curriculum vitae

full text pdf

Academic Employment

University of Maryland - College Park, 2015 - the present
Assistant Professor, Department of Government and Politics,

CUNY - City College, 2013 - 2015

Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science


Yale University, May 2013
Ph.D. in Political Science

Dissertation Title: “Bedouins into Bourgeois? Social Engineering for a Market Economy in the United Arab Emirates"
Committee: Ellen Lust (Chair), James Scott, Thad Dunning

Yale University, May 2011
M.A. and M.Phil. in Political Science
Subfield certifications: Comparative Politics, International Relations, Middle East Politics, Methodology

University of Cambridge, June 2007
M.Phil. in International Relations
M.Phil. Thesis: “Networked Threats to States and Their Weaknesses”
Areas of Focus: International Security, Non-State Actors, Middle East Politics
Advisor: Mette Eilstrup-Sangiovanni

University of California, Berkeley, May 2006
M.I.M.S. (Two Year Master's Degree in Information Management & Systems)

M.I.M.S. Thesis: "Intelligence Reform: The Logic of Information Sharing"
Areas of Focus: Networked Collaboration, Innovation, Organizational Theory
Advisor: AnnaLee Saxenian

Columbia University (Columbia College), May 2003
B.A. cum laude in Philosophy (Major) and Computer Science (Minor)



Bedouins into Bourgeois: Remaking Citizens for Globalization (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017)

Articles (Peer Reviewed)

“New Approaches to Citizen-Building: Shifting Needs, Goals, and Outcomes,” Comparative Political Studies, forthcoming in 2017.

"Seeing Like an Autocrat: Liberal Social Engineering in an Illiberal State." Perspectives on Politics 13(1): 24-41, 2015. 
Link to article

First article, and featured on cover of March 2015 issue.

Exploring the Microfoundations of International Community: Toward a Theory of Enlightened Nationalism. International Studies Quarterly 58(4): 682-705, 2014. 

“Assessing the Dangers of Illicit Networks: Why al-Qaida May Be Less Dangerous Than Many Think.” International Security. 33(2): 7-44, 2008 (with Mette Eilstrup-Sangiovanni).

Based on my Cambridge masters thesis and selected for reprint in Lynn-Jones, Sean M. Responding to Terrorism: A Batch from International Security (MIT Press, 2014), a specially curated collection of influential papers dealing with terrorism including papers by Audrey Kurth Cronin, Andrew Kydd, Max Abrahms, John Mueller, and Jenna Jordan.

“Intelligence Reform: The Logic of Information Sharing.” Intelligence and National Security 22(3): 384-401, 2007.

“Al Qaeda’s Innovative Improvisers: Learning in a Diffuse Transnational Network.” Cambridge Review of International Affairs. 19(4): 555-569, 2006. 

Cited in Science - Shneiderman, Ben and Jennifer Preece. 2007. “,” Science 215, February 16  

Invited Publications and Book Chapters

Review of Bernard Haykel, Thomas Hegghammer, and Stéphane Lacroix, Saudi Arabia in Transition: Insights on Social, Political, Economic and Religious Change (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press). Perspectives on Politics, 14(1): 2016.

“The Surprising Effects of Study Abroad.” Washington Post: Monkey Cage, available at  August 20, 2015.

“To Cheat or Not to Cheat: Evidence on Ethical Decision-Making From a Study of Arab Youth.” Sheikh Saud bin Saqr al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research, UAE, Working Paper No. 11, 2015.

Review of Amaney A. Jamal, Of Empires and Citizens: Pro-American Democracy or No Democracy at All? (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press). The Middle East Journal, 67(2): 2013.

“A Horse of a Different Color: Exploring Classic Questions in New Ways.” Newsletter of the American Political Science Association, Organized Section for Qualitative and Multi-Method Research (QMMR), 10(1): 2012.

“Economic, Social, and Political Attitudes in the UAE: A Comparison of Emirati and Non-Emirati Youth in Ras Al Khaimah,” Sheikh Saud bin Saqr al Qasimim Foundation for Policy Research, UAE, Working Paper No. 01, 2011.

