Ariel I. Ahram
Virginia Tech School of Public and International Affairs
1021 Prince Street, Alexandria, Va., 22314 (USA)
email: ahram <at> vt.edu
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Associate Professor, School of Public & International Affairs, 2015 –
Assistant Professor, 2012-2015
University of Oklahoma Norman, Okla.
Assistant Professor, 2008 to 2012
Department of Government
Ph.D., Government, 2008 (with distinction)
Georgetown University Glassman Dissertation Award for Social Science, 2010
Department of Arab Studies
M.A., Arab Studies, 2006 (with distinction)
Brandeis University B.A., summa cum laude, 2001
‘Break all the Borders’: Separatism and the Remaking of the Middle East (New York: Oxford University Press, in production).
Comparative Area Studies: Methodological Rationales and Cross-Regional Applications (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018), co-editor with Rudra Sil and Patrick Köllner.
Proxy Warriors: The Rise and Fall of State-Sponsored Militias (Stanford, Cal.: Stanford University Press, 2011).
Reviewed in Choice, Perspectives on Politics, Military Review, Democracy and Security, Middle East Journal, Review of Middle East Studies, Political and Military Sociology, Politics and Policy
Articles, Book Chapters, and Occasional Papers (Peer-Reviewed)
“Sexual Violence, Competitive State Building, and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria,” Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, November 20, 2018 (online).
“Separatism, the Arab Uprisings, and the Legacies of Lost Territorial Autonomy,” Territory, Politics, Governance, October 26, 2018 (online).
“Hierarchy, Sovereignty, and Adaptation in the Eastern Mediterranean,” co-author with Harris Mylonas, in Spyridon Litsas and Aristotle Tziampiris, eds., The New Eastern Mediterranean (New York: Springer, 2019), pp. 31-43.
“On the Making and Unmaking of Arab States,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 50, no. 2 (2018): 323-327.
“Comparative Area Studies: What it is, What it can do,” co-author with Rudra Sil and Patrick Köllner, in Ariel Ahram, Rudra Sil, and Patrick Köllner, eds., Comparative Area Studies: Methodological Rationales and Cross-Regional Applications, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018), pp. 3-28.
“Comparative Area Studies and the Analytical Challenge of Diffusion” in Ariel Ahram, Rudra Sil, and Patrick Köllner, eds., Comparative Area Studies: Methodological Rationales and Cross-Regional Applications, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018), pp. 152-167.
“Territory, Sovereignty and the New Statehood in the Middle East,” Middle East Journal 71, no. 3 (2017): 335-362.
“Exiles and Political Islam: Contrasting Khomeini's Religious Nationalism with Bin Laden's Violent Globalism,” co-author with John Gledhill, in Transnational Actors in War and Peace, David Malet and Miriam Anderson, eds., (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2017), pp. 105-123.
“Researching Authoritarianism in the Discipline of Democracy,” co-author with J. Paul Goode, Social Science Quarterly 97, no. 4 (2016): 834-849.
“The Rise and Fall of Iraq in the Social Sciences,” Social Science Quarterly 97, no. 4 (2016): 850–861.
“Ten Years on: Critical Reflections and Stimulating Ideas on an Evolving Scholarship: Learning Since ‘Learning to Live with Militias,’” Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding 10, no. 1 (2016): 3-24.
Part of Ten Year Anniversary Retrospective, with Michael Aaronson, Mark Duffield, Jack Holland, Roger Mac Ginty, Laura McLeod, Sukanya Poder, Oliver P. Richmonds, and David Roberts.
“The Decline and Fall of the Arab State,” co-author with Ellen Lust, Survival 58, no. 2 (2016): 7-34.
“Pro-Government Militias, Regimes, and the Repertoires of Illicit Violence,” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 39, no. 2 (2016): 207-226.
“Jordan and the United Arab Emirates: Arab Partners in Afghanistan,” co-author with Daniel P. Brown, in Gale Mattox and Stephen Grenier, eds., Coalition Challenges in Afghanistan: The Politics of Alliances (Stanford, Ca.: Stanford University Press, 2015), pp. 201-214.
