Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts FPRI’S Middle East Program Adds New Scholars

FPRI’S Middle East Program Adds New Scholars

  • July 27, 2013

FPRI’S Middle East Program Adds New Scholars

  • July 27, 2013

The Foreign Policy Research Institute is proud to announce the appointment of three new Senior Fellows to its Program on the Middle East, as well as the elevation of an intern to a Research Associate.

Frank R. Gunter is an Associate Professor of Economics at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. After receiving his doctorate in Political Economy from John Hopkins University in 1985, he joined Lehigh where he won three major and multiple minor awards for excellence in teaching Principles of Economics, Economic Development, the Political Economy of China, and the Political Economy of Iraq. Frank’s primary area of research is economic development in conflict and post-conflict states. His most recent book, The Political-Economy of Iraq: Restoring Balance in a Post-Conflict Society (Edward Elgar Publishing, May 2013), on post-2003 Iraq is based on his 25-months of work as an economic advisor to the U.S. government in Baghdad. He has also published multiple studies on economic development in Iraq, China, Colombia and Latvia. Having served 35 years on active and reserve duty, Frank retired as a Colonel from the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves in 2008. He most recently addressed FPRI on April 9, 2013 on the topic of his book. The audio of his talk is available at /events/2013/04/political-economy-iraq-restoring-balance-post-conflict-society.

Lorenzo Vidino is an academic and security expert who specializes in Islamism and political violence in Europe and North America. Currently a senior fellow at the Center for Security Studies, ETH Zurich, he previously held positions at the RAND Corporation, the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, the U.S. Institute of Peace, and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. He has taught at Tufts University, the University of Maryland (START), the National Defense University and the University of Zurich. He is the author of three books, including most recently, The New Muslim Brotherhood in the West (Columbia University Press, 2010).  He frequently publishes articles in several prominent newspapers, such as The International Herald Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe, and academic journals, such as Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, The Washington Quarterly, and Terrorism and Political Violence. He has testified before the U.S. Congress and consults with governments, law firms, think tanks and media in several countries. A native of Milan, Italy, he holds a law degree from the University of Milan Law School and a doctorate in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. He most recently edited a multi-authored e-book on behalf of FPRI and Al-Mesbar Studies and Research Center (UAE). Entitled, The West and the Muslim Brotherhood after the Arab Spring, the e-book is available online at /articles/2013/02/west-and-muslim-brotherhood-after-arab-spring.

Sean L. Yom is Assistant Professor of Political Science (Comparative Politics) at Temple University. His research broadly focuses on authoritarianism and development, and he is now finishing his first book on state-building and political order in the post-colonial Middle East.  His other current research interests concern the future of democratic reforms in the Arab world, patterns of transnational hierarchy between sovereign states, and contemporary methods of comparative-historical analysis.  At Temple, he teaches courses on Middle East politics, comparative political regimes, and democracy in the modern world.  He received his Ph.D. at Harvard (2009) and thereafter completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Stanford. His most recent e-note on behalf of FPRI was titled, “Understanding the Resilience of Monarchy During the Arab Spring,” and is available online at /articles/2012/04/understanding-resilience-monarchy-during-arab-spring.

Justin Scott Finkelstein is a Research Associate in FPRI’s Program on the Middle East, where his research focuses on issues related to the Arab-Israeli conflict, Israeli and Palestinian public opinion on the two-state solution, and Israeli domestic politics. Finkelstein previously worked as a Program Associate for the Study of the U.S. Institute on Religious Pluralism and Democracy – a State Department-funded program that brings undergraduate students from the Middle East to America for education about religious diversity, democracy and dialogue. He also works as an editorial consultant. He writes regularly about Israeli and Palestinian issues for Foreign Policy Blogs. Finkelstein received a Master’s degree in Near Eastern Studies from New York University in 2012, where he was awarded a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship in the summer of 2011 to study Arabic at the Middlebury Arabic School. He has traveled to and studied in Morocco and Israel. His most recent article on behalf of FPRI asked, “Do Israelis Think Left and Vote Right?” in January 2013. It is available online at /articles/2013/01/do-israelis-think-left-and-vote-right.


About the Program on the Middle East

FPRI’s Program on the Middle East – directed by Tally Helfont – is dedicated to examining current developments and emerging trends in the Middle East and North Africa, and providing thoughtful analysis within the context of U.S. strategic interests in the region. Through research, publication, programming, and education, the program focuses on:

  • U.S. policy interests in the Middle East and North Africa
  • Authoritarianism and reform
  • The Arab Uprisings
  • Radicalism and regional threats
  • The geopolitics of non-Arab actors in the region
  • Sectarian politics

For more information about FPRI’s Program on the Middle East, please visit /research/middleeast.