Dr 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/Political Science

Maria Gloria is Associate Lecturer in Politics at the University of York. For more information: Polimeno, Maria Gloria - Politics, University of York



Before moving to York she Gloria was a Teaching Associate in Middle East Politics and Economy at the University of Exeter and a Teaching Fellow both at the IAIS and the Department of Politcs. In 2021 Gloria has been nominated Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts (FRSA). She is also a UNESCO-ILP Expert.  

Maria Gloria holds a PhD in Middle East Politics from the University of Exeter. 

Gloria joined the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies (College of Social and International Studies) at Exeter in 2017 after a formation in Italy and between the Middle East and North Africa, where she was based before moving to the United Kingdom. She holds a MA  with Distinction from Italy. Before moving to Exeter for her PhD in Middle East Politics, she initiated her two-year MPhil studies in International Politics at the University of London. Prior to joining the University of Exeter and the IAIS, she held several research positions at SOAS, as an Academic Visitor  and as a Visiting Scholar and was appointed Honorary Research Fellow at the Department of International Politics at City, University of London.   


Since 2018 Maria Gloria has been taught extensively at the University of Exeter both in the IAIS and the Department of Politics. Before teaching at the University of Exeter, in the academic year 2017/2018 she taught at SOAS as a member of the Department of Politics and International Studies. In 2016-2017 she taught in the Department of Politics at the Birkbeck College, University of London. 

2021-2022:  Research in International Projects 

- Global Expert in the V-Dem Project at the Varieties of Democracy Institute, University of Gothenburg. Co-funded by the European Research Council (ERC), Horizon 2020, and the EU-DEVCO.

2020/2021 Research  in International Projects:

- Country Expert on Libya for the GLOBALCIT Observatory, supported by the European University Institute's Global Governance Programme, and the British Academy project CITMODES. 

- Global Expert in the "Varieties of Democracy Project "(V-Dem) Varieties of Democracy Institute, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Co-funded by the European Research Council (ERC).

Research Fields:

Maria Gloria is an interdisciplinary scholar and her research sits at the intersection of Comparative Politics, International Relations and Euro-Mediterranean Relations with Political Economy of Development. In detail, her research focuses on Authoritarianism (and Digital Regimes), Political Legitimacy, Corruption,  State Violence, Critical Security Studies, Party-Politics, Democracy/Democratisation,  Political Economy of Development, Urban Transformation in the Global South, Architecture of Politics, UN Social Development Goals-16, Euro-Mediterranean Relations, International Relations,  Qualitative and Quantitative methods of analysis.


Her works have been published in Democratisation, International Affairs, The British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, Mediterranean Politics. 


- Abstracts and Panels reviewer for the 2022 British Society of Middle Eastern Studies Conference (BRISMES)

- Peer-Reviewer for the Journal of Terrorism and Research published by St. Andrews University for articles covering political violence in the Middle East and North Africa.

2019-2021: Academic assessor in the Middle East and North Africa Committee for the Chevening Programme, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, British Government. 

2015-2018 Regional assessor in the Middle East and North Africa Committee for the Chevening Programme, Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, British Government. 

Academic affiliations:

BRISMES: British Society for Middle Eastern Studies

DAVO: German Society for the Study of the Middle East 

ECPR: European Council for Political Research 

Member of the following (ECPR) standing group(s) and research network :

  • Elites and Political Leadership (SG)
  • Political Violence (SG)
  • Religion and Politics (SG)
  • Mediterranean Politics and Society (RN)


  • English: Full Professional
  • Arabic: Fluent (plus Palestinian-Jordanian dialect: upper-intermediate and Egyptian dialect: intermediate)
  • Italian: Native Speaker

Countries of Expertise: 

Egypt (specialisation)

Tunisia (comparative)


Besides her academic life and commitment to the profession, Gloria is a mountain hiker with a passion for ski-mountaineering and the surrounding culture. She is also a sea-lover and a former martial arts player.