Dr. Tobias Zumbrägel


Tobias Zumbrägel joined CARPO in November 2019. Prior to that he studied Political Science, Islamic Studies and History at the Universities of Cologne, Tübingen and Cairo. In 2015 he received a Bucerius Pre-Doctoral Grant by the ZEIT foundation and between 2016 and 2020, he was a research associate and PhD candidate at the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU). During this time, he conducted extensive field research in the Arab Gulf States and was a visiting fellow at the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies (KFCRIS) and the Department for Gulf Studies at the Qatar University. He holds a PhD from the FAU with a thesis on environmental policymaking and its legitimizing effects in the oil- and gas-rich Arab Gulf monarchies.
Tobias publishes regularly in international journals and other media outlets. He further provides political analysis on political and socioeconomic developments in the Middle East (with a particular focus on the Gulf region) and is consulted by various German and international political institutions and organizations. His regional foci are the Arabian Peninsula and Egypt.

Focus & Topics: Environmental degradation and climate policy in the Arab world, digitalization and social change, authoritarian durability and persistence, international relations and security studies in West Asia and the Arabian Peninsula (WAAP), political legitimation and legitimacy in non-democratic regimes.


Selected Publications

  • & Gurol, J.; Schmidt, M. (March 2021): Reconfigurations in West Asia and North Africa. CARPO Research Forum 2020 – Conference Report, CARPO Study 10. Online available.
  • & Thomas Demmelhuber (2020): Temptations of Autocracy: How Saudi Arabia Influences and Attracts Its Neighbourhood, in: Journal of Arabian Studies 20:1, pp. 51-71.
  • (June 2020) The Looming Climate Peril. Sustainable Strategies and Environmental Activism in the Middle East and North Africa, CARPO Sustainability Study 01 . Available online.
  • (2020): ‘Beyond greenwashing: Sustaining power through sustainability in the Arab Gulf monarchies’, in: Orient 61:1, pp. 28-35.
  • (2020): Kingdom of gravity: Autocratic promotion and diffusion in Saudi Arabia, in: Kneuer, Marianne / Demmelhuber, Thomas (ed.): Authoritarian Gravity Centres: A cross-regional study of authoritarian promotion and diffusion, Routledge: London, pp. 55-88.