.” In Journal of Conflict Resolution 56, no. 6 (December 2012): 982-1016. (With Edmund Malesky)

Religion and Politics

The Oxford Handbook on Politics in Muslim Societies. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2021. (Co-edited with Pauline Jones)

“What’s Religion Got to Do With It?” In Melani Cammett and Pauline Jones, eds. The Oxford Handbook of Politics in Muslim Societies. Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2021. (With Pauline Jones

“The Religious Advantage: External Mobilization and the Success of Church-Backed Parties.” Working paper. (With Lucas Novaes and Guadalupe Tunon) (Available upon request.)

“Is There an Islamist Political Advantage?” In Annual Review of Political Science, vol. 17 (May/June 2014). (With Pauline Jones Luong)

Sectarianism

“Commitment to the “National” in Post-Conflict Countries: Public and Private Security in Lebanon.” Revise and resubmit. (With Dominika Kruszewska, Christiana Parreira and Sami Atallah). (Pre-analysis plan 20170907AA available here.)

“Coethnicity Beyond Clientelism: Insights from an Experimental Study on Religion and Political Behavior in Lebanon.” Politics & Religion (forthcoming 2021). (With Dominika Kruszewska, Christiana Parreira, and Sami Atallah). (Pre-analysis plan 20170907AA available here.)

“Voices of Arab Youth: Challenges and the Consequences of Exclusion.” Research project in Lebanon and Tunisia. (With the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies, Aytuğ Şaşmaz and Daniel Baissa, supported by the International Development Research Centre, Government of Canada)

“Lebanon, The Sectarian Identity Test Lab.” In Thanassis Cambanis and Michael Wahid Hanna, eds. Citizenship and Its Discontents: The Struggle for Rights, Pluralism, and Inclusion in the Middle East. New York: The Century Foundation, 2019.

“The Diversity of Islamic Charitable Activities: Analytical Distinctions Among Shi’a Muslim Organizations in Lebanon.” In Raj Brown and Justin Pierce, ed., Charities in the Non-Western World: The Development and Regulation of Indigenous and Islamic Charities. London: Routledge, 2013.

Identity and development

Some of my ongoing research focuses on the nexus of identity politics, on the one hand, and welfare and development, on the other, and was initially catalyzed by the field research I carried out for my book, Compassionate Communalism: Welfare and Sectarianism in Lebanon (Cornell University Press, 2014).  The book won 2015 Giovanni Sartori Book Award of the American Political Science Association (APSA) Section on Qualitative and Multi-Method Research and the Honorable Mention for the 2015 Gregory Luebbert Book Award of the APSA Section on Comparative Politics.

Identity politics and social welfare in Lebanon

“Municipal Governance and Pandemic Response in Lebanon.” Research project. (With Lama Mourad, Sami Atallah, and the Policy Initiative, Beirut, Lebanon).

“Vaccine Politics in Divided Societies: Insights from Lebanon.” Data collection in progress. (With Amanda Rizkallah and Daniel Corstange)

“Patronage politics, intrinsic motivation and the quality of services.” In preparation. (With Aytuğ Şaşmaz)

 “Equity with Prejudice: International NGOs and Service Delivery in Refugee Crises.” Revise and resubmit. (With Aytuğ Şaşmaz.) (Pre-analysis plan 20170417AA available here.)

“Navigating Welfare Regimes in Divided Societies: Diversity and the Quality of Service Delivery in Lebanon.” Governance (2021): 1-23. (With Aytuğ Şaşmaz)

“Political Context, Organizational Mission and the Quality of Social Services: Insights from the Health Sector in Lebanon.” World Development 98 (October 2017): 120-132. (With Aytuğ Şaşmaz)

Winner of the 2017 Best Comparative Policy Paper Award, Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis-American Political Science Association (JCPA-APSA)

“Sectarianism and the Ambiguities of Welfare in the Middle East.” In Cultural Anthropology 56, no. 6 (December 2015).

“Sectarian Politics and Social Welfare: Non-state Provision in Lebanon.” In The Politics of Non-state Social Welfare, edited by Melani Cammett and Lauren Morris MacLean. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2014.

