Ewan Stein

Ewan Stein
Dr Ewan Stein
School of Social and Political ScienceUniversity of Edinburgh
4.27 Chrystal Macmillan Building 15a George Square Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
0131 650 4264
Research Interests
Political Islam, Middle East Politics, Egyptian politics, Arab political thought, Arab-Israeli conflict, state-society relations, International Relations of the Middle East

Guidance and Feedback Hours: Wednesdays, 11.00 - 1.00. 

Research Day: Monday


Biographical statement

I joined PIR as a lecturer in May 2011.  I was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World (CASAW), University of Edinburgh from 2008-2011.

Research Interests

My research interests include political Islam, the role of ideas in foreign policy and international relations, state-society relations and the links between social and normative change in Middle Eastern regional politics.


PhD, International Relations (London School of Economics)

MA, Arab Studies (Georgetown University)

MA (Hons), Arabic (University of Edinburgh)


Recent and forthcoming publications


Representing Israel in Modern Egypt: Ideas, Intellectuals and Foreign Policy from Nasser to Mubarak, London: IB Tauris (2012)

Ewan Stein and Elisabeth Kendall eds., Twenty-First Century Jihad, London: IB Tauris (forthcoming 2014)

Articles and Chapters:

"Studying Islamism after the Arab Spring," Journal of Mediterranean Politics, Forthcoming Nov. 2013

"Intellectuals and Political Change in the Modern Middle East and North Africa," British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, Volume 41 Issue 1 (January 2014)

With Elisabeth Kendall, 'Contextualising 21st Century Jihad' in Ewan Stein and Elisabeth Kendall eds., Twenty-First Century Jihad, London: IB Tauris (Forthcoming 2014)

"The Muslim Brotherhood and Jihad during the presidency of Muhammad Mursi" in Ewan Stein and Elisabeth Kendall eds., Twenty-First Century Jihad, London: IB Tauris (Forthcoming 2014)

"Struggling for the Public: Rethinking Islamist Ideological Change in Egypt," Middle East Critique, (forthcoming 2014)

With W.J Dorman, "The Social Politics of Islamists between Informal Cairo and the State"  in Michelangelo Guida and Bezen Coskun eds., Informal Challenges to Mediterranean Politics.  Zirve University Middle Eastern Strategic Research Centre (2013)

"Revolution or Coup? Egypt's Fraught Transition," Survival, Volume 54, Issue 4 (July 2012).

"Revolutionary Egypt: Promises and Perils" in Nicholas Kitchen ed., After the Arab Spring: Power Shift in the Middle East, LSE IDEAS Special Report (2012).

"The Gama'a Islamiyya: from Impasse to Opportunity", in Jeannie Sowers and Chris Toensing eds., The Journey to Tahrir: Revolution, Protest and Social Change in Egypt, 1999-2011. London: Verso (2012).

"Beyond Arabism vs. sovereignty: relocating ideas in the international relations of the Middle East," Review of International Studies. Volume 38 Issue 4 (October 2012).

"The Camp David Consensus: Ideas, Intellectuals and the Division of Labour in Egypt’s Foreign Policy toward Israel,” International Studies Quarterly. Volume 55 Issue 3 (September 2011).

"An Uncivil Partnership: Egypt’s Jama’a Islamiyya and the State after the Jihad,” Third World Quarterly. Volume 33 Issue 5 (June 2011).

“What Does the Gama’a Islamiyya Want Now?” Middle East Report, 254 (Spring 2010).


Other publications:

"'One Hand', Many Heads: the Role of the Army in Egypt," The Conversation, 8 July 2013

"Fate of Muslim Brotherhood tied into web of circumstances and ambitions", The Scotsman, 5 July, 2013

"Calling Time on the January Revolution?", Open Democracy, 3 June 2011 (http://www.opendemocracy.net/ewan-stein/calling-time-on-january-revolution) 

"The Egyptian Revolution and Israel: the Sum of all Fears?", Leviathan. Vol. 1 Issue 2 (2011) 

“Yusuf Qaradawi’s Jihad”, The Guardian, 17 August 2009.

Review of Jonathan Cook, Israel and the Clash of Civilisations, British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, August 2009.


Current Projects

I have a broad research interest in examining and theorising sources of societal agency in the politics and international relations of the Middle East.  This builds on previous research on the role of intellectuals and social movements in Egyptian foreign policy toward Israel, and of Islamist groups in challenging and bolstering authoritarianism in Egypt; work historicising and contextualising ‘jihad’ as a socio-political phenomenon and research on the role of norms and identity in the International Relations of the Middle East.

Since 2009 I have coordinated the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) research network on Resistance, Representation and Identity.  I am editing a special issue of the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, to be published in 2014, on the subject of 'Intellectuals in the Middle East,'  which will showcase the work of this network.

I am joint coordinator, with Dr Frederic Volpi of St. Andrews University, of a research network entitled 'People Power and State Power', which is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World (CASAW).  The network seeks to build an innovative interdisciplinary research agenda on political and religious dialogue in the Middle East and North Africa.

Much of my research is oriented toward challenging often implicitly asserted dichotomies of modernity and tradition in the region, whereby outward-facing ‘modern’ states confront inward-looking ‘pre-modern’ societies.  This forms the basis of a two-year British Academy and Carnegie Trust-funded research project on ‘Ideas, Social Change, and International Relations in the Middle East' .  I explore and seek to theorise dynamics of modernity and ‘statism’ among societal movements.  I examine the role they play in the changing ideological characters of states, in the formation of foreign policy and in the construction of regional norms.

Topics interested in supervising

I am interested in supervising PhD projects in any area of Middle Eastern politics or international relations, particularly topics related to Egypt, political Islam, foreign policy and the role of ideas.

If you are interested in being supervised by Ewan Stein, please see the links below for more information:

PhD in Politics