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 down 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 rooted in politics and economics and focused on the Islamic economic ethics in Europe. The study attempted to understand the mechanisms and strategies of readaptation of the Islamic economy in connection to the evolution and analysis of the political affairs in the Middle East in the 1990-2006 timeframe. In early 2012 I moved to Cairo, during the SCAF-led  transition of the country,  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 further European Commission funded postgraduate grant I was awarded.

I 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- and later included in the 2015 handbook of MENA authors as published by the German Institute of Global Area (GIGA) in Hamburg- where I also initiated my MPhil studies in International Politics. 

I teach in Exeter both at IAIS and the Department of Politics. Before teaching in Exeter I was awarded a Teaching Fellowship at SOAS in 2018, and between 2016-2017 I taught at postgraduate level at Birkbeck College, University of London. In  June 2018 I was invited  Lecturer at the Centre for Post-Conflict Studies Operation (Italian Ministry of Defence).

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 Academic assessor and previously MENA regional specialist  for the Chevening, British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (2015-2019). 

I am also member of the following ECPR standing groups and research network:

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

Languages spoken:

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