Maria Blanco-Palencia



My background is primarily in Translation and Interpretation (Spanish, English and Arabic) and in Politics, Sociology and International Relations of the Middle East. I hold a BA in Translation and Interpretation from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and am Sworn Translator of English-Spanish. After undertaking an MA in Contemporary Middle Eastern Studies from the same university, I specialised in Politics, Sociology and International Relations, more specifically on issues related to Political Islam, Democratisation, Foreign Policy, Political and Religious Authority, Identities and Doctrines in Islam, and Arab Minorities. As part of my MA, I had the opportunity of developing research competence at a Spanish research centre, where I decided I wanted to do further research on issues related to identity, civil society, social movements, processes of democratisation, political Islam, and political culture.

I was granted a doctoral research fellowship from the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the Centre for Strategic Studies of the University of Jordan in Amman were I had the opportunity of working together with Jordanian senior political experts and closely observing how national surveys were carried out. Moreover I could carry out participant observation of social movements and I worked on legal issues related to Freedom of Assembly in Arab Countries at the International Centre for Not-for-Profit Law’s regional office in Amman.