Director of MECACS
Dr Fiona McCallum Guiney is Senior Lecturer in the School of International Relations and works on the political role of Christians in the Middle East including identity, minority rights, church-state-societal relations, Christian-Muslim conflict, interfaith dialogue, migration and the role of the diaspora. From 2013 to 2016, she was the Project Leader on a Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA) collaborative grant entitled “Defining and Identifying Middle Eastern Christian Communities in Europe“. She is willing to supervise PhD studies and provide comments on topics relating to Middle East politics including minorities, political Islam and conflict; religion and international politics especially peace-making and conflict; and migration, diaspora and transnational communities.
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Dr Filippo Costa Buranelli is Lecturer in International Relations in the School of International Relations and interested in International Relations theory, international history, global governance, Eurasian politics, and regionalism. He is the convener of the Working Group on Regional International Societies at the International Studies Association, where he is also Chair of the English School section as well as the ECR/Precarious Representative of the BISA Working Group on Russian and Eurasian Foreign Policies. He is willing to supervise work on international norms and institutions in Central Asia, dynamics of regionalism in the area, the role of the great powers in the region, and wider research on interstate order in the region.
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Dr Kirill Dmitriev works in the field of classical Arabic literature and culture and is a Lecturer in the Department of Arabic, School of Modern Languages. He is the co-founder and alumnus of the Arab-German Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities. From 2012 to 2018, he was the Principal Investigator in the ERC funded project Language, Philology, Culture: Arab Cultural Semantics in Transition.
Further details on: ORCHID
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Dr Matteo Fumagalli is Senior Lecturer in the School of International Relations. His work lies at the intersection of comparative politics and international security and he is especially interested in ethnic conflict and violence and ethnic minority politics in the former Soviet Union (especially in Central Asia and the South Caucasus). During 2014-2016 he was involved in a project on ‘Taking Partly Free Voters Seriously, Autocratic Response to Voter Preferences in Armenia and Georgia’, supported by Academic Swiss Caucasus Net (ASCN). He is currently investigating the role of arts in conflict transformation in Myanmar’s minority areas funded by the AHRC and is involved in a Global Challenges Research Fund project ‘StAKz Hub – A research centre for strategic technological capacity building for the primary resource sector in Kazakhstan and beyond’ together with colleagues in the Schools of Earth and Environmental Science and Geography and Sustainable Development. He is interested in supervising projects on comparative authoritarianism, ethnic kins and diasporas, conflict, violence and conflict transformation, the politics of energy and natural resources, and foreign policy.
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Dr Jasmine Gani is Senior Lecturer in the School of International Relations and Deputy Director of the Centre for Syrian Studies housed in the School. Her research, supervision, and teaching focus on three main areas. The first is the history of European and US empires in the Middle East, with particular focus on US-Syrian relations. The second is Ideologies and social movements in the Middle East, particularly in Egypt and the Levant. The third is Race critique and decolonial political thought/theology. She is happy to supervise and provide commentary on these themes.
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Raymond Hinnebusch is professor of International Relations and Middle East politics and founder and Director of the Centre for Syrian Studies. He has recently participated in projects on Sectarianism after the Arab uprisings; divergent regime pathways from the uprising, and proxy wars and reconstruction in Syria. His supervision specialties include Syrian politics; state formation in MENA; sectarianism and regional conflict and Foreign Policies of Middle East states.
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Dr Hsinyen Lai is an Associate Lecturer in the School of International Relations and specialises in contemporary Gulf politics and international relations through the theoretical lens of international historical sociology. He is currently working on a book manuscript, drawing on the insights of Antonio Gramsci aligned with the idea of Uneven and Combined Development, that theorises how geopolitical competition, late-developing capitalist state formation and dynamics of regime-civil society relations interrelated with the evolution of Arab nationalism in Bahrain and its impact on Bahrain’s alignment policy in the 1970s. He is now the managing editor of Mediterranean Politics and a member of the Foreign Policy Analysis Research Network of the Centre of Security Research (CeSeR), University of Edinburgh.
