Abdulsalam al-Rubaidi

Abdulsalam al-Rubaidi holds a master in Arabic Language and Literature from Sana’a University, Yemen. He is a lecturer at the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Faculty of Education at al-Baydha’ University, Yemen. Currently, he is writing a doctoral thesis on ‘Identity Constructions in Contemporary Yemeni Novels’ at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany, in a project funded by the Volkswagen Foundation.



Şafak Baş

Şafak Baş, M.A., studied Political Science and Near and Middle Eastern Studies at the Ruprecht-Karls University in Heidelberg as well as Persian at the Dekhoda Lexicon Institute in Tehran. After completing his studies, he worked as a policy analyst at the European Stability Initiative in Berlin and Istanbul (2012-2013) and as a freelance journalist in Istanbul and Tehran (2013-2014). Currently, Şafak is a Ph.D. student at the Center for Middle Eastern and North African Politics at the Otto-Suhr Institute of Political Science at Free University Berlin.



Sarah Dusend

Sarah Dusend holds a master in Near and Middle Eastern Studies, Political Science and French Language and Literature from the University of Bonn. She studied Arabic and Persian at the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (INALCO) in Paris as well as Arabic in Damascus. After completing her M.A. she was the coordinator of the Bonn Center for Asian Studies (2009-2013) as well as the Bonn Graduate School for Oriental and Asian Studies (2013-2015). Currently, she is a research fellow at the Department of Islamic Studies and Near East Languages at the Institute of Oriental and Asian Studies (IOA) at the University of Bonn, writing her PhD on three travelogues by Qajar women at the end of the 19th century.


AF Sons

Sebastian Sons

Sebastian Sons, M.A., studied Islamic Studies, History and Political Sciences in Berlin and Damascus. Prior to that, he trained as journalist in print, TV and radio media at the Berlin School for Journalists (Berliner Journalisten-Schule). After finishing his studies, he worked as Head of Research and Editor-in-Chief of the academic magazine “Orient” at the German Orient-Institute from 2009-2014 and as a project researcher at the Program Near East and North Africa at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) in Berlin. At the moment, he is Associate Fellow at the DGAP and is finishing his Ph.D. thesis on “labor migration from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia”. His book Built on Sand. Saudi Arabia – A problematic Ally  (in German) was published in November 2016.



Andrea Warnecke, PhD

Andrea Warnecke has recently completed her PhD at the European University Institute (EUI), Florence, Department of Political and Social Sciences. Her thesis focuses on the evolution of the post-war peacebuilding practices of a range of international development, humanitarian, and peacekeeping organisations over the past two decades. In particular, the thesis accounts for the persistent depoliticization of external peacebuilding practices by analysing the role of international organisations in post-conflict governance as characterised by tensions between impartiality and political agency.


AF Wessel

Sarah Wessel

Sarah Wessel recently submitted her PhD thesis The Making of Political Representation: Processes of Claim-Making and Receiving During the Egyptian Transformations (2011-2014) at the University of Hamburg, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences. Her research explores the political and cultural transformations in the Arab region following the popular mass uprising in 2010/11 with a particular focus on Egypt. The study is an in-depth qualitative, empirical political ethnography with long-term encounters, spanning the duration of the manifold political events in Egypt prior to and after the January 25 Revolution until 2015. The work draws upon a comprehensive, empirical set of qualitative data, including interviews with diverse socioeconomic groups. The analysis provides an answer to the question how the massive uprisings demanding freedom and socio-political justice regressed into the reproduction of an authoritarian, repressive military regime just three years later. In theoretical terms, the study advances thinking regarding the complex political and societal mechanisms and dynamics that enable or undermine the emergence of stable representative political relations.


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