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Associate Professor in International Security, University of Leeds

I am Programme Director for the MA International Relations; MA Security, Terrorism, and Insurgency; and MA Conflict, Development, and Security.

I received my MA and PhD in Political Science from the Friedrich-Schiller University of Jena in Germany. In 2006-07, I was a British Academy Fellow at the Department of Politics at Newcastle University.

I have studied, travelled and researched widely in the Middle East, including a one-year study stay at the American University in Cairo, as well as further research trips to Egypt, the Moshe Dayan Centre for Middle Eastern and African Studies in Tel Aviv/Israel, the King Faisal Centre for Islamic Research and Studies in Riyadh/Saudi Arabia, as well as the Council for British Research in the Levant.

In 2002-03, I was one of two Germans to join the American Political Science Association's Congressional Fellowship Program which provided me with unique insights into the foreign-policy making process in the United States. In 2007, the German Middle East Studies Association (DAVO) recognized my research with an award for the best PhD dissertation of the year.

I have been a frequent commentator on various BBC TV and Radio channels regarding the political changes sweeping the Arab world since January 2011.

My research embraces qualitative and quantitative methods in the study of Islamist terrorism, US domestic, foreign and counterterrorism policies, as well as the domestic and international politics of the Arab and Muslim world (extending to Africa and South Asia insofar as this relates to Islamist terrorist groups and US attempts to counter them).

In my critical assessments of the often contentious relationship between the United States and the wider Middle East, I take great care to circumvent and challenge the biases that often mark mutual perceptions. My current research focuses in particular on images of the West and Western policies in Arab and Muslim public debate and public opinion.


  • –present
    Associate Professor in International Security, University of Leeds