Further details on: Academia.edu
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Dr Valerie McGuire is a Lecturer in the School of Modern Languages that specializes in the history of social and cultural interactions between Italy, Greece and the Mediterranean and MENA regions, Ottoman and post-Ottoman transitions, and colonial and postcolonial mobility and belonging. Her current research focuses on Mediterraneanism as an alternative discourse to Orientalism as perceptible in colonial and postcolonial thought. Her interests and other publications have had to do with postcolonialism in literary fiction, imperial citizenship and belonging in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, Jewish communities in the Ottoman and post-Ottoman Mediterranean, and insularity, or the particular qualities that pertain to sea-girt or insular spaces. She is willing to supervise PhD studies on topics related to European imperialism in the MENA and Balkans regions, Ottoman and Mediterranean culture and politics, migration and diaspora between Europe and the Middle East and transnational belonging and identities.
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Dr Adham Saouli is Senior Lecturer in International Relations. His research focuses on the politics and international relations of the Middle East. He has published on state formation in the Arab world, armed political movements, and the politics of divided societies. He is now working on the Arabo-Islamic concept of Fitna.
Further details on: Academia.edu
Dr Malaka Shwaikh joined the School of International Relations in January 2020 and is an Associate Lecturer. She was awarded her PhD in Middle East Politics in 2019. She has researched oral history in Palestine, refugeeism, peacebuilding, and displacement in the ‘Middle East’, prison hunger strikes and their dynamics in a global context. Currently, she is working on projects that examines peace and justice from decolonial, critical and intersectional perspectives.
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Dr Jason Bruder is a former career diplomat and U.S. Senate foreign policy aide who holds a PhD from the University of St Andrews. His research interests include: U.S. Foreign Policy towards Europe and Eurasia, the role of the U.S. Congress in foreign policy formulation, the geopolitics of the Black Sea and Caspian Regions, and Russian Foreign Policy. Dr Bruder has taught as an adjunct professor at Columbia University and Georgetown University. At MECACS He is interested in promoting greater connectivity between foreign policy practitioners, think tanks, and academia.
Dr Quinn Coffey completed his PhD at the University of St Andrews (2016) where his research focused on political and social identity for religious minorities in the Middle East. Since completing his PhD, Dr Coffey has worked in the International NGO field, previously holding the role of Regional Manager for the Middle East and North Africa with Swedish Diakonia based in Jerusalem. Currently he is the Senior Advisor for Learning and Data Management at Norwegian Church Aid, where he has also served as Senior Advisor for Civil Society Partnerships. As a long-term development practitioner with a background in academia, Dr Coffey is interested in bridging the gaps between academic research in international relations and its practical implications in the long-term development and humanitarian sectors.
Dr Kristin Eggeling is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen and holds a MLitt and PhD from the School of International Relations. She currently works on an ERC-funded research project on digitalisation and diplomatic practices in the EU. Her research interests are in practice theory, identity politics, diplomacy, interpretive methods and methodologies, ethnography, and fieldwork in International Relations. Kristin has recently published her PhD in Routledge’s Interventions Series. Nation-branding in Practice: The Politics of Promoting Sports, Cities and Universities in Kazakhstan and Qatar develops a practice-theoretical approach to nation-branding, a core practice of international identity politics and illustrates how we can understand nation-branding as a mechanism of regime legitimation by drawing on contemporary examples from the sports, urban development and higher education sector in Kazakhstan and Qatar. Kristin participates in MECACS research seminars and is happy to talk to current students about methodology and fieldwork.
Dr Ahmed Fawaz is an associate professor in political science at Cairo University, Egypt. He attained his PhD in International Relations from the University of St Andrews. He wrote articles on minorities such as Kurds, Chechen, Abkhaz, and Tatar, and topics such as the Muslims in Russia, political Islam, social movements, and violence and social media platforms. Dr Fawaz participates in MECACS seminars and is available to give advice to postgraduate students on transforming your thesis for publication as a monograph.
