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Dr Rory McCarthy

Assistant Professor In Politics and Islam

BA, MPhil, DPhil

AffiliationRoom numberTelephone
Assistant Professor In Politics and Islam in the School of Government and International AffairsRoom 201a, Al Qasimi Building+44 (0) 191 33 45672


I joined Durham University in 2019 as an Assistant Professor in Politics and Islam to work on the comparative politics of the Middle East. I have two current projects. First, I study the dilemmas of Islamism in the wake of the Arab uprisings, looking at the internal dynamics of contemporary Islamist mobilizations and rethinking concepts of post-Islamism. Second, I write about the politics of protest in the Middle East through a comparative analysis of contentious politics.

Before coming to Durham I spent three years as a Fellow by Examination at Magdalen College, Oxford. Previously, I worked as a foreign correspondent with the Guardian, with postings in Islamabad, Baghdad, Beirut, and Jerusalem. I have a BA in History from Cambridge and an MPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies and a DPhil in Oriental Studies from Oxford.

Twitter: @rmccarthy

Research interests

  • Islamism
  • Comparative Politics of the Middle East
  • Contentious Politics


Authored book

  • McCarthy, Rory (2018). Inside Tunisia's al-Nahda: Between Politics and Preaching. Cambridge Cambridge University Press.
  • McCarthy, Rory (2006). Nobody Told Us We Are Defeated: Stories from the New Iraq. London: Chatto & Windus.

Chapter in book

  • McCarthy, Rory (2016). The Tunisian uprising, Ennahdha, and the revival of an Arab-Islamic Identity. In Political Identities and Popular Uprisings in the Middle East. Holliday, Shabnam J. & Leech, Philip Rowman & Littlefield International. 157-176.

Edited book

  • Roberts, Adam, Willis, Michael J., McCarthy, Rory & Garton Ash, Timothy (2016). Civil Resistance in the Arab Spring: Triumphs and Disasters. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Journal Article

Supervision students