Maria Gloria Polimeno



College: College of Social Sciences and International Studies
Discipline: Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies
Department: College of Social and International Studies
Research Centre/Unit: IAIS Middle East Politics


I joined the Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter in 2017 after a long formation between the Middle East and London. Before settling in the United Kingdom back in 2012, I extensively travelled  from the Maghreb to the Syrian-Kurdish border and integrated in my education with the study of Arabic in Tunisia (2007), Jordan (2009-2010)  and Egypt (2012). I rceived the MA with Summa cum Laude in October 2011 with a thesis on the Islamic economic ethics in Europe. It attempted to understand the mechanisms and strategies of readaptation of the former in connection to the evolution of regional politics in the Middle East. In early 2012 I moved to Cairo,  in the middle of the political vacuum and transition under the military, due to a national postgraduate scolarship awarded from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The empirical observations in a moment of  socio-political tensions, as Egypt was in 2011-2012, directly influenced the trajectories of my research studies and shaped the areas of interest. I moved to the United Kingdom in September 2012 to join the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS),University of London as Academic visitor due to a European Commission funded postgraduate scholarship.

I have held research positions and appointments at the London Middle East Institute (LMEI) at SOAS between the second half of 2012 and 2013 and again as Research Scholar between January  2017 and March 2017. I was appointed Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of International Politics at City, University of London from September 2013 to April 2014 where I worked on the publication a journal article focused on the 2014 Egyptian constitution (from a political perspective) which has been included in the 2015 handbook of MENA authors and specialists published by the German Institute of Global Area (GIGA) in Hamburg, and where I also initiated my MPhil studies in International Politics. 

I am also member of the ECPR standing groups 'Religion and Politics' and 'Political Violence'. I additionally served as Peer-Reviewer for the Journal of Terrorism and Research in articles covering the MENA region. As part of my non-academic activity, I am MENA regional specialist  for the Chevening, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019). 

I am currently Teaching Assistant in Exeter (IAIS and Department of Politics). Before teaching in Exeter I was appointed Teaching Fellow at SOAS and Birkbeck College, University of London and invited junior lecturer in Italy at the Centre for Post-Conflict Studies Operation (Strategic Studies, University of Turin- Italian Ministry of Defence) 

Away fromy university life, my interests include travelling, trekking in the Italian alps and swimming.


Languages spoken: 

English: Professional

Arabic: Fluent (plus Palestinian-Jordanian dialect: upper intermidiate and Egyptian dialect: intermidiate)

Italian: Native Speaker