Team Bios

Samer Abboud
Samer Abboud is Associate Professor of Global Interdisciplinary Studies at Villanova University and the co-coordinator (with Omar Dahi) of the Arab Council for the Social Sciences' working group on Critical Security Studies. He has published (with Benjamin Muller) Rethinking Hizballah: Authority, Legitimacy, Violence (Ashgate) and a book on the Syrian conflict entitled Syria (Polity Press). In addition to a number of book chapters and articles in journals such as Citizenship Studies, Security Dialogue, New Political Science, and Middle East Policy. His current research is broadly interested in the relationships between violence and political economies of conflict, especially in Syria.

Amal Ahmad

Amal Ahmad is a PhD candidate in Economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She studies economic development in the Middle East and South Asia, as well as issues relating to political economy and security within the Israeli-Palestinian context.

Katty Alhayek
Katty Alhayek is a scholar-activist from Syria and a PhD candidate in Communication at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Her research interests broadly center around themes of conflict, displacement, gender, media and new technologies. Katty published peer-reviewed articles in journals like International Journal of Communication; Gender, Technology and Development; Syria Studies; and Feminist Media Studies. She worked for organizations like The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women; The Online Journal of Space Communication; and Geneva Institute for Human Rights. A former Open Society Foundations fellow, Ms. Alhayek holds Master’s degrees in International Affairs and Media Studies from Ohio University and a graduate certificate in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She earned an undergraduate degree in Media Studies from Damascus University in 2008.

Paul Amar
Dr. Amar is a professor of Global Studies trained inpolitical science and anthropology with a long history of research, teachingand publishing in the field of Critical Security Studies. He holds affiliate appointments in Feminist Studies,Sociology, Comparative Literature, Middle East Studies, and Latin American& Iberian Studies. Before he began his academic career, he worked as ajournalist in Cairo, a police reformer and sexuality rights activist inRio de Janeiro, and for six years as a conflict-resolution and economicdevelopment  specialist at the United Nations. His books include: CairoCosmopolitan (2006); New Racial Missions of Policing (2010); Global Southto the Rescue (2011); Dispatches from the Arab Spring (2013);  and TheMiddle East and Brazil (2014). Recently, he as Chair of Middle EastStudies, founding director of the PhD program in Global Studies, and Directorof the Global Security Studies hub at UCSB. He is a founding editor of thejournal “Critical Military Studies” and a reviewer for landmark journals suchas Security Dialogue, Critical Terrorism Studies, and the International Journalof Feminist Politics. His book “The Security Archipelago” won the CharlesTaylor award for Best Book of the Year from the American Political ScienceAssociation’s Interpretive Methods section in 2014.

Omar S. Dahi
Omar S. Dahi is a research associate at the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and associate professor of economics at Hampshire College. He has published in academic outlets such as the Journal of Development Economics, Applied Economics, Southern Economic Journal, Political Geography, Middle East Report, Forced Migration Review, and Critical Studies on Security. His last book was South-South Trade and Finance in the 21st Century: Rise of the South or a Second Great Divergence (co-authored with Firat Demir). From 2014-2018 Dahi served as a Lead Expert on the UN ESCWA's National Agenda for the Future of Syria program. He is a co-founder and coordinator of the Beirut School of Critical Security Studies and the Latin East initiative. Dahi is the project director of Security in Context.

Firat Demir
Firat Demir is a Professor of Economics at the University ofOklahoma (OK, USA). He received his B.A. from Bogazici University (IstanbulTurkey), and his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Notre Dame (IN,USA).  Firat is also an affiliate faculty in the Department of International and Area Studies, theCenter for Peace and Development and the Center for Social Justice at theUniversity of Oklahoma. Firat is an associate editor of the Review of Social Economy and the Journal of Economic Surveys. His main fields of research are economic development and open economy macroeconomics focusing on the issues of economic globalization, structural change, South-South trade and finance, long run development and growth, and political economy of development. Firat was a Fulbright Fellow in Montenegro in 2015-2016 and has been selected as a Fulbright Fellow in Lithuania for 2020-2021. Firat has published one co-authored book (South-SouthTrade and Finance in the 21st Century: Rise of the South or a SecondGreat Divergence), and numerous articles in journals, including World Development, Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Development Studies, Development and Change, Cambridge Journal of Economics, Review of Radical Political Economics, World Economy, Journal of Economic Surveys, and Foreign Policy.  

Nicole Grove
Nicole Grove is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa, with affiliations in the Department of Women’s Studies, the Hawaiʻi Research Center for Futures Studies, and the International Cultural Studies Program. Her teaching and research interests are located at the intersection of international relations, security studies, and transnational Middle East politics, focusing on issues of gender, technology, surveillance, and visual culture. Grove's book Intimate Capture: Security, Desire, and the Middle East in the Data Imperium (under contract with Duke University Press) examines the materialization of novel regimes of control at the nexus of global imperial formations and contemporary modes of data capture. She is the recipient of the Fulbright Scholar Award in the Middle East and North Africa Regional Research Program, and was a visiting scholar at Abu Dhabi University and the University of Qatar in 2017. Her articles have been published in the European Journal of International Relations, Security Dialogue, Contemporary Political Theory, Critical Studies on Security, Globalizations, and the Journal of Critical Globalization Studies. Grove is also an Associate Editor for the journal International Political Sociology, and is on the International Advisory Board of the British Journal of Politics and International Relations.