“Exploiting Structural Weaknesses in Terrorist Networks: Information Blitzkrieg and Related Strategies.” In G.J. David, Jr. and T.R. McKeldin III, eds., Ideas as Weapons: Influence and Perception in Modern Warfare.  Washington, D.C.: Potomac Books, 2009.  Link to book

“Networks Unleashed: Mobile Communications and the Evolution of Networked Organizations.”  In Sharon Kleinman, ed., Displacing Place: Mobile Communication in the 21st Century. New York, NY: Peter Lang Publishing, 2007 (with Patricia Wallace). Link to book

Conference Papers and Invited Presentations

“The Nature of Tolerance in Contemporary Qatar.” Paper selected for presentation at the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, November 19, 2017 (with Jocelyn Sage Mitchell).

“Gender and Media: A Nationally-Representative Six-Country Survey Experiment.” Paper selected for presentation at the American Political Science Association (APSA) Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, September 2, 2017 (with Jocelyn Sage Mitchell and Justin D. Martin).

“When, How, and Why Do Portrayals of Dark Times Deactivate the Public?” Paper selected for presentation at the American Political Science Association (APSA) Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, August 31, 2017 (with Celia Paris).

“Gender Segregation as Social Engineering: Exploring the Civic Costs in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.” Paper presentation at the DC Area Comparative Politics Workshop, George Mason University, May 8, 2017.

“Gender Segregation.” Invited presentation at the Comparative Politics Colloquium, UC-Berkeley, March 2, 2017.

“Urban Climate Issues: Social Science.” Invited presentation at the “MENA Climate, Water, Livelihoods and Governance Workshop,” University of Maryland, College Park, February 14, 2017.

“Building Citizens for Globalization: Evidence from the UAE.” Invited presentation at the Queen Rania Foundation for Education and Development, Amman, Jordan, November 6, 2016.

“Doing the Right Thing: Gender and Ethical Decision-Making in Kuwait.” Paper selected for presentation at the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, November 18, 2016.

“Reconsidering Tolerance: Theory and Practice for the 21st Century.” Paper selected for presentation at the American Political Science Association (APSA) Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, September 2, 2016 (with Teresa Bejan).

“The Challenge of Being Good: Youth and Ethical Decision-Making in the UAE.”  Invited presentation at the Gulf Comparative Education Society (GCES) Annual Symposium, Kuwait City, Kuwait, April 7, 2016.

“Disruptive Effects of Fiction: Dystopian Narratives and Political Attitudes.” Comparative Politics Workshop, University of Maryland-College Park, February 10, 2016.

“It’s the End of the World and They Know It: How Dystopian Fiction Shapes Political Attitudes.”  Paper selected for presentation at the Southern Political Science Association Annual Meeting, San Juan, Puerto Rico, January 9, 2016.

“Outsourcing the State: The Expert-Ruler Nexus and Implications for Governance in the Arab Gulf.”  Invited presentation at the Georgetown University Comparative Politics Workshop, Washington, DC, December 7, 2015.

“Does Diversity Influence Ethical Decision-Making? Experimental Evidence from Middle Eastern Youth.”  Paper selected for presentation at the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, November 24, 2015.

“It’s the End of the World and They Know It: Effects of Dystopian Pop Culture on Youth Political Attitudes.”  Paper selected for presentation at the New England Political Science Association (NEPSA) Annual Meeting, New Haven, CT, April 24, 2015 (with Celia Paris).

“Outsourcing the Nation: Networks of Foreign Experts in the Arabian Peninsula.” Paper selected for presentation at the American Political Science Association (APSA) Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, August 30, 2014.

“Outsourcing the Nation: The Uncertain Role of Foreign Experts in Nation-Building in the Persian Gulf.”  Paper selected for presentation at the Annual Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN) World Convention, New York, NY, April 25, 2014.

“Learning to Lead? Praise, Intrinsic Motivation, and Citizen Entitlement.” Paper selected for presentation at the Gulf Comparative Education Society (GCES) Annual Symposium, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, April 9, 2014.

"Innovators…for the Nation? Hazards of Using Nationalism to Motivate Entrepreneurship." Paper selected for presentation at the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, October 12, 2013.

"Creating the New Capitalist Man: Intended and Unintended Outcomes of Social Engineering in the United Arab Emirates." Paper selected for presentation at the American Political Science Association (APSA) Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, September 1, 2013.

