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The Institute for the Transregional Study of the contemporary Middle East, North Africa & Central Asia 2012-2013 Fellowship Competition.  Research Theme for 2012-13: “Contestation in the Contemporary Arab World”

The recent uprisings in the Arab world, the so-called “Arab Spring,” represent a watershed in the history of this region and its peoples, from Morocco to the Gulf. The stability and endurance of the Arab state has been called into question, as has “Arab exceptionalism” in resisting political change and the democratic wave that swept many regions of the globe in the late twentieth century. The Institute of Transregional Study would like to sponsor research that explores these events in-depth and what they mean for the territorial states, governments, societies, national boundaries as well as the regional system. Is the Arab system of states as rigid as has been claimed? Has Islamism given way to secular forms of politics? Can demographics, the so-called “youth bulge,” explain what we are witnessing? What has been the role of women? What is the role of social media and the information revolution in bringing this about? Has the rise in commodity prices also played a role? Are different types of regime affected differently by these developments (monarchies vs. republics; rentier states vs. production states)? What about the differences in the social makeup of these states? Are homogenous populations (e.g., Tunisia, Egypt) more able to effect change peacefully than those in which regional, sectarian or tribal cleavages are prominent (e.g., Syria, Yemen)? Successful fellows will be expected to tackle such questions. In the process, the Institute hopes that their research will contribute to a better understanding of these important events and offer ideas and frameworks for how to think about them as well as consider potential policy implications.

Research Support Opportunities: Under this general theme, the Institute invites applications for Postdoctoral or Visiting Research Scholar positions from candidates with any disciplinary or theoretical perspective (e.g., law, sociology, anthropology, demography, politics, literature, as well as Islamic and gender studies). Appointments will be for the academic year, September 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013, with the possibility of renewal, subject to satisfactory performance and continued funding. Subject to the approval of the Department of Near Eastern Studies and the Dean of the Faculty, research associates will be expected to teach a one-semester undergraduate course, which may be open to graduate students. Candidates must hold the Ph.D. degree and are expected to pursue independent research at Princeton and to participate in Institute-related activities on campus. Preference will be given to academics whose research, teaching, and professional activities relate to the Institute’s 2012-13 theme. Travel assistance of up to $1500 for round-trip, economy-class airfare will be available to appointees and their immediate families. Salary, title and eligibility to teach will be based on successful applicants’ qualifications and is subject to approval by Princeton’s Dean of the Faculty and relevant academic departments.

To Apply: Interested applicants must apply online at and submit a current curriculum vitae, a research statement (maximum length 2 pages), a cover letter, and contact information for three references. Princeton University is an equal opportunity employer and complies with applicable EEO and affirmative action regulations. For information, contact: Department of Near Eastern Studies, Transregional Institute Research Fellowships, 110 Jones Hall, Princeton University, Princeton NJ 08544 (fax: +1-609-258-0204;; Application deadline: March 26, 2012.

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