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Mitchell, Jocelyn Sage

Assistant Professor, Liberal Arts
Northwestern University in Qatar

Jocelyn Sage Mitchell is assistant professor in residence at Northwestern University in Qatar, teaching comparative and American politics and interdisciplinary courses. She is also an affiliated faculty member of Northwestern University's Middle East and North African Studies Program in the Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences. Mitchell holds a BA in political science and Middle Eastern studies from Brown University (2003) and an MA (2008) and a PhD (2013) in government from Georgetown University. She has lived in Doha, Qatar, since August 2008 with her husband and two sons. Mitchell's research interests span political economy, authoritarianism, state-society relations, and nation-building, focusing on the Middle East. These interests form her current research agenda, which explores the interaction between state and society under conditions of rentier (resource-rich) authoritarianism. In the past five years, she has been awarded over $1 million USD from the Qatar National Research Fund and other academic institutions for three separate but interrelated grant projects that investigate previously-unexplored attitudes and behaviors of Qatari citizens about political, economic, and social issues and use a mixed-methods approach to empirically test theoretical assumptions as well as explain process and cause. Her empirical evidence includes four sets of original, nationally-representative surveys of Qatari citizens and expatriates, extensive ethnographic observations and Arabic interviews, and Arabic media analysis. In all of her grant projects, she prioritizes the inclusion of students as researchers, training them in research skills and tapping into their expertise. Mitchell's research clarifies the political mechanisms of the modern rentier state: State-distributed benefits are a necessary but insufficient explanation of domestic stability; state and society coopt and constrain each other in policies and preferences; and nation-building efforts are integral in even the most extreme conditions of rentier authoritarianism. These findings inform her book manuscript, nearing completion, entitled “The Politics of Legitimacy: Wealth, Voice, and Nation in Qatar.” Mitchell regularly presents her research and organizes panels at the annual meetings of the American Political Science Association and the Middle East Studies Association, as well as local and regional conferences and workshops. She also communicates her work to general audiences and non-specialists, including through appearances on the Al Jazeera English television network and on London’s Monocle Radio. Her work has been published in political science journals, including the International Journal of Public Opinion Research, as well as book chapters and encyclopedia articles.

Political Science
Political Economy   
Gulf Studies   
Gulf political economy   
Arabic (Intermediate)   
PhD2013GovernmentGeorgetown University
MA2008GovernmentGeorgetown University
BA2003Political Science, Middle Eastern StudiesBrown University
Jocelyn Sage Mitchell

NW Univ. M/S 1801Q
2020 Ridge Avenue
Evanston, IL
United States

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