• KY16 9AX

    United Kingdom

  • KY16 9AL

    United Kingdom

Personal profile

Research overview

My research focuses primarily on the political role of Christian communities in the contemporary Middle East.   This covers issues relating to identity, minority rights, Christian-Muslim relations and diaspora politics.

Research interests

 Government Policies Towards Christian Communities in the Middle East

     This project examines the situation of the contemporary Christian communities in Syria and Jordan by focusing on the government policies towards them.   This approach recognises the importance of regime attitudes towards minority groups in determining the environment in which they live in.   The different integration strategies used by the two countries allows a comparison to be made between the secular nationalist approach adopted by Syria and a modernised version of the traditional millet system which exists in Jordan.  

 

The Political Role of the Patriarch in the Contemporary Middle East.  

     This project focuses on the relationship between religion and politics in the context of the Christian communities in this region.   By using the crisis of state framework to explain the political activities of Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Shenouda III and the Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir, it is argued that the lack of widespread political participation, failure of economic development and chronic insecurity in the Middle East have led to an environment where icnreased eprception of vulnerability has allowed religion to retain social significance.    Additional case studies will be added to this project including the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem and the Chaldean Patriarch.

 

 

Middle East Christian Diaspora

        Due to continual emigration from their homelands, several Middle Eastern Christian diasporas now exist.   This research focuses on the impact of these diasporas on both the host society and homeland including the impact of political lobbying, relations between different states and the ability of the group to retain religious identity in a new society.   The similarities and differences between religious and ethno-national diasporas is also discussed.

Other areas of interest include a) the notion of 'religious freedom' and the impact of Western-led iniatives to promote this in developing countries especially those which are Muslim-dominated, b) the role of the churches in the Middle East as civil society actors and c) general developments in Middle East politics especially in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Syria and the Palestinian Territories.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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