“Informal Politics and Access to Health Care in Lebanon.” In International Journal for Equity in Health. 11, no. 23 (2012): 1-8. (With Bradley Chen)

“Partisan Activism and Access to Welfare in Lebanon.” Article in special issue of Studies in Comparative International Development on Non-State Actors, States and Citizens and the Provision of Social Welfare in the Global South.” 46, no. 1 (Spring 2011): 70-97. (PMCID: PMC4043299)

“Bricks and Mortar Clientelism: The Political Geography of Welfare in Lebanon.” In World Politics 62, no. 3 (July 2010): 381-421. (With Sukriti Issar). (PMCID: PMC4029429)

Winner of the 2011 Alexander L. George Award, Section on Qualitative and Multi-Method Research, American Political Science Association.

Public goods provision and intergroup relations in diverse societies

“Distributive Politics in Conflict Settings: The Case of Iraq (1997-2012).” Working paper. (With Reva Dhingra and Gabriel Koehler-Derrick)

“Social Accountability and Public Goods Provision: Testing Informal Mechanisms to Improve Community Welfare in Delhi Slums.” Under review. (With Poulomi Chakrabarti and David Romney) (Pre-analysis plan 20180613AA available here.)

“Social Accountability and Minority Status: Contributions to Public Goods by Hindus and Muslims in Indian Slums.” Under review. (With Poulomi Chakrabarti and David Romney) (Pre-analysis plan 20180613AA available here.)

“Minority Status and Defensive Cooperation.” In preparation. (With Poulomi Chakrabarti and David Romney)

“Building Solidarity: Challenges, Options, and Implications for COVID-19 Responses.” White Paper, Edmund J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University, March 30, 2020. (With Evan Lieberman.) Available here.

The Politics of Authoritarianism in the Middle East

“External Support and Persistent Authoritarianism in the Middle East.” Working paper. (With Daniel Baissa.)

“Cyber-Mobilization and Foreign Intervention: Evidence from Lebanon.” Data collection in progress. (With Alexei Abrahams and Andrew Leber)

“The Dynamics of Pro-State Mobilization: Insights from Egypt.” In Ruling by Other Means: State-Mobilized Movements, edited by Grzegorz Ekiert, Elizabeth Perry and Yan Xiaojun. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2020, pp. 261-290. (With Ashley Anderson)

“Insecurity and Political Values in the Arab World.” Democratization 27, no. 5 (2020): 699-716. (With Ishac Diwan and Irina Vartanova)

“Popular Grievances in the Arab Region: Evaluating Explanations for Discontent in the Lead-Up to the Uprisings.” Middle East Development Journal 10, no. 1(2018): 64-96. (With Nisreen Salti)

“Transition Experiences and Relevant Lessons for the Arab Transitions.” In The Middle East Economies in Times of Transition, edited by Ahmed Galal and Ishac Diwan. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, pp. 279-308.

Welfare and development

My early work focused on the politics of trade in the Middle East. From there I branched out to study the political economy of development in the Middle East and in developing countries, more generally. I remain very interested in this question, especially because economic development remains the greatest challenge to the countries of Middle East, albeit in different ways depending on the country, and because I think we have a lot more to learn about the historical roots of development in the region.

Welfare and development (general)

“Building Resilient Health Systems: A Proposal for a Resilience Index.” In BMJ 357(May 2017): 1-8. (With Margaret Kruk (lead author) et al.)

“Social Welfare.” In Tulia Falleti, Orfeo Fioretos and Adam Sheingate, eds., Handbook of Historical Institutionalism. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015. (With Aytuğ Şaşmaz)

“Does Risk Promote or Undermine Citizen Trust in Government? The Case of Health Care in Europe.” In Perspectives on Politics 13, no. 4 (December 2015), 938-957. (With Julia Lynch and Gavril Bilev)

The Politics of Non-State Social Welfare. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2014. (Co-edited with Lauren Morris MacLean)

Honorable Mention, 2015 Outstanding Book in Nonprofit and Voluntary Action Research of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA)

“Introduction: The Political Consequences of Non-State Social Welfare in the Global South.” Article in special issue of Studies in Comparative International Development on “Non-State Actors, States and Citizens and the Provision of Social Welfare in the Global South.” 46, no. 1 (Spring 2011): 1-21. (With Lauren Morris MacLean)

The MENAHDA Project

In collaboration with Allison Hartnett and Gabriel Koehler-Derrick, I am compiling a new database – the Middle East/North Africa Historical Data Archive (MENAHDA) – which will provide historical data on economic and social development for as many as 14 countries in the Middle East/North Africa region. We plan to launch the database in 2023 and hope that it will serve as a worldwide, open source resources for researchers around the world and especially in the MENA region. Thus far, we have generated two working papers using preliminary data from the project.

