Simon Mabon

Project Director

Lancaster University Lancaster University

Dr Simon Mabon is Senior Lecturer in International Relations at Lancaster University where he is also Director of the Richardson Institute, the UK’s oldest peace and conflict research centre. His research falls at the intersection of International Political Theory and Middle East Studies, with a focus on sovereignty and the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Mabon is the author of Saudi Arabia and Iran: Power and Rivalry in the Middle East (I.B. Tauris) and has had articles published in Middle East Journal, Middle East Policy, Third World Quarterly, Politics Religion and Ideology, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, E-International Relations , and Global Discourse.  He is currently working on a book on sovereignty in the contemporary Middle East (Manchester University Press) and a follow up to Saudi Arabia and Iran (Cambridge University Press). Mabon is also the co-author of The Origins of ISIS (I.B. Tauris) British Foreign Policy Since World War II (Routledge), Hezbollah: From Islamic Resistance to Government (Praeger), and co-editor of Sectarianism (Routledge) Securitization in the non-west (Routledge) and Terrorism and Political Violence (Sage).

Mabon regularly appears on international media outlets and have discussed international affairs and Middle Eastern politics with BBC News, BBC World, CNN, Al Jazeera CNBC, Sky News, ABC Australia, TRT Turkey, France24, Deutsche Welle, Al Arabiya, BBC 5 live, LBC, ABC Australia, CBC Canada, and others. He served as Academic Advisor to the House of Lords International Relations Committee inquiry into the UK relations with the Middle East during the 2016-17 academic year. Mabon has spoken at a range of international events including at the United Nations, the European Parliament, Harvard University, GeorgeTown University Doha, the University of St Andrews, King's College London, the University of Leeds, the University of Aarhus, An Najah University Palestine, the People’s College Nanded, and many others. He is a regular tweeter (@drmabon), avid snowboarder, Arsenal fan, and musician

Key Publications

  • The Struggle for Supremacy: Saudi Arabia and Iran (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020) Forthcoming.
  • ‘The Kingdom and the Glory? Saudi Arabia as a Middle Power in the Contemporary Middle East, Georgetown (Forthcoming, 2020).  
  • Houses Built On Sand (Manchester/New York: Manchester University Press/Oxford University Press, 2020).
  • 'Transnational religious networks and geopolitics in the Muslim world', Global Discourse, Vol. 9, No.4, 2019, 593-603, with Edward Wastnidge. 
  • 'Sectarian Ganes: Sovereign Power, War Machines and Regional Order in the Middle East', Middle East Law and Governance, Vol. 11, No.3, 2019, 283-318.
  • Desectarianization: Looking Beyond the Sectarianization of Middle Eastern Politics', The Review of Faith and International Affairs, Vol. 17. No. 4, 2019, 23-35. 
  • 'Egypt's unbreakable curse: Tracing the State of Exception from Mubarak to Al Sisi', Mediterranean Politics, Online ahead of print, with Lucia Ardovini.  
  • 'The world is a garden: Nomos, sovereignty and the (contested) ordering of life', Review of International Studies, Vol. 45. No.5, 2019, 870-890
  • ‘The End of the Battle for Bahrain and the Securitization of the Shi’a'. Middle East Journal, Vol. 73, No.1, 2019, 29-50. 
  • ‘Da’ish, stasis and bare life in Iraq’, in Jacob Erikson and Ahmed Khaleel (eds), Iraq After ISIS  (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018) with Ana Maria Kumarasamy
  • Saudi-Iranian Relations after the Rise of Mohammad Bin Salman’, E-International Relations, 17.07.18 https://www.e-ir.info/2018/07/17/saudi-iranian-relations-after-the-rise-of-mohammad-bin-salman
  • Muting the trumpets of sabotage: Saudi Arabia, the US and the quest to securitize Iran, British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 2017.
  • ‘Sovereignty, Bare Life and the Arab Uprisings. Third World Quarterly VOl. 38 No. 8, 2017. 1782-1799
  • ‘The Circle of Bare Life: Hizballah, Muqawamah and the Rejection of Being Thus’. Religion, Politics and Ideology. Vol. 18. No.1, 2017. 1-22.
  • People, Sects and States: Interrogating Sectarianism in the Contemporary Middle East. (London: Routledge, 2017) Co-edited with Lucia Ardovini. 
  • ‘Contested spaces and sectarian narratives in post uprisings Bahrain’, Global Discourse with Sossie Kasbarrian. Vol .6 No.4, 2016. 677-696.
  • Saudi Arabia and Iran: Soft power rivalry in the Middle East (London: I.B. Tauris, 2013). Paperback edition published in October 2015.
  • ‘Kingdom in Crisis: Saudi Arabia, Instability and the Arab Spring’, Contemporary Security Policy, Vol.33 No.3, 2012. 530-553
  • The Battle for Bahrain: Iranian-Saudi rivalry’, Middle East Policy, Vol.19 No.2, 2012. 84-97