Further details on: Academia.edu
Dr Karolina Kluczewska is visiting research fellow at the DFG Collaborative Research Centre SFB / TRR 138 “Dynamics of Security,” Justus Liebig University Giessen (Germany), and an associate senior research fellow at the Laboratory for Social and Anthropological Research, Tomsk State University (Russia). Dr Kluczewska’s research interests concern development aid, international organisations and localisation of global governance frameworks in Central Asia. She has contributed a book chapter to a volume titled Managing Security Threats along the EU’s Eastern Flanks, edited by MECACS member Professor Rick Fawn. She is currently co-editing a Special Issue on the European Union – Central Asia interactions, together with Professor Rick Fawn and Dr Oleg Korneev.
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Dr Nina Lutterjohann holds a PhD from the University of St Andrews and is currently Research Assistant at the Centre for East European and International Studies (ZOiS) in Berlin. In Autumn 2020, she is embarking upon a six months post-doc scholarship funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Her interests include pan-European and International Organisations, protracted conflicts, border regions, identity politics, migration, diaspora, cultural studies, and radicalization research. Research collaboration with MECACS includes presenting at MECACS roundtable on ‘Threats to Stability in Wider Europe’ and contributing a book chapter to an edited collection Managing Security Threats along the EU’s Eastern Flanks, edited by MECACS member Professor Rick Fawn.
Further details on: LinkedIn ResearchGate
Roger McDermott is a Senior Fellow in Eurasian Military Studies at The Jamestown Foundation, Washington, DC. He is a specialist in military, defence, security and strategic issues in Russia and Central Asia and a regular lecturer on Russian military strategy at the Military Academy of the German Armed Forces (Führungsakademie der Bundeswehr). He is on the editorial board of several journals including the Journal of Slavic Military Studies, Russian Law & Politics, Central Asia and the Caucasus and is keen to support students through the publication process.
Dr Tskhay completed her PhD at the University of St Andrews and is an ad-hoc consultant for businesses on issues related to political risk and economic policies in Central Asia. Her research is directed at three areas, broadly-defined: extractive industries policies and energy transition; international norms compliance; and geoeconomics. Dr Tskhay actively participates in MECACS seminars and roundtables, as well as in research collaboration projects, contributing to Dr Costa Buranelli’s work on international norms and order in Central Asia and Dr Fumagalli’s work on migration and diaspora in the region. She is a member of FLEET (Fresh Look at Eastern European Trends) a network of young professionals and experts that work on security and cooperation in wider Europe and produce policy-relevant reports.
Dr Zhirukhina is currently a MECACS Research Associate. Elena was a Marie Curie Fellow and gained a PhD at the University of St Andrews. Her work focuses on international and national strategies countering violent non-state actors and their various illicit activities, micro dynamics of irregular conflicts, and Russia, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. Dr Zhirukhina is currently working on a book entitled The Price of Peace: Chechnya and Russia co-authored with MECACS members Professor Rick Fawn and Dr Marat Iliyasov.
Further details on: LinkedIn
Dr Tina Zintl is Senior Researcher in the German Development Institute’s (DIE) Stabilization and Development in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) project. Her research focuses on the political economy and state-society relations in the Middle East, especially labour markets, digitalization, social cohesion, and the renegotiation of social contracts. She holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of St Andrews, where she is also affiliated with the Centre for Syrian Studies, and previously worked at the University of Tübingen (Germany). She also provides policy advice in development cooperation.
Further details on: German Development Institute, Research Gate.
Paolo Zucconi is a Research Fellow at the Global Center for Security Studies, a collaborative network that takes a multidisciplinary approach to studying security and brings together experts, scholars, policy researchers and analysts from various countries and backgrounds. He is also an Affiliate at the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Otago. His research interests are Europe, Russia and the Middle East, regions on which he has published extensively.
Thesis: The Cult of the Regime: State Power, Security and Human Rights: Interrogating Counterterrorism Strategies in Authoritarian Contexts.
Supervisors: Professor Karin Fierke, Professor Bruce Hoffman and Prof Tony Lang
Research Interests: Theories of International Relations, Historical Sociology, Political Violence, Security Studies, Terrorism & Counterterrorism, Middle East Studies, Foreign Policy.
Thesis: The Role of External Actors in Shaping Peace Sustainability in Sudan.
