Ora Szekely


I am an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at Clark University in Worcester, MA.  I am also affiliated with the programs in Peace Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies.  I hold a PhD in Political Science from McGill University.

My research focuses on the foreign and domestic policies of nonstate and protostate military actors (rebel groups, guerrillas, insurgents, etc.,) in the Middle East.  More specifically, I’m interested in the ways that these groups mobilize support from the public and their state sponsors, and how that support shapes their overall effectiveness both politically and militarily.  My past research has examined the provision of social services by armed groups, the causes and effects of violence against civilians, and the dynamics of state sponsorship of militant groups, as well as the impact of that sponsorship on regional power dynamics.  My current research is focused on political ideology in the context of the Syrian civil war, particularly ideologies of gender. Most of my work is based on field research across the Middle East. My CV is available here.

At Clark, I teach courses in comparative politics, including the politics of the Middle East in general, the Arab-Israeli conflict in particular, the politics of ethnicity and identity, seminars on civil war and refugees, and the introductory course of the comparative politics subfield.



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