Rory McCarthy.jpg

I am a Fellow by Examination at Magdalen College, Oxford, where I work on social movements, contentious politics, and Islamism in the Middle East and North Africa.

My new book, Inside Tunisia's al-Nahda: Between Politics and Preaching (Cambridge University Press, 2018), is a city-level political ethnography of the Islamist movement al-Nahda. It traces how an Islamist organization transforms over time by studying the tension between its political and religious ambitions, and it provides new evidence explaining social movement resilience under repression.

I'm working on a new project on the politics of protest in the Middle East after the Arab uprisings, beginning with analyses of contemporary protests in Tunisia and drawing comparative perspectives with other countries in the region.

At Oxford I have taught an undergraduate paper on the Politics of the Middle East and a graduate paper on the Politics of the Maghreb. I wrote Nobody Told Us We Are Defeated: Stories from the New Iraq (Chatto & Windus, 2006) and co-edited Civil Resistance in the Arab Spring: Triumphs and Disasters (Oxford University Press, 2016). Previously, I spent a decade as a foreign correspondent with the Guardian, with postings in Islamabad, Baghdad, Beirut, and Jerusalem. I have a BA in History from Cambridge and an MPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies and a DPhil in Oriental Studies from Oxford.