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


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


Ewan Stein ed. Intellectual dynamics in the Middle East and North Africa, London: Routledge (forthcoming).

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

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

Articles and Chapters:

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

"Jihad discourse in Egypt under Muhammmad Mursi" in Ewan Stein and Elisabeth Kendall eds., Twenty-First Century Jihad: Law, Society and Military Action, London: IB Tauris (Forthcoming 2014)

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

"Studying Islamism after the Arab Spring," Journal of Mediterranean Politics, Volume 19 Issue 1 (2014)

"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 W.J Dorman, "Informality Versus the State? Islamists, Informal Cairo and Political Integration by Other Means" , Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Volume 12 Issue 4 (Winter 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:

Islamism and the Arab Uprisings. Policy paper co-edited with Dr Frederic Volpi and published by the Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World, July 2014.

"'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 and was until recently joint leader, with Dr Frederic Volpi of St. Andrews University, of a research network entitled 'People Power and State Power', funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World (CASAW).  

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 formed 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'.

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