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Photo of Emeritus Professor Tim Niblock

Emeritus Professor Tim Niblock

BA in PPE (Oxon), Cert. des Hautes Etudes Europeenes (Bruges), PhD in Internat. Relations (Sussex)

Professor Emeritus

My research interests cover a wide range of areas related to the politics, economics and international relations of the Arab and Islamic worlds. Of central concern have been the political economy of the states of the Arab world, the international relations of the Middle Eastern region, the relations between Gulf countries and East /South Asian Countries, Islam and the state, and issues relating to civil society and democratisation in Arab and Islamic states. Most of my teaching in recent years has been at the postgraduate level, and the bulk of this has taken the form of PhD supervision. Geographically, my interests were strongest in North-East Africa at the start of my career, with a strong interest also in Iraq and Libya, but in recent years this has shifted towards the Arabian peninsula, and currently I am writing mostly on relations between Gulf countries and other Asian countries.

For overall publications list and full CV please click on 'Other.'  For a shortened CV with listing of book publications, click on 'Biography.' For a full listing of Phd supervision see my CV below.

For CV please click here.

Research interests

My research interests fall mainly into the following areas

i. The political economy of Arab and Islamic states, with particular reference to Sudan, Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Saudi Arabia and the smaller Arab states of the Gulf. Specific attention is focused on the social and political effects of economic liberalisation in these states. A book project examining the political economy of Saudi Arabia is nearing completion. Earlier, a 6-volume collection of articles was jointly edited with Rodney Wilson, under the overall title "The Political Economy of the Middle East" (Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, 2000). The wider theoretical framework through which Middle Eastern political economy is approached are those of underdevelopment, the dynamics of rentier state economies, and liberalisation/democratisation theories.

ii. The international relations of Middle Eastern states, with particular reference to the interactions between these states and the wider international community. A recent focus has been on the impact of UN sanctions on Iraq, Libya and Sudan, on which a book was written: " 'Pariah States' and Sanctions in the Middle East: Iraq, Libya and Sudan" Lynne Rienner, London, 2001). A long-running interest has been on EU policies towards, and relations with, Middle Eastern states.

iii The Gulf and Asia: Up to the present, my publications in this field have been focused mainly on the Gulf and China, but I am now broadening the focus to Gulf relations with Asia as a whole – in particular China, India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan. Two articles focused on China and the Gulf were: “China’s Growing Involvement in the Gulf”, and “China’s Intensifying Relationship with Saudi Arabia” (with Norafidah Ismail), in Shen, S, and Blanchard, J-M, Multidimensional Diplomacy of Contemporary China (New York: Lexington Books, 2010). More widely, an edited book: Asia-Gulf Economic Relations in the 21st Century (Gerlach, Berlin, 2013).

iv. Islam and the state: the role of religion in state-building and state-resisting, with particular reference to the Middle East. Also issues of human rights in Islamic perspectives, focusing on the interplay between universalism and cultural relativity. The position of Muslim communities in Europe has recently come within the scope of this research interest, and has encompassed the social, economic and political conditions facing these communities. An edited work on this, jointly with Gerd Nonneman and Bogdan Szajkowski, was published in 1996: "Muslim Communities in the New Europe".

v. Legitimacy, civil society and political power in the Arab World. A recent book of mine within this sphere is Saudi Arabia: Power, Legitimacy and Survival (Routledge, London, 2006).



Research supervision

Among the topics which I have supervised PhD theses on, through to successful completion, in the years since 2006, have been:

Political Culture in Libya

Female Labour in Saudi Arabia

Legal Changes and Marriage Practices: a Study of Polygamous Marriages in the Meccan Region

The Role of Women in Society: a Case Study of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia

Ethno-Cultural Diversity and the State in the Middle East: the Experience of the Armenian Communities in Lebanon and Syria

The Impact of Foreign Direct Investment on Performance Management Reform in Egypt

Israeli-Palestinian Contact Experience since the Oslo Agreement

The Discourse and Performance of the Saudi Sunni Islamist Reformist Leadership, 1981-2003

The Muslim Brotherhood and the Mubarak Regime

Comparing Western Liberal Democracy and Islamic Shura: the Case of Hasan al-Turabi

British-Saudi Relations, 1939-1956

The Ulama and the State in Saudi Arabia

Democratisation in Palestine: the Case of the Palestinian Legislative Assembly

Other information

For information on this, please refer to Professor Niblock's CV, which can be accessed through the 'click here' button at the bottom of the Overview page.


For information on this, please refer to Professor Niblock's CV, which can be accessed through the 'click here' button at the bottom of the Overview page.

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