“Private Education and the Public Sector: Evidence from Jordan.” Working paper. (With Allison Spencer Hartnett, Gabriel Koehler-Derrick).

“Colonial Legacies and Welfare Provision in the Middle East and North Africa.” In Melani Cammett and Pauline Jones, eds. The Oxford Handbook of Politics in Muslim Societies. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021. (With Allison Hartnett and Gabriel Koehler-Derrick)

Development in the Middle East

“Epilogue: A Political Economy of the Arab Uprisings.” A Political Economy of the Middle East. Third ed. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, forthcoming 2013. (With Ishac Diwan.)

Abridged versions reprinted in Arabic in Kalamon Al-Thaqafiyya (Fall 2013), Le Monde Diplomatique/Al-Khaleej (October 2013) and Le Monde Diplomatique/Al-Ahram (Sept. 28, 2013); and in English in Jadaliyya (January 2013).

A Political Economy of the Middle East, 5th ed. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2015. (With Ishac Diwan and Steven Heydemann).

A Political Economy of the Middle East, 4th ed. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2015. (With Ishac Diwan, Alan Richards and John Waterbury).

“Development and Underdevelopment in the Middle East.” In Carol Lancaster and Nicolas van de Walle, eds. Handbook of the Politics of Development. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017. 

“Fiscal Policy and Crony Capitalism in MENA Countries.” In The Middle East Economies in Times of Transition, edited by Ahmed Galal and Ishac Diwan. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, pp. 63-98. (With Ishac Diwan.)

“Governance and Health in the Arab World.” In The Lancet, vol. 382 (2013): 1-13. (With Rajaie Batniji (lead author), Sanjay Basu, Rita Giacaman, Amaney Jamal, Lina Khatib, Geoffrey Sweet, and Paul Wise)

Globalization and Business Politics in Arab North Africa: A Comparative Perspective. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007, 2010. 

“Labor Standards and Labor Flexibility in the Middle East: Freer Trade and Freer Unions?” In Studies in Comparative International Development 45, no. 2 (Summer 2010). (With Marsha Pripstein Posusney): 250-279.

“Business-Government Relations and Industrial Change: The Politics of Upgrading in Morocco and Tunisia.” In World Development 35, no. 11 (2007): 1889-1903.

“Development and the Changing Dynamics of Global Production: Global Value Chains and Local Clusters in Apparel Manufacturing.” In Competition and Change 10, no. 1 (March 2006): 23-48.

“Fat Cats and Self-Made Men: Globalization and the Paradoxes of Collective Action.” In Comparative Politics 37, no. 4 (July 2005): 379-400.

“Challenges to Networks of Privilege in Morocco: Implications for Network Analysis.” In Steven Heydemann, ed. Networks of Privilege in the Middle East: The Politics of Economic Reform Revisited. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004, pp. 245-279.

“International Exposure, Domestic Response: Financiers, Weavers and Garment Manufacturers in Morocco and Tunisia.”  In Arab Studies Journal 7, no. 2/8, no. 1 (Fall 1999/Spring 2000): 26-51. 

“Defensive Integration and Late Developers: The Gulf Cooperation Council and the Arab Maghreb Union.” In Global Governance 5, no. 3 (July-September 1999): 379-402. 

Qualitative Methods

I’ve written a few pieces on topics related to qualitative methods in the social sciences.

“The Value of Positive Deviant Cases for Development Policy.” In Jennifer Widner, Michael Woolcock and Daniel Ortega Nieto, eds. The Case for Case Studies: Integrating Scholarship and Practice in International Development. New York: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2021.

“Using Proxy Interviewing to Address Sensitive Topics.” In Layna Mosley, ed., Interviewing in Political Science. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2013.

“The War on Terror: Implications for Data Collection in the Middle East.”  In APSA-CP: Newsletter of the Comparative Politics Division of the American Political Science Association. 18, no. 1(Winter 2007): 16-19. 

“Political Ethnography in Deeply Divided Societies.” In Qualitative Methods: Newsletter of the American Political Science Association Organized Section on Qualitative Methods. 4, no. 3(Fall 2006): 15-18.