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Simon Mabon supervises 16 postgraduate research students. If these students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

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Dr Simon Mabon

Senior Lecturer

Simon Mabon

County South



Tel: +44 1524 594253

Research overview

My work falls somewhere at the intersection of Middle East Studies, International Relations and (International) Polital Theory. I am particularly interested in sovereignty, space, and nomos. Putting such concepts to work, I am currently exploring the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran and how it shapes the Middle East. This research is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, in a project entitled Sectarianism, Proxies and De-Sectarianisation. 

Broadly speaking I am interested in the following areas

  • Sovereignty 
  • Saudi - Iranian rivalry
  • Nomos
  • Sectarianism
  • Political Islam(s)
  • The Arab Uprisings 
  • Resistance
  • Religion in political structures
  • Regime-society relations
  • International Political Theory and its application to the Middle East, particularly the work of Giorgio Agamben and Hannah Arendt

I am currently working on two book projects: The first, Houses Built On Sand (forthcoming with Manchester University Press) explores the fragmentation of state-society relations in the post Arab Uprisings Middle East using the ideas of Giorgio Agamben and Hannah Arendt. The second, The Struggle For Supremacy (forthcoming with Cambridge University Press) looks at the impact of the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran across the Middle East.

PhD supervision

I am interested in supervising projects on the following areas: International Relations of the Middle East, Sovereignty - and its challenges - in the Middle East, Irredentism, Political Violence, religion and the state, Political Islam, Securitisation in the MENA region, and legitimacy.

Current Teaching

Additional Information

I am Director of the Richardson Institute, based here at Lancaster, where I work to facilitate knowledge exchange and engagement with a wide range of civil society actors, both in the UK and internationally.

I  regularly appear on international media outlets and have discussed international affairs and Middle Eastern politics with BBC News, BBC World, CNN, Al Jazeera CNBC, Sky News, ABC Australia, TRT Turkey, France24, Russia Today, Deutsche Welle, Al Arabiya, BBC 5 live, LBC, BBC local affiliates, Radio Luxembourg, ABC Australia, CBC Canada, KFPA - California, and Newstalk ZB, New Zealand. 

I served as Academic Advisor to the House of Lords International Relations Committee inquiry into the UK relations with the Middle East during the 2016-17 academic year. The full report is available here.

I have been invited to speak about my research at a number of international events including at the United Nations, the European Parliament, Harvard University, University of Chicago, DePaul University, NorthWestern, Brookings Institute, GeorgeTown University Doha, the University of St Andrews, King's College London, the University of Leeds, the University of Aarhus, An Najah University Palestine, and many others. 

I am a regular tweeter (@drmabon), avid snowboarder, Arsenal fan, and musician. 

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