E. Ahmet Tonak

E. Ahmet Tonak is the author and editor of several books including Measuring the Wealth of Nations: The Political Economy of National Accounts (with Anwar Shaikh; CUP, 1994), Turkey in Transition: New Perspectives (edited with Irvin Schick; OUP, 1987) and Marxism and Classes (edited with Sungur Savran and Kurtar Tanyılmaz). Trained as a mechanical engineer at Istanbul Technical University, he earned a Ph.D. in economics from the New School for Social Research. Tonak taught for many years at Bard College at Simon’s Rock, Istanbul Bilgi University, Middle East Technical University, Bosphoros University, and is currently a visiting professor at UMASS Amherst. He wrote for several Turkish dailies and contributes to sendika.org, an alternative news portal in Turkey.

Pete Moore

Pete Moore is the Marcus A. Hanna Associate Professor of Politics at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, received a B.A. from the Virginia Military Institute, an M.A. from the University of Virginia, and a PhD from McGill University, Montreal. Prior to coming to CWRU, he held positions at Dartmouth College, Concordia University (Montreal), and the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. He has served on the editorial board of MERIP and in 2008-2009 he was a Senior Fulbright Fellow at Zayed University in Dubai, UAE. In 2010 along with several colleagues he founded the Northeast Ohio Consortium for Middle East Studies (NOCMES), a collaborative educational initiative of several local universities.

Basileus Zeno
Basileus Zeno is a Syrian archaeologist and a PhD candidate in Political Science at University of Massachusetts/Amherst. He holds a BA (2006) and MA (2011) in Classical Archaeology from Damascus University (Syria), where his studies focused on Hellenistic Antiquity and Islamic civilization. He was a graduate fellow at the Institut français du Proche-Orient (IFPO) from 2007 to 2012. Until summer 2012, Basileus was doing his Ph.D. in classical archaeology, researching the production of coins under the Seleucids in Northern Syria, but he couldn’t complete his research because of the outbreak of the war. In 2013, he started his M.A. in Political Science at Ohio University, which he completed in 2015. Basileus is broadly interested in the areas of Comparative Politics, Contemporary Political Theory and Identity Politics. His scholarly interests primarily focus on asylum, refugees and forced migration, nationalism, sectarianism, and social movements in the Middle East.

Alejandro Velasco
Alejandro Velasco is Associate Professor of Modern Latin America in the Gallatin School of Individualized Study and the Department of History at New York University, and Executive Editor of NACLA Report on the Americas. He is the author of the award-winning Barrio Rising: Urban Popular Politics and the Making of Modern Venezuela (University of California Press, 2015).

Michael Klare
Michael Klare served from 1985 to 2018 as the Five College Professor of Peace and World Security Studies, a joint appointment at Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and is now the Emeritus Professor of Peace and World Security Studies atHampshire College. He has written widely on U.S. foreign policy, international security affairs, and global resource politics. Klare is currently serving as aSenior Visiting Fellow at the Arms Control Association in Washington, D.C., where he is studying the impact of emerging technologies on the future of war and arms control. Klare is the author or editor of fifteen books, including, most recently, Resource Wars (2001), Blood and Oil (2005), and The Race for What’s Left (2012). His newest book, All Hell Breaking Loose: Climate Change, Global Chaos, and American National Security, will be published in fall 2019. Klare is also a regular contributor to The Nation, where he serves as Defense Correspondent, and has written for many other journals, including Arms Control Today, Current History, Foreign Affairs, Harper’s, Le Monde Diplomatique, Newsweek, Scientific American, and Technology Review. In addition, Klare has served on the boards of directors or advisory committees of numerous organizations in the peace and security field, including the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Arms Control Association,Federation of American Scientists, Human Rights Watch, and the National PrioritiesProject. He received his B.A. and M.A. from Columbia University and his Ph.D.from the Graduate School of the Union Institute.

Shana Marshall
Shana Marshall is Associate Director of the Institute for Middle East Studies and Assistant Research Faculty member at the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. She is also a board member of the Middle East Research & Information Project as well as the Political Economy Project. She earned her PhD in International Relations and Comparative Politics of the Middle East at the University of Maryland in 2012. Her dissertation, “The New Politics of Patronage: The Arms Trade and Clientelism in the Arab World” examines how Middle East governments use arms sales agreements to channel financial resources and economic privileges to domestic pro-regime elites. Her work has been published by The Middle East Report (MERIP), The International Journal of Middle East Studies, Middle East Policy, Jadaliyya, the Carnegie Middle East Center, and various edited volumes. Prior to coming to George Washington University, Dr. Marshall was a research fellow at The Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University and the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton University. Her current research focuses on patterns of military entrepreneurship in Egypt, Jordan, and the UAE, as well as the intersection of militarization and finance capital.

Clare O'Brien
Clare O'Brien is research assistant for Security in Context based in Baltimore, MD. A Villanova University graduate, she has a B.A. in Political Science, Arab and Islamic Studies, and Business.

Jon Jones
Jon is a research assistant for Security in Context, based in London. He received an MSc in Middle East Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and a BA in International Relations from the University of Sussex. His interests include political economy, critical geography, and critical global studies more broadly, with focus on how these intersect with the Middle East. He has worked in consulting, evaluation and learning in the humanitarian sector, and cultural heritage preservation in Palestine.

Andrew Byler
Andrew Byler graduated from Hampshire College with a Division III thesis on suburban representation in American media and received his MA in American History from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Andrew has run the Writing Help at Night program at Hampshire College since the fall of 2013 and is dedicated to helping students build their confidence as writers. In addition to his academic work he grows tomatoes and ginger at a local 30-acre organic vegetable farm. Andrew grew up in Massachusetts and currently lives in Amherst.

UPCOMing Events & Programming

Public Launch: Security in Context

Online: Zoom, Facebook, YouTube

October 19, 2020

Join us for our online public launch where we will discuss the Security in Context initiative and its various components, as well as introduce some of the people and networks involved.

Learn More

See all events and programming

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