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Professor Emma Murphy

Professor of Political Economy

BSocSci, MA, PhD(Exon)

AffiliationRoom numberTelephone
Professor of Political Economy in the School of Government and International AffairsIM218, Al-Qasimi Building+44 (0) 191 33 45668
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

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

Research groups

  • Institutions and Political Behaviour

Esteem Indicators

  • 0000: ACSS: Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences
  • 0000: FRSA: Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts
  • 0000: 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.

  • 0000: Member of Area Studies REF Panel 2014 and 2021:
  • 0000: Member of Editorial Board of Mediterranean Politics journal:
  • 0000: Member of the Advisory Board, IMES East : Institute of Middle East Studies, Kings College London
  • 0000: Member of the International Advisory Board - MECAM:
    The Merian Centre for Advanced Studies in the Maghreb

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Economics: economic liberalisation
  • International: Defence & disputes: Arab-Israeli conflict & Palestinian issues
  • Africa: Arab-Israeli politics
  • Africa: North African affairs
  • Middle East: Arab-Israeli politics


Authored book

Book review

Chapter in book

  • Murphy, Emma C. (2018). Youth activism and protest around the Mediterranean. In Routledge handbook of Mediterranean politics. Gillespie, Richard & Volpi, Frédéric Routledge. 342-355.
  • Murphy, Emma C. (2016). From Democratic Consensus to a A Struggle for Power: The fragility of transition in Tunisia. In North African Politics: Change and Continuity. Zoubir, Yahia & White, Gregory Routledge. 225-242.
  • Murphy, Emma (2013). Under the Emperor's Neoliberal Clothes! Why the International Financial Institutions Got it Wrong in Tunisia. In The Making of the Tunisian Revolution: Contexts, Architects, Prospects. Gana, Nouri Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 35-57.
  • Murphy, Emma (2012). Globalisation and Networked Civility in the Arab Region. In The Middle East and Globalization Encounters and Horizons. Stetter, Stephen New York: Palgrave Macmillan. 41-58.
  • Murphy, Emma (2009). 'Learning the Right Lessons from Beijing: A Model for the Arab World?'. In Development Models in Muslim Contexts: Chinese, 'Islamic' and Neo-liberal Alternatives. Springborg, Robert Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 85-114.
  • Murphy, Emma (2008). 'ICT and the Gulf Arab States: A Force for Democracy?'. In Reform in the Middle East Oil Monarchies. Ehteshami, Anoushiravan & Wright, Steven London: Ithaca. 181-216.
  • Murphy, Emma (2006). 'Buying Poverty:International Aid and the Peace Process'. In The Struggle for Sovereignty in Palestine and Israel, 1993-2005. Benin,J. Chicago, Illinois: Stanford University Press. 54-61.
  • Murphy, Emma (2005). 'Zionism and the Arab-Israeli Conflict'. In A Companion to the History of the Middle East. Choueiri, Youssef M. Oxford: Blackwell. 269-290.
  • Murphy, Emma (2003). 'Women in Tunisia: Between State Feminism and Economic Reform'. In Women and Globalisation in the Arab Middle East. Doumato,Eleanor Abdella & Posusney, Marsha Pripstein Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner. 169-194.
  • Murphy, Emma (2002). 'The Foreign Policy of Tunisia'. In The Foreign Policies of the Middle East States. Hinnebusch, Raymond & Ehteshami, Anoush Boulder Colorado: Lynne Rienner. 235-256.
  • Murphy E (2000). The Arab-Israeli Peace Process: Can the Region Benefit from the Economics of Globalization? In Economic and political impediments to Middle East peace critical questions and alternative scenarios. Wright, J.W. & Drake, Laura Palgrave Macmillan. 46-49.

Journal Article

Supervision students