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Associate Professor of International Relations of the Middle East, University of Birmingham

May Darwich is Associate Professor in International Relations of the Middle East at the University of Birmingham. She was Assistant Professor at Durham University (2016-2019) and a Research Fellow at GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies (2014-2015).

Her research attempts to bring Middle East cases to debates within IR theory while surmounting the challenge to the study of state behaviour in the Middle East through theoretical lenses. Her research has appeared in internationally renowned journals, namely Foreign Policy Analysis, the Journal of Global Security Studies, Democratization, Mediterranean Politics, Global Discourse and in volumes on the international relations of the Middle East. She is author of Threats and Alliances in the Middle East: Saudi and Syrian Policies in a Turbulent Region (Cambridge University Press, 2019). She is Principal Investigator of the Carnegie-funded project Port Infrastructures, International Politics, and Everyday Life: From the Arabian Gulf to the Horn of Africa.

She serves on the Steering Committee on the Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS), a collaborative network designed to enhance the broader field of Middle East political science. She serves on the Steering Committee of the APSA MENA Workshops, an annual fellowship opportunity for PhD students and early-career political science faculty from the Arab MENA region. She is member of the Committee on Status of Engagement with the Global South of the International Studies Association. She is co-editor of the series ‘Identities and Geopolitics in the Middle East’ at Manchester University Press. Between 2019-2020, she was Director of the Arab Political Science Network (APSN), a scholarly collaborative initiative that seeks to support, enhance and increase scholars’ research and teaching outputs in the study of political science, and its sub and related fields in the Arab world. She also served as Trustee of the Council for British Research in the Levant (CBRL), a British Academy Institute aimed at enhancing and supporting research in the Levant (2018- 2020).


  • –present
    Associate Professor of International Relations of the Middle East, University of Birmingham


  • 2015 
    University of Edinburgh, International Relations