Supervisors: Dr Jaremey McMullin and Professor Ali Watson
Research Interests: Peace Interventions in African civil wars, with a specific focus on the impact external actors have on peace sustainability in Sudan and South Sudan. I am also interested in the Postcolonial and Decolonial theories.
Thesis: A comparative study of sectarian rhetoric usage as a survival mechanism during the 2011 uprisings in both Bahrain and Syria.
Supervisors: Professor Raymond Hinnebusch and Dr Jasmine Gani
Research Interests: Contemporary history of the Middle East and the role of the politicization of identities in the process of nationalism.
Thesis: Black Sea Trilateralism: A Strategic Culturalist Approach to Alignment and Alliance Formation.
Supervisors: Professor Rick Fawn and Dr Matteo Fumagalli
Research Interests: I am interested in Black Sea/Eurasia regional issues, alliance formation, interstate competition, Caucasus peace and conflict issues, defence policy, the democracy-security nexus, and Georgian domestic politics.
Thesis: From Jihad-Making to State-Building: Understanding Governance by Salafi-Jihadist Insurgents
Supervisors: Dr Henning Tamm and Professor Bruce Hoffman
Research Interests: The Middle East, political Islam, Salafi-Jihadism, rebel governance and civil wars.
Thesis: The Political Economy of Smuggling Networks: The Case of Conflict in the Sahara
Supervisors: Dr Henning Tamm and Dr Peter Lehr
Research Interests: I am interested in researching the political economy of conflict from a qualitative perspective in order to illuminate the subtle inter-relations between the economic, social, and political processes that foster conflict, cooperation, or some nuanced liminal state.
Thesis: Hydro-politics of the Syrian Conflict: Water Instrumentalisation as Power in Intra-state Wars
Supervisors: Professor Raymond Hinnebusch and Dr Antje Brown
Research Interest: Broadly, my interests are: violent non-state actors, fragile states, civil wars, and hydropolitics; more specifically, I am interested in the impact of water on state and non-state actor behaviour, as well as corollary global security issues that arise from water’s availability, allocation, and instrumentalisation.
Thesis: The New Wave of Sectarianism: Sunni-Shia Conflict and Security Implications for the Persian Gulf (2011 to 2019)
Supervisors: Professor Raymond Hinnebusch and Dr Diego Muro
Research Interests: Middle Eastern/Persian Gulf Security Issues, Sectarian Politics, Terrorism, Identity Politics and Psychological Warfare.
Thesis: U.S. and UK Approaches to the R2P: Perceptions and Realities from the Libyan and Syrian Case Studies
Supervisors: Dr Fiona McCallum Guiney and Professor Tony Lang
Research Interests: Responsibility to Protect, Human rights, international institutions, norms, constructivism, and foreign policies of the U.S. and the UK.
Thesis: Representing and Contesting Authenticity: Understanding Shifts in Salafi Ideologies and Identities
Supervisors: Dr Adham Saouli and Dr Orhan Elmaz
Research Interests: Adaptations in ideology and praxis of extremist non-state actors in relation to shifting opportunity structures, and more broadly on digital political communication, religious political movements and the relationship between nationalism and transnationalism for religio-political actors.
Thesis: The Concept of Resistance and Poetic Reformulation in Alternative Movements of Early Modern and Modern Persian Poetry (1800-1960)
Supervisors: Dr Saeed Talajooy
Research Interests: Early modern and modern Persian poetry/manuscript studies
Caterina Barbi is an Italian postgraduate student currently enrolled in the MLitt in Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asia Security Studies. She completed her bachelors at SciencesPo Paris, majoring in Political Humanities with a concentration on the Middle East and Mediterranean basin. Her research interests include terrorism, migration, identity and communications.
Layal Niazy is a Saudi fourth year undergraduate student at the University of St Andrews. She studies International Relations, with a particular focus on conflicts in the MENA region and critical theory. Her research interests are mainly sociopolitical and includes questions of identity, race, and gender.
Elodie Phillips is a fourth year undergraduate student from England pursuing a degree in International Relations and Russian. Her regional focus is on the post-Soviet space although she also takes modules that concentrate on the Middle East. She is interested in looking at religion in the region as well as examining the relationship between historical processes and current relations between regional actors.