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The George Washington University

Bucerius Ph.D. Fellow

Minorities Without Majorities: The Origins of The Territorial State and Sectarianism in The Arab Middle East


This project intends to analyze the origins of modern sectarian and ethnic identities in the Arab Middle East. Specifically, the project will investigate when and how the elites of communities play a role in shaping ethnic identities during the post-Ottoman state-formation phase. By comparing the Arab Middle East with the Balkan region, the project will highlight how variations in regional competition and the type of elite's legitimacy explain the variation in the role of community's elite in the formation of modern ethnic and sectarian identities. 

Sultan Alamer is a political science doctoral student at George Washington University studying comparative politics and political theory. His primary research focuses on the origins of ethnic and sectarian identities, state formation, legislative institutions in authoritarian regimes, and political violence. His primary regional specialization is the Middle East, but his work includes the Balkan region. He holds a Master of Arts in philosophy and social policy, and another in political science. Both degrees were from the George Washington University. Sultan wrote for the Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP), Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, Gulf Center for Development Policies and was a weekly syndicated op-ed writer for the international Arab newspaper Al-Hayat.

2018: “Beyond Sectarianism and Ideology: Regionalism and Collective Political Action" in Al-Rasheed, Madawi. Salman's Legacy: The Dilemmas of a New Era in Saudi Arabia. Oxford University Press


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