"Representation Without Taxation: The King's Dilemma 2.0." Paper selected for presentation at the American Political Science Association (APSA) Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, August 30-September 2, 2012. Link to paper (Conference cancelled due to hurricane)

"Building Citizens for the Arab Knowledge Economy." Paper selected for presentation at the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) Annual Conference. San Juan, Puerto Rico, April 26, 2012. Full text pdf

"From Subjects to Citizens? Rights, Obligations, and the New Politics of Citizenship in the Arab Gulf." Paper selected for presentation at the American Political Science Association (APSA) Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA, September 2, 2011. Link to paper

"The New Rentier Citizen: Political Attitudes and the Evolving Social Contract in the UAE." Paper selected for presentation at the Gulf Research Meeting (GRE), University of Cambridge, UK, July 8, 2011. Full text pdf

"Understanding Economic and Civic Culture in the UAE: A Comparison of Emirati and Non-Emirati Student Attitudes in Ras al Khaimah." Paper selected for presentation at the Gulf Comparative Education Society (GCES) Annual Symposium, Ras al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates, March 16, 2011. Link to presentation

"Dilemmas of Dark Networks: Why a Networked Structure May Fail to Empower Illicit Actors." Paper selected for presentation at the International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention, New York City, NY, February 15, 2009 (with Mette Eilstrup-Sangiovanni). Link to paper

"Online Impression Management: Case Studies of Activist Web Sites and their Credibility Enhancing Tactics during the Kosovo War." Paper selected for presentation at the Oxford Internet Institute (OII), University of Oxford, UK, September 10, 2005. Full text pdf

Teaching Experience

University of Maryland - College Park
      • Comparative Politics of the Middle East (2015, 2016)
      • International Political Relations (2016)
CUNY - City College
  • World Politics (2013, 2014, 2015)
  • Transnational Networks in International Relations (2014)
Dubai School of Government, Dubai,
  • Comparative and International Politics of the Middle East and North Africa (graduate course co-taught with Noora Lori, 2011)
Yale University

Teaching Fellow for three undergraduate courses:
  • International Security (Spring 2013)
  • International Relations (Fall 2009, 2012)
  • Politics of the Middle East and North Africa (Fall 2010)
Johns Hopkins University, Center for Talented Youth (CTY)

Teaching Assistant for two college-level courses offered to very bright middle and high school students, selected through a nationwide talent search: 
  • Data Structures and Algorithms (Computer Science), Franklin and Marshall College (2003)
  • Logic: Principles of Reasoning (Philosophy), Loyola Marymount University (2003)

Research and Professional Experience

Markle Foundation, New York, NY, June – August 2005

Research assistant for Stefaan Verhulst (Chief of Research) and the Task Force on National Security in the Information Age, focusing on international relations and security.

Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, January – April 2005

Research assistant for Professor Abraham Sofaer in international security.

World Learning for International Development, Washington, DC, 2003 – 2004

Served as principal writer and researcher on two successful grant proposals to USAID. Policy papers in Washington, DC offices led to two overseas assignments:  
  • Hanoi, Vietnam. Worked with Ann Hudock, Senior Advisor for Democracy and Governance, to develop new projects in Vietnam, such as a web portal for local artisans to access international markets.
  • Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Croatia.  Worked with Jill Benderly, Co-Director of the STAR network to promote economic and political development in the post-Yugoslav republics, especially by facilitating entrepreneurship among women. 
Computer Ethics Institute (CEI), Washington, DC, 2003 – 2004

Developed grant proposals and edited publications (part-time) for CEI, affiliated with the Brookings Institution. 

Fieldwork Experience and Research Skills

My fieldwork and research experience includes a variety of multi-method approaches:
  • Carried out extensive palace ethnography in the UAE, including interviews with a ruling monarch;
  • Designed, piloted, and administered a survey to 5,076 high school students across the UAE in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ras al Khaimah, and Fujairah, using a difference-in-differences research design;
  • Conducted over a hundred depth and semi-structured interviews, primarily in the UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, and Morocco;
  • Designed and administered numerous experiments focusing on Arab youth attitudes in Jordan and the UAE;
  • Designed and administered a large-scale experiment on youth in six schools in Jordan (n=485)
  • Organized focus groups in Morocco and the UAE; and 
  • Used interpretive methods to analyze visual symbolism and state-sponsored spectacles in the Persian Gulf.
In addition, I obtained fieldwork experience in Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt assisting with negotiations on strategies to nurture innovation and knowledge-based economies in the region.  This experience included discussions with high level government officials, such as the Minister of Education of Syria, Vice Minister of Education of Saudi Arabia, and Executive Director of the Al Sabah Center for Giftedness and Creativity in Kuwait. Through my work with World Learning, an international development NGO, I also obtained significant fieldwork experience in Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and Vietnam, where I conducted interviews and helped design strategies for women's entrepreneurial development.

