The Adverse Effects of the Pandemic on MENA Research

Join the Middle East Studies Program at UW Madison on March 29, 2021, 12pm CST, to hear from Marwa Shalaby, Departments of Gender & Women Studies and Political Science, UW-Madison.

Shalaby will present the most recent findings of an online survey of international and regional faculty working in the social sciences and humanities. The talk will highlight the adverse effects of the pandemic on scholars’ productivity and ability to conduct fieldwork. Shalaby argues that while the pandemic has interrupted most scholars’ research plans, researchers who study the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are more likely to encounter higher barriers. Given the authoritarian nature of politics in most parts of the region, MENA researchers face security and ethical challenges associated with conducting fieldwork remotely, especially with vulnerable and displaced populations. These effects will have a long-lasting impact on MENA research and scholars.

About the presenter:
Marwa Shalaby is an assistant professor in the departments of Gender and Women’s Studies and Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to joining the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Shalaby was the Fellow for the Middle East and Director of the Women’s Rights in the Middle East Program, Rice University, Texas and a Visiting Scholar at the Program of Governance and Local Development (GLD), University of Gothenburg. She currently serves on the editorial boards of Politics and Religion and Review of Economics and Political Science. Shalaby’s research areas are comparative politics, democratization and research methodology. Her work focuses primarily on the intersection of the politics of authoritarianism, and women in politics. Her research also aims to explicate the micro-dynamics and outcomes of electoral institutions under competitive authoritarianism, mainly in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. She is working on a cross-national project exploring the drivers of political tolerance in non-democratic and transitioning states, as well as a manuscript exploring the dynamics of women’s political representation in Arab parliaments.

Registration link will be added soon to our event announcement here:


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