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Professor Emma Murphy

Professor of Political Economy

Professor of Political Economy in the School of Government and International Affairs+44 (0) 191 33 45668
Senior Fellow in the Global Policy Institute Journal
Member of the Institute for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies 


Having completed a PhD at Exeter University on the political economy of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Emma moved to Durham’s Centre for Middle East and Islamic Studies as a British Academy post-doctoral Fellow in 1993, working on political and economic reform in Tunisia. She took up a lectureship post in 1995 and moved into the new School of Government and International Affairs in 2003, becoming a professor in 2007. As well as continuing her research on Tunisian political economy she has published widely on Middle East political economy and, more recently, on issues in global political economy such as food security and the spread of contemporary ICTs.

She has filled a variety of University roles including Deputy Head of Faculty (2002-05), Chair of Senate Academic Appeals Committee (2009-) and Honorary President of Durham University Charities Kommittee (2006-). She was a trustee and Secretary for the Universities Educational Trust for Palestine (1995-8), a member of the Board of Trustees for the Council for British Research on the Levant (2007-10) and a member of the Executive Committee of the UK Council for Graduate Education (2005-6). She is currently a member of the HEFCE Research Excellence Framework Sub-Panel 27 Area Studies, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Manufacturing (2000) and an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences (2009). She is also co-editor of the journal Mediterranean Politics (IF 0.722, 72/157).

My research interests cover a broad spectrum of political economy issues in the Middle East, including information and communications technologies, food security, economic liberalisation, the Arab uprisings, and relations with the European Union. 

Since 2011I have been researching youth and youth politics in the MENA region, and working with colleagues in Sociology and Anthropology to develop comparative reseach on young people in Africa and Europe. In particular we have worked on causes of youth (political, economicand social) exclusion, pathways to inclusion, the structural aspects of youth policy and related narratives and, most recently, the impacts of COVID-19 on young people's futures.

List of doctoral students supervised by Emma Murphy who have successfully completed.

Research interests

  • Arab-Israeli conflict/politics
  • Information and communications technologies, new media in the Middle East
  • Political economy of North Africa
  • Political economy of the Middle East
  • Youth and Youth Policy

Esteem Indicators

  • 2000: Member of Area Studies REF Panel 2014 and 2021:
  • 2000: Member of Editorial Board of Mediterranean Politics journal:
  • 2000: Member of the International Advisory Board - MECAM:
    The Merian Centre for Advanced Studies in the Maghreb
  • 2000: ACSS: Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences
  • 2000: FRSA: Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts
  • 2000: International Election Observer - Tunisia 2011: In October 2011 Tunisia held its first genuinely democratic elections since independence in 1956. Emma Murphy was invited by the Carter Center to join its team of international election observers in her capacity as a regional expert.

  • 2000: Member of the Advisory Board, IMES East: Institute of Middle East Studies, Kings College London


Authored book

Book review

Chapter in book

Journal Article

Working Paper

Supervision students