Research and Teaching Interests

Comparative Politics;  Middle East Politics; International Relations; Nationalism & Citizen Formation; Political Identity; Political Behavior in the Middle East; Political Socialization and Learning; Social Engineering and its Critics; Comparative Authoritarianism; International Security; Terrorism; Transnational Networks in Global Politics; Effects of Media on Political Attitudes; Research Design & Methodology; Arab Education Reform.

Honors and Awards

2015.     Winner of a Research and Scholarship Award (RASA) at the University of Maryland-College Park (awarded on the basis of a university-wide competition for semester- and summer-long research fellowships).
2014.    Selected by the Comparative Democratization Section of the American Political Science Association (APSA) to receive Honorable Mention for the Best Fieldwork Award.
2014.    Invited to deliver keynote address at the 21st Century Academic Forum Conference, “Fostering Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship,” at Brown University.
2013.    Selected to participate in the annual Junior Scholars Book Development workshop organized by the Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS) at George Washington University
2010.    Winner of a Doctoral Research Scholarship from Sheikh Saud bin Saqr al Qasimi Foundation, UAE
2009.    Obtained “Distinction” (highest grade) for performance on Yale University’s Middle East Politics comprehensive exam.
2008.    Accepted into Yale University’s competitive Program in Grand Strategy.
2006.    Winner of a Gates Cambridge Scholarship to study International Relations at the University of Cambridge.
2004.    U.C. Berkeley Fellowship Recipient for graduate education.
2003.    Awarded departmental honors for Philosophy at Columbia University


2012. TRE Grant from George Washington University’s Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS). $3000. Project Title: “Building Citizens by Decree: Top-Down Social Engineering in the United Arab Emirates and Unintended Consequences.”  
2010. Dissertation Research Grant from Yale University’s MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies. $15,000. Project Title: “The Innovative Society: Globalization, Economic Culture, and Citizen-Making in the Arab Gulf.”  
2008. Smith Richardson Foundation.  $3000. Project Title: “Arabic Language Study in Syria.”
2008. Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy (International Security Studies, Yale University). $2940. Project Title: “Grand Strategy in Middle East.”


Arabic:         Proficient
Studied at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (2006) and Cambridge (2007); completed courses in Intermediate and Advanced Arabic at Yale (2007-2009); lived with an Arab family in Syria for 6 weeks as part of an Arabic language immersion program (2008); and obtained private tutoring in Gulf Arabic at Yale (2010). 

German:     Intermediate
Studied at the Goethe Institut in Frankfurt-am-Main and Berlin and lived with a German family for 6 weeks (2001); took German literature and philosophy classes at Columbia, taught in German (2001); and enrolled at Humboldt Universität, Freie Universität, and Technische Universität in Berlin as part of a semester abroad with the Berlin Consortium (2002), taking standard philosophy classes taught in German.

Spanish:     Conversational
Studied at the Instituto Internacional in Madrid, Spain (2000), and lived with a Spanish family for 6 weeks.

Professional Service and Memberships

  • Service at UMD-College Park (2015-the present): Graduate Admissions Committee (2015-6)
  • Best Fieldwork Award Committee, APSA Comparative Democratization Organized Section, 2015.
  • Sage APSA Paper Award Committee, APSA Qualitative and Multi-Method Research Organized Section, 2015.
  • Service at CUNY-City College (2013-2015): IR Search Committee, Engaged Scholarship Committee, President’s Online Courses Committee, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) Faculty Council.
  • Reviewer for American Political Science ReviewAmerican Journal of Political Science, Perspectives on Politics, World PoliticsThe Middle East Journal, International Security, and Administration and Society
  • Memberships in Professional Associations: 


Ellen Lust
Professor of Political Science
Yale University | Department of Political Science 
Email: ellen.lust at

James Scott
Sterling Professor of Political Science and Professor of Anthropology
Yale University | Department of Political Science  
Email: james.scott at

Thad Dunning
Robson Professor of Political Science
University of California, Berkeley | Department of Political Science
Email: thad.dunning at