Ariel I. Ahram is a specialist on security, development, and ecological change in the Middle East and North Africa. He serves as associate professor in Virginia Tech's School of Public and International Affairs in Arlington.
His latest book, Break all the Borders: Separatism and the Reshaping of the Middle East (Oxford, 2019) examines separatist movements in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen and their impact on global security. It shows how these contemporary movements evolved from movements of national liberation that were denied or defeated in the 20th century. His first book, Proxy Warriors: The Rise and Fall of State Sponsored Militias (Stanford, 2011) examines why governments cooperate with militias, vigilantes, and warlords, using case studies from Iraq, Iran, and Indonesia.
Prof. Ahram and Dr. Ranj Alaaldin (Brookings Doha Center) are primary investigators on the Proxy Wars Project, sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. He has lectured and consulted for defense and intelligence agencies and the World Bank. He has been interviewed on BBC Radio, Voice of America, Canadian Broadcast Corporation Radio, and the Wall Street Journal. In 2016, he testified to the U.S. House Foreign Relations Committee about the Islamic State’s campaign of sexual violence and served as a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
In addition to his substantive specialization, Prof. Ahram is an expert on multi-method research methodology, combining case studies and statistical analysis. He is co-editor, with Rudra Sil and Patrick Köllner, of Comparative Area Studies: Methodological Rationales and Cross-Regional Applications (Oxford, 2017).