Robert Mason

Scholar of the Politics of the Middle East

Robert Mason is a scholar of the international politics of the Middle East. He is the former Director of the Middle East Studies Center at The American University in Cairo where he won a faculty research award in 2018. He was elected to the ISA FPA Section Executive Board in 2020 and is currently working on a new monograph International Relations of the Gulf: Strategic Competition in an Uncertain World which is forthcoming with Manchester University Press.

Dr Mason has undertaken field research in Saudi Arabia as Visiting Research Fellow at the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies,supported by an HRH Prince Alwaleed Al Saud Scholarship. His research in the UAE was supported by a grant from the Middle East Centre at the London School of Economics. His research in Iran was conducted whilst he was based at the British Institute of Persian Studies. Dr Mason has also held visiting positions at New York University, University of Oxford, London School of Economics and Sciences Po, Paris. 


  • New Perspectives on Middle East Politics: Economy, Society and International Relations. New York and Cairo: AUC Press,forthcoming.
  • The Gulf States and the Horn of Africa: Interests, Influence and Instability. Co-edited with Simon Mabon.Manchester: Manchester University Press, forthcoming.
  • "The Nexus Between State-Led Economic Reform Programmes, Security, and Reputation Damage in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia", in Martin Beck and Thomas Richter (eds.), Oil and Political Economy of the Middle East: Adjustment Policies of the Arab Gulf and Beyond Since 2014. Manchester: Manchester University Press, forthcoming.
  • "Small State Aspirations to Middle Powerhood: The Cases of Qatar and the UAE" in Adham Saouli (ed.), Unfulfilled Aspirations: Middle Power Politics in the Middle East. London: Hurst/Oxford University Press: 2020. 
  • "Russia in Syria: An Unequivocal Return to the Middle East?", Middle East Policy, Winter 2018.
  • "The Syria Conflict and the Euro-Med Refugee Crisis: An Opportunity to Enhance the Common Foreign and Security Policy", European Foreign Affairs Review, Vol. 23, Issue 1, February 2018.
  • "Breaking the Mold of Small State Classification? The Broadening Spheres of UAE Foreign Policy through Effective Military and Bandwagoning Strategies", Canadian Foreign Policy Journal, Vol. 24, Issue 1, 2018, pp. 95-112.
  • Reassessing Order and Disorder in the Middle East: Regional Imbalance or Disintegration?New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2017.
  • "Bahrain" and "Syria" in Christopher Matthews et al (eds.), The Middle East and North Africa 2016, 62nd Edition, Routledge, 2016.
  • Egypt and the Gulf: A Renewed Regional Policy Alliance. Berlin: Gerlach Press, 2017.
  • Foreign Policy in Iran and Saudi Arabia: Economics and Diplomacy in the Middle East. London: I. B. Tauris, 2015. 
  • The International Politics of the Arab Spring: Popular Unrest and Foreign Policy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.