“Sexual Violence and the Making of ISIS,” Survival 57, no. 3 (2015): 57-78.
“Development, Counterinsurgency, and the Destruction of the Iraqi Marshes,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 47, no. 3 (2015): 447-466.
War-Making, State-Making and Non-State Power in Iraq, Yale University, Council on Middle East Studies Program on Governance and Local Development Working Paper No. 1, March 2015, http://gld.commons.yale.edu/files/2015/03/Ariel-Working-Paper-_-War-Making-Final-_-03.14.15.pdf
“The Role of State-Sponsored Militias in Genocide,” Terrorism and Political Violence 26, no. 3 (2014): 488-503.
“Iraq and the Social Sciences: Testing the Limits of Research,” Journal of the Middle East and Africa 4, no. 3 (2013): 251-266.
“Concepts and Measurement in Multi-Method Research,” Political Research Quarterly 66, no. 2 (2013): 280-291.
“The Warlord as Arbitrageur,” co-author with Charles King, Theory and Society 41, no. 2 (2012): 169-186.
“Origins and Persistence of State-Sponsored Militias: Path Dependent Processes in Third World Military Development,” Journal of Strategic Studies 34, no. 3 (2011): 531-556.
Best Graduate Student Paper Prize, Committee for the Analysis of Military Operations and Strategy (CAMOS), 2008
“Learning to Live with Militias: Toward a Critical Policy on State Frailty,” Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding 5, no. 2 (2011): 175-192.
“The Theory and Method of Comparative Area Studies,” Qualitative Research 11, no. 1 (2011): 69-90.
Finalist, Comparative Area Studies Paper Prize, German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA), Hamburg, 2014
“Symbolic Frames: Identity and Legitimacy in Iraqi Islamist Discourse,” Rhetoric & Public Affairs 12, no. 1 (2007): 113-132.
“The Frontiers of Loyalty: Do They Really Change?,” co-author with Yossi Shain, Orbis: A Journal of World Affairs 47, no. 4 (2003): 661-673.
“Book Review: Laura Robson, States of Separation: Transfer, Partition, and the Making of the Modern Middle East,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 50, no. 1 (2018), pp. 143-4.
“Don’t Flood the Swamp: Reviving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act,” The National Interest (Online), February 16, 2017, http://nationalinterest.org/feature/dont-flood-the-swamp-reviving-the-foreign-corrupt-practices-19468
“Exit, Voice, and Loyalty Under the Islamic State,” co-author with Mara Revkin, Project on Middle East Political Science Studies, Adaptation Strategies of Islamist Movements, No. 26 (January 2017), https://pomeps.org/2017/04/03/pomeps-studies-26/
“Book Review: Civilian Strategies in Civil War: Insights from Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines, written by Shane Joshua Barter,” Asian Journal of Social Science, 46 no. 1-2 (2017), 205-207.
“Republic of Iraq,” in The Government and Politics of the Middle East and North Africa, Mark Gasiorowski and Sean Yom, eds. (Boulder, Co.: Westview Press, 2016).
“Will Iraqi Kurds Go It Alone?” Political Violence at a Glance guest blog, February 24, 2016, http://wp.me/p2skv7-1Ky
“Focusing on ISIS’s sexual violence misses the bigger picture,” Political Violence at a Glance guest blog, August 26, 2015, http://politicalviolenceataglance.org/2015/08/26/focusing-on-isis-sexual-violence-misses-the-bigger-picture/
“Lessons from the Destruction of the Iraqi Marshes,” Washington Post Monkey Cage blog, August 17, 2015, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2015/08/17/lessons-from-the-destruction-of-iraqs-marshes/?postshare=1111439824993754
“De Facto States Unbound,” co-author with Harris Mylonas, PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo No. 374 (2015), http://www.ponarseurasia.org/sites/default/files/policy-memos-pdf/Pepm374_Mylonas-Ahram_August2015.pdf
“America in the Age of Arab Militias,” co-author with Fredric Wehrey, The Hill, June 9, 2015, http://thehill.com/opinion/op-ed/244363-america-in-the-age-of-arab-militias
“Foreign Policy Essay: Harnessing Militia Power—Lessons of the Iraqi National Guard,” co-author with Fredric Wehrey, Brookings Institution Lawfare Blog, May 24, 2015,
“Taming the Militias: Building National Guards in Fractured Arab States,” co-author with Fredric Wehrey, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, May 7, 2015,
“Are Militias a Menace?” Washington Post Monkey Cage blog, January 5, 2015, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2015/01/05/are-militias-a-menace/
“Book Review: David Malet, Foreign Fighters and Dan Miodownik and Oren Barak, eds., Nonstate Actors in Intrastate Conflicts,” Perspectives on Politics 12, no. 4 (2014): 985-987.
“Turkey, Syria, and the Dormant Dilemmas of Sovereignty,” co-author with Gabriel Mitchell, Political Violence at a Glance guest blog, October 23, 2014, http://politicalviolenceataglance.org/2014/10/23/turkey-syria-and-the-dormant-dilemmas-of-sovereignty/
“The Strange Death of Liberal Zionism,” Duck of Minerva guest blog, October 3, 2014,
“The National Guard in Iraq: A Risky Strategy to Combat the Islamic State,” co-author with Fredric Wehrey, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, September 23, 2014,
“Sexual and Ethnic Violence and the Construction of the Islamic State,” Political Violence at a Glance guest blog, September 18, 2014, http://politicalviolenceataglance.org/2014/09/18/sexual-and-ethnic-violence-and-the-construction-of-the-islamic-state/
“The Dangerous Mixture of Oil and Water in Iraq,” Political Violence at a Glance guest blog, August 18, 2014,
“Can ISIS overcome the insurgency resource curse?” Washington Post Monkey Cage Blog, July 2, 2014,
“ISIL and the Perils of Quasi-States,” Stanford University Press Blog, June 12, 2014
“The Middle East Quasi-State System,” Washington Post Monkey Cage Blog, May 27, 2014
Included in Project on Middle East Political Science Briefing No. 24, Iraq Between Maliki and the Islamic State (July 9, 2014).
“Al Qaeda’s Syria Problem” co-author with Barak Mendelsohn, Foreign Policy Middle East Channel, January 23, 2014
“Book Review: Kimberly Marten’s Warlords: Strong-Arm Brokers in Weak States,” Review of Middle Eastern Studies 47, no. 1 (2013).
“Concepts and Description in Gerring’s Social Science Methodology, 2nd Edition” Newsletter of the APSA Section on Qualitative and Multi-Method Research, 10, no. 2 (2012).
“The Crisis of Authoritarianism and the Prospects of State Breaking in the Arab World,” Moscow State University Bulletin, Series 25, International Relations and World Politics. no. 1 (2012): 4-24 (In Russian)
“Book Review: Lisa Blaydes’ Elections and Redistributive Politics in Mubarak’s Egypt,” Governance 25, no. 1 (2012): 156-158.
“Studying Iraq from a Distance,” Newsletter of the APSA Section on Comparative Democratization 9, no. 2 (2011).
“The Arab Spring After Qaddafi,” Dissent Online, September 19, 2011,
“Toward Arab Social Democracy,” Dissent Online, February 11, 2011 http://www.dissentmagazine.org/online.php?id=447
“Baghdad”, “Mosul”, and “Hilla” in Norman Stillman, ed., Encyclopedia of Jews of the Islamic World (Brill, 2009).
The National Iranian Oil Company in Iranian Politics, co-author with Dan Brumberg, Baker Institute for Public Policy, Rice University, 2007, http://bakerinstitute.org/media/files/page/99dcb050/noc_nioc_brumberg_ahram.pdf
“Why States Choose Paramilitarism,” Georgetown Journal of International Affairs 7, no. 1 (2006): 65-74.
“Returning Iraqi Exiles to Politics,” Middle East Review of International Affairs 9, no. 1 (2005).
“Iraq and Syria: The Dilemma of Dynasty,” Middle East Quarterly 9, no. 2 